Friday, March 27, 2015

Muddy Cherry Street in Sumas, WA - Circa 1906

Picture 1
Photo credited to the Whatcom Museum, Photo archives, Bellingham, WA
Looking north up Cherry Street towards Canadian border.
This photograph is shown on page 257 of the book, Boundary Town written by Roy Franklin Jones.  This is considered to be the definitive book regarding Sumas history.  The book is currently out of print but is available in the Whatcom County Library system.
The description of the photograph given by the archives at the Whatcom Museum is as follows:
"Cherry Street scene in Sumas in 1906; horse team and wagon, wooden sidewalks on each side of muddy road.  Lambert & VanValkenburg Law Office on first building at right, followed by Sumas News in next building at right along with Real Estate Office. Sign on building at left for Barlow's Bakery, Confectionery and Ice Cream Parlor, including Coca Cola advertisement. In the distance is hardware facing the cross street."
What is not mentioned is that the aforementioned hardware store is facing Garfield Avenue on the northwest corner of Garfield and Cherry Street. The building with the three gabled windows on the left was the Mount Baker Hotel across the street from the hardware store.  The trees at the end of the street mark  the Canadian border.
The old photographs of Sumas give us a true to picture of the changes that has occurred over the years. 
Watch for some more exciting snapshots of our town's past!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Upcoming program at the Sumas Library - Drive-Ins, Drive-ups and Drive-Thrus

Come to the Sumas Library this Saturday to hear Mr. Wes Gannaway give a presentation featuring information from his recently released book, "Drive-Ins, Drive-Ups, and Drive-Thrus".  He will take us on a journey down memory lane here in Whatcom county.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

North end of town in Early Sumas

Picture 1
 Posted with permission from Mr. Linn's collection
A snowy picture of early Sumas, Washington looking east towards the mountains.  We are looking  up Harrison Street near the vicinity of the Canadian boundary line.  In the foreground is the Milwaukee/ BBBC Railroads Depot.   Mr. John Linn pointed out that there is a plank trail leading into the swamps west of the depot. He said it was used into the 1950s and was known as the "Depot Trail".

Looking to the left notice the U.S. Saloon, The Canadian boundary runs to the left of the Saloon and can be seen scarring the mountains.  Also notice to the right side of Harrison Avenue, Gillie's Mill office.  

This is an older photograph which is estimated to be from 1905.

picture 2
Posted with permission from the Gannaway Collection
This picture is obviously taken without the snow, but is a continuation of picture 1, looking north east.  There is an overlap where you can see the U.S Saloon in both pictures.  Behind the U.S. Saloon is the U.S. Hotel facing the border.  The large barn across the street from the hotel I believe is in Canada.  The border runs in the middle of the street and between the train stations.  The town of    Huntington is still early in development and is mostly just cleared land.
Picture 3
Close up details of Picture 2 with areas identified by John Linn
Thanks to the sharp eyes of Mr. John Linn, we can see the faint lines of Sumas Lake in the background of picture 2.  Mr. John Linn enlarged the area under Vedder Mountain and identified the localities.
This is a fascination early look at Sumas. This reminds us that the wilderness and lumber was still surrounding the town site at this time.

Thank you for visiting and look for new postings soon!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Service Stations of Sumas Part 1 - Central Gas Station

Remember when service stations actually gave their customer's service.  Not the self- serve mini-marts where people buy energy drinks and potato chips, but old fashion service.  Where the young men would actually fill up the gas tank for you and checked your oil.  They would often clean your window and put air in your tires. You left feeling you were given your money worth.
picture 1
Posted with permission from the Sumas Library's collection
The picturesque little Central Gas Station was on the northeast corner of Cherry and 2nd Street.  Be certain to notice the station provided clean rest room ( a major selling point) behind the station.  The Sumas Methodist Church was behind the Service Station.  The date of the photograph is unknown.
 picture 2
 Posted with permission from the Sumas Library's collection
Date of photograph is unknown (perhaps early 1950s?)
Picture 3

Posted with permission from the Sumas Library's Collection
Proprietor Bill Edwards proudly standing next to the pumps at Central Service Station advertising the Fire Chief Texaco fuel.  Bill Edwards later closed the gas station after opening the NAPA Auto Parts house and mechanic shop in Cherry Street and Third Street.  His son is currently still operating the Parts House and Mechanic shop in Sumas.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Cherry Street , Sumas, Washington - Circa 1950

