Lynden was begun in 1871 and established in 1874 by Holden and Phoebe Judson near the site of the Nooksack Indian village Squahalish (Nooksack: Sqwehálich). It was named by Phoebe Judson after the riverside town in Hohenlinden, a poem by Thomas Campbell, stating:
According to her book, A Pioneer’s Search for an Ideal Home, she changed the spelling to “Lynden” to be more visually appealing. The town was officially incorporated on March 16, 1891.
The town lies in a broad valley along the winding path of the Nooksack River, which empties into nearby Bellingham Bay. The surrounding area is filled with dairy, raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry farms. Even though not founded by them, the region saw significant Dutch immigration in the early and mid 1900s, spurring the growth of dairies. Today, Lynden pays homage to some of its Dutch heritage through locations such as buildings on Front Street, where some businesses have been made-over with a Dutch theme, complete with a windmill. Along that street, you’ll find the Lynden Dutch Bakery, Dutch Mother’s Restaurant, and numerous local businesses. Some local supermarkets contain Dutch food sections, but Dutch is spoken by very few of the town’s residents today. In the last two decades, the population has nearly doubled in size, with Dutch being more predominate than other ethnic ancestry.
Lynden has perhaps some of the coolest weather in Western Washington, due to its far north location.
The winter temperatures commonly range between the upper 20s (about -3°C) to mid 40s (nearly 10°C). During a cold outbreak however, bitter and dry winds whip from the Fraser River north of the border, dropping temperatures to the teens(below -10°C). As a result, snow can be worse in this area compared to the rest of the Western Washington lowlands, though occurrence is on average only 2 or 3 annually.
Summer temperatures are cool with temperatures ranging from the lower 50s(10°C) to the lower 70s(around 20°C).