Open main menu
Semiahmoo cannery office, August 1918
"Native quarters", Semiahmoo cannery
Semiahmoo cannery workers at a filling machine, August 1918

Semiahmoo is a peninsula bordering Semiahmoo Bay, Boundary Bay and Drayton Harbor in the U.S. state of Washington. Semiahmoo is now part of Blaine, Washington. The Semiahmoo Spit extends from the peninsula between the bays and Drayton Harbor. The spit area was home to cannery operations employing many workers and is now home to Semiahmoo Resort and Semiahmoo Park. Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club is located on the main peninsula. Semiahmoo is located across Drayton Harbor from Blaine.[1]

Semiahmoo Spit

Semiahmoo peninsula was forested with fir and cedar.[1] The Lumni built a major village on the spit. A shell midden is visible on either side of the spit, although wave action has cut away at the shore This has revealed artifacts.

In 1858, prospectors came to the Semiahmoo area searching for the Fraser River. The spit seemed like a logical place to set up a post as a launching point for further exploration into the mainland. A trading post was soon established at the spit, and the owner drew up plans for Semiahmoo City. Semiahmoo was expected to become a migration boomtown, but it eventually developed into a fishing town, as the spit provided shelter for Drayton Harbor and an abundance of coastal resources.

Three purse seine boats in the ways at Semiahmoo, 1918
Workers at the Semiahmoo cannery, August 1918
Workers at the Semiahmoo cannery, August 1918

Whatcom County's first salmon cannery opened in 1881 in Semiahmoo; in 1891, the Alaska Packers Association was the largest salmon cannery in the world. Salmon canning was to be the main source of revenue in Semiahmoo until 1980, when the land was purchased by the land development corporation. Recently, a park with a small, seasonal interpretive center was built near the headland, and the Semiahmoo Resort and Golf Course was built near the spit.


  1. ^ a b Hunt, Herbert; Kaylor, Floyd C. (1 November 2018). "Washington, West of the Cascades: Historical and Descriptive; the Explorers, the Indians, the Pioneers, the Modern". S. J. Clarke publishing Company – via Google Books.

Coordinates: 48°59′20″N 122°46′24″W / 48.98889°N 122.77333°W / 48.98889; -122.77333