Ferndale garners its roots from the Lummi Tribe who called the land “Te-tas-um,” which meant, “the crossing place above Lummi.” The native culture is still alive today as seen throughout Ferndale, with displays of Story poles, weaved baskets and more. Many from the Lummi Nation continue to fish and harvest shell fish just as their ancestors did generation after generation.
The city of Ferndale was founded in the 1800’s with the name, “Jam.” This was in reference to the nearby two-mile log jam on the Nooksack River.
Alice Eldridge, the first school teacher, was the first to call the town Ferndale. She admired the lush green ferns that surrounded the schoolhouse. This was characteristic of the Indian culture where names of sites and areas oftentimes described the site itself. As people moved to the area the name stuck.