Located in Bellingham, The Bureau is a purveyor of affordable gifts by talented local & regional makers.
The Bureau of Historical Investigation opened in December 2013 and is located in the McHugh Building in downtown Bellingham. Since then, owners Marissa McGrath and Sara Holodnick have been offering unique, quality handmade goods made by local artists.
The Bureau reflects the sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to Bellingham's storied past. Our rotation vendors offer a variety of gifts for any budget, including jewelry, natural skincare, housewares, curated vintage finds, prints and originals from emerging artists, thoughtful souvenirs, and more.
The Bureau is also home to the Good Time Girls guided historical walking tours. Founded in 2010 by McGrath & Holodnick, the tours offer insight into Bellingham's often seedy past. Public tour season runs July-October, but private tours are available for advance booking year-round.
217 W Holly Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
The Gore & Lore tour
A guided walking tour exploring Bellingham's creepy side! October only.
- $15 per person (18+)
- $20 per person w/drink ticket (21+)
Those creepy Victorians! From tales of woe to mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a prominent resident, the Fairhaven tour will leave you feeling downright spooky.
Fridays @ 6pm, October 7-28, 2016. Meets in the courtyard of the first floor of the Sycamore Square building (at the corner of 12th and Harris Streets).
Drink tickets good at Skylark's Hidden Cafe.
Where did the earliest Bellinghamsters bury their dead? Who killed Frederick Dames? Why did they close the observation deck at the Bellingham Towers building? Take the Downtown Gore & Lore tour to find out!
Saturdays @ 6pm, October 1-29, 2016. Meets at The Bureau (217 W Holly). Tarot readings available after the tour!
Drink tickets good at Uisce.
Private Guided Tours
Our private guided tours are perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthday parties, social groups, extra-special date nights, retirement parties, workplace teambuilding activities, whatever you want! You have choices but basically we just want to know two things:
What do you want learn about?
Interested in the history of vice, sin and how sex workers and saloon owners created the foundation for the much more subdued city that you see today? The SIN & GIN TOUR is the girl for you!
Horrifying history with some great local legend mixed in? The GORE & LORE TOUR should be right up your darkened alley.
Woah… maybe just the basics? Our HOLLY STREET HISTORY TOUR will give you an intro to the history of our weird little city.
Downtown or Fairhaven?
We offer Sin & Gin and Gore & Lore tours of both Downtown and Fairhaven, and the general/all-ages Holly Street History tour (Downtown only). Everyone has their favorite, and we’re happy to tell you more about either New Whatcom or the Southside. Wait, you didn’t know thats what they used to be called? You should probably take a tour!
- A $90 minimum booking fee covers 1-6 people ($15/per person at 6 people).
- Additional guests are $15 and can be paid for at the time of your tour, or when you make your booking.
- We offer discounts for groups with 15-30 guests, school groups, and nonprofit organizations.
Things to note before you book:
- Private tours are subject to guide availability and therefore must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance if at all possible. We'll do our best to accommodate your schedule, but we're only human!
- Our private tours run rain or shine. We will happily attempt to reschedule your tour if it's gross outside, but we don't offer refunds unless conditions are dangerous (e.g. ice/snow).
- Tour Guides for our Sin & Gin Tour are guaranteed to wear historical reproduction undergarments as a costume during Private Guided Tours JUNE-SEPTEMBER ONLY. Historical costuming is not guaranteed outside this season due to weather. Corsets are expensive!
Ready to request a Private Guided Tour?
Don't forget to tell us:
- Your preferred date & time
- Preferred location (downtown or Fairhaven)
- Which tour you would like to book (Sin & Gin, Gore & Lore, or Holly Street History)
- If there are any special considerations for this tour such as accessibility accommodations, requests for a special event, etc.
You can leave us a message at 360-305-3172, email us at info [at] thebureaubellingham.com, or click the button below to complete our handy contact form. We'll get back to you as soon as possible during our regular business hours.