History

group-mtBaker

MBC Members Building the Skyline Ridge [Divide] Trail

On August 10, 1911, Mt Baker Club members sponsored the first Mount Baker Marathon. To establish Bellingham as the economic center of the event, the endurance race to the top of Mount Baker started and ended in the city. Participants had the choice of taking one of two routes to the base of the mountain: via a special rail car to the tiny town of Glacier, or by Model T to the town of Deming. Both options required participants to start in Bellingham, travel to the designated town, run up to the summit of Mt Baker and back down to the same town, then return to Bellingham. Joe Galbraith won the first race using the Deming option when race leader Harvey Haggerty (literally) ran into a bull.

Charles Easton was a local jeweler and a founding member of the Mt Baker Club. With his wife, Ada Hamilton Easton, he compiled a scrapbook documenting the marathon. In 1916, armed with his inspiring and promotional album, Mr. Easton headed to Washington, DC, to lobby for the establishment of a Mount Baker National Park. Unfortunately, the United States’ involvement in World War I precluded that decision. While the Mt Baker region never attained official National Park status, the club’s original intention to “aid in opening up the fascinating features of this WONDERLAND” has been undeniably achieved. Since the gathering of that first group of businessmen in 1911 and the start of formal record keeping in 1928, the Mt Baker club has been encouraging its members to promote and enjoy the natural beauty and resources of the Mt Baker region. Mr. Easton would be proud.

The Mt Baker Marathon inspired what is now known as the Ski to Sea event.  Dan Probst, ultra marathoner and Mount Baker Club Member is organizing a new race to Mt Baker, this time starting from Concrete, WA.

Additional historical information including numerous early photographs of the Mount Baker Club can be found in the Western Washington University Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Heritage Resources Mount Baker Club Records .