Picture 1

Posted with permission from the Gannaway family collection.
This charming photograph shows the  intersection of First and Cherry Street looking northwards towards the Canadian Border, circa 1950. On the right is the I.O.O.F. building with Linn's Hardware Store and the Grand Hotel behind it. The Caribou Tavern occupied space on the ground floor of the Grand Hotel. On the left side of the street is the ivy covered Town Hall.
According to correspondence with Mr. Linn, The businesses in the pictures were as followed:
On the left, first block:
    City Hall, Jim Bromley's Barber Shop, Wee Drop Inn Restaurant, Bill Hesselgrave's   Sumas Garage.  
On the left, 2nd block:
   Post/West Grocery, Nyland's Sumas Mercantile.
Directly at the end of Cherry Street:
  Canadian Customs/Immigration Building
On the right, first block:
  Linn's Hardware Store, Grand Hotel (In the bottom of the Grand Hotel: International Drug Store,    Caribou Tavern, Handerson' s  Restaurant).
On the right, 2nd block:
   On the bottom floor of the Eneix Building, Al Piro's Drug Store, Washington  State Liquor Store, Bishop's Meat Shop.
Picture 2
Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, March 6, 2015
Looking north at the same intersection shown in Picture 1 from the same spot.   The I.O.O.F. building is long gone as well as the Grand Hotel.  There is a small mostly vacant strip mall with a liquor store and its parking lot where Linn's Hardware store once stood.  Where the Grand Hotel used to be there  is a parking lot and an empty restaurant building. The city hall is in the same location minus the ivy with  modern siding on it. It almost doesn't look like the same town.
Thank you for visiting Nooksack Valley Nostalgia!  See you next time....

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Traffic control in early Sumas...our short lived traffic circle.

Picture 1
looking N on Cherry Street towards the Canadian border.  The flagpole is mounted at the intersection of Cherry Street and Garfield Avenue.
posted with permission from the Bob Bromley collection
We have all heard many opinions, pro and con, regarding the use of Traffic Circles that are now coming into use around the county in the last few of years to ease traffic flow and reduce violent accidents at intersections.  However, one of the first uses of the Circle in the county was here in Sumas and was installed just 3 blocks S of the International Boundary on our main thoroughfare of Cherry Street, early in the 20th century.    
From stories I heard from interviews with the late Al Baker, an early Sumas resident, our Traffic Circle existed for only a few years and was removed after too many drunk drivers ran into it.  Another longtime resident, Josephine Fadden remembers, "the traffic circle was there in early 40's but not for very long.  The widths of the newer cars made navigating around it difficult."  
Picture 2

 The store at A, with the horse and wagon tethered in front "was owned by Orin Post in the 1940's up through 1950 and then by Dean West (who operated West's Groceries) up through the early 60's or so and then by Dick Bromley up through 1982? when Dick bought the Sumas Mercantile just N of it, tore it down and built the current Grocery store."...pers comm John Linn, 25 Feb 15. B is Mr. Taylor's cobbler shop with its Giant Shoe sign. C is the Swail Hotel. D is the Eneix Building, built 1938 (as per Google Earth) and still standing as of 2015, by Charles Eneix.  Charles was a prominent early resident and was involved with the creation and promotion of the Sumas Roundup. E is the Grand Hotel.
The roads are paved but quite dirty.  Painted pedestrian crossing lines can just be made out under the layer of dirt in the foreground crossing Cherry Street.
The Circle was an interesting feature of our community while it lasted.  See you next posting.  Thanks for visiting Nooksack Valley Nostalgia!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The incredible moving Mt. Baker!

You will recognize picture 1 from my posting, 'Floods of Sumas - Part 1 of 1- featuring  early floods' which I posted 27 January, 2015.  The view is a classic, looking SE from the top of Moe Hill on the W side of Sumas down onto the early (flooded) city.  Mr. John Linn, an observant reader, pointed out a very interesting feature in the photograph.   He reminded me that we can not see Mt. Baker from Sumas on a cloudy day.  Picture 1 shows Sumas on a cloudy day, yet, we can see Mt. Baker! So, as it turns out, the photographer not only added it into the photograph (in the wrong location!), but felt that he needed to improve the mountain by making it pointy.  Perhaps he had never seen the mountain to know where it was located or he wanted to compose the picture better.  We may never know.

Picture 1
Posted with permission from the Gannaway Collection
 A photograph with Mt. Baker cleverly painted where the artist wanted to place it.

Picture 2
Posted with permission of Mr. John Linn
 Due to creative computer work, Mr. John Linn was able to superimposed Google Earth over the vintage photograph from 1917. You will see that Mt. Baker is really on the far left side of the picture and not nestled in the saddle, artistically centered, as the original photographer wanted his viewer to think.
Thank you, Mr. Linn for your observations and your keen eyes!