In December 1852, two investors from California -- Captain Henry Roeder (1824-1902), and Russell V. Peabody of San Francisco. The investors came to Olympia, Washington, by ship from Portland. They'd gone to Portland to start a fishing company, but when they got there they learned of a better opportunity: A fire had nearly destroyed San Francisco, and whoever managed to supply the lumber to rebuild it was going to get very, very rich.
In Olympia, they met the Lummi Chief Chow'it'sut , who directed them to the falls at Whatcom (which meant "noisy, rumbling water". The investors took the chief's advice, hired a pair of Lummi guides, and kept traveling north, by canoe. When they reached the falls on Bellingham Bay, they found thousands of massive Doug-fir and cedar trees along the banks of streams powerful enough to turn the mill's heavy waterwheels. It was the perfect site. According to legend, Roeder and Peabody returned to Chow'it'sut, who gave them the falls and the timber around them. He also sent Indian workers to help build and staff the new mill and the little town of Whatcom. The mill was later destroyed by a fire in 1873.
Now, either trips mentioned above could have been taken by Land. Which is correct?
In 1853, Roeder also established coal mining operations in the area the of town that came to be called Sehome (named after a member of the nearby Samish Indian tribe).