|"Dirty Dan" Harris sculpture|
The link I found has some interesting facts about this guy. He arrived here from the East Coast between 1826 and 1833, after having sailed the seas as a whaler. He finished a log cabin begun by an earlier settler who died, and obtained legal title to 146 acres, which became the main part of Fairhaven's downtown. Fairhaven, Sehome, Whatcom, and Bellingham combined to become one town in 1903. But Fairhaven was the place where Dirty Dan began to make his fortune. He was, according to the article, "a shabby looking guy, hence the nickname Dirty Dan." From HistoryLink.org:
He typically wore a well-worn hat, greasy coat, unbuttoned red flannel undershirt, and pants that were ripped and occasionally held up with rope. Shoes and socks were something of a novelty for him in his younger years, though he did wear them when he was on the road. He loved his liquor and could hold it as well as any man.But as he gained his first wealth, mostly from the sale of bootleg liquor, he cleaned up and then began to sell property in the new town of Fairhaven. By 1883, he had amassed close to a half million dollars (in 2014 dollars). And he began to clean up his appearance:
He bought a new wardrobe — a silk hat, fine black cutaway coat, and matching pants, real pants, sans ropes, and a white vest. Yet he didn't pull it off entirely. He still wore his red flannel undershirt, no tie, cowhide shoes (still an improvement from no shoes at all), and his coat and pants were often dotted with spots and stains.There is much more information about this interesting man on that link. He died in 1890, I guess somewhere in his seventies. I enjoyed learning about him and now will walk down Harris Avenue in Fairhaven with renewed respect.