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tours & Gifts

Locally Sourced × Crafted with Love

 

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. 

 

Phone

(360) 305-3172

 

Location

217 W Holly Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

 

Hours

M-T Closed
W-Sa 11a–6p
Su 11a–3p

Product photos by Karen Hanrahan

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The Sin & Gin Tour

A guided walking tour exploring Bellingham's historical underbelly! Public tours run July-August. 

  • $15 per person (18+)
  • $20 per person w/drink ticket (21+)

Fairhaven

Brothels & saloons on the south side! From Devil's Row to Dirty Dan, Fairhaven won't seem so quaint once our sassy, corset-clad guides reveal its dark past. 

Fridays @ 7pm, July 1-August 26, 2016. Meets outside Skylark's Hidden Cafe (1308 11th Street). 

Drink tickets good at Skylark's Hidden Cafe. 

Downtown

The rise & fall of Bellingham's Red Light District meets Prohibition-Era vice... What's that you say: Outlawing things doesn't make them go away? Weird.

Saturdays @ 7pm, July 2-August 27, 2016. Meets at The Bureau (217 W Holly). 

Drink tickets good at the new Goat Mountain Pizza bar. 

Tour Calendar

Gore & Lore Tour

A guided walking tour exploring creepy history and chilling ghost legends. 

  • $15 per person (recommended ages 16+)
  • $20 per person w/drink ticket (21+)

Note: No one will jump out at you or try to physically scare you on this tour. We let the history speak for itself. 

Fairhaven

Creepy stories and ghost legends on the south side of town! From accidental deaths to mysterious hauntings, we'll uncover all of the ways Victorian-Era Bellinghamsters were weird and creepy. 

Fridays @ 6pm, September 30-October 28, 2016. Meets in the indoor courtyard of the Sycamore Square building (corner of 12th and Harris). 

Drink ticket partner TBA. 

Downtown

Murder mysteries and Depression-Era tales of woe illustrate the darker side of Downtown Bellingham's past. Exclusive to this tour: Electronic Voice Phenomena collected locally by our friends who teach the local Bellingham Ghost Hunt Class!

Saturdays @ 6pm, October 1-29, 2016. Meets at The Bureau (217 W Holly). 

Drink ticket partner TBA. 


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, Gore & Lore and General History tours of both Downtown and Fairhaven. 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!

Pricing

  • A $90 minimum booking fee covers 1-6 people ($15/per person). 
  • Additional guests are $15.
  • We offer a $2 per person discount for groups with 15-30 guests. 

Things you should know about private tours

  • Private tours are subject to guide availability and therefore must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.
  • Don't see the date/time you need? Contact us for a special request We'll do our best to accommodate your schedule. 
  • 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 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. We're pretty awesome, but we're not superhuman!

Contact us!

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.

Common inquiries: