Sunday, August 9, 2015

Vedder Mountain Fire - 1978

In August of 1978  (According to the memories of the local town folks) a forest fire was started on Vedder Mountain by arcing power wires.  According to lifelong resident, Josephine Fadden, her husband, Bruce witnessed the sparking of the fire from his farm on Jones Road.  He contact the Department of National Resources and reported the fire.  It took several days before there was any response and by then the fire spread into Canada and was a major concern. 
 
The fire was burning during the week of the Lynden Fair.  It attracted some of the fair goers who came to Sumas to watch the action.   According to Art Bobb, the firefighters were using a string of explosives that would run up the mountain and clear a path for the men to follow up the steep terrain.   
 
The base camp was at the Nooksack High School where the fire crew had a chow trailer and other equipment.
 
There was another fire in the 1980s supposedly started by illegal border jumper's campfire. 

 

Picture 1
Photograph taken by Burl Brooks Beane, August 1978.  A helicopter fighting the fire on Vedder Mountain.  This was taken looking east towards Vedder Mountain from Rock Road. 
 
Photograph 2
Photograph taken by Burl Brooks Beane,  August 1978.  Photograph taken looking east from Rock Road of the helicopter hard at work fighting the Vedder Mountain Fire.
 
 Picture 3
Photograph taken by Burl Brooks Beane, August 1978
 
 Picture 4
 
 Photograph taken by Burl Brooks Beane, August 1978 at night of the Vedder Mountain Fire.
 
Picture 5
Photograph taken by Burl Brooks Beane,  August 1978.  Another night photograph of Vedder Mountain on fire.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sumas Community Days - August 30th, 1958 Part 2 of 2



In the last posting about Sumas Community Days - August 30th, 1958, we looked at the grand floats  that passed along the parade route down Cherry Street.  The amount of work and pride that the communities put into their displays were amazing.  The young ladies were dressed in their very stylish and formal gowns and were truly beautiful. 
 
In viewing the upcoming pictures please be aware that the some photos would be considered racist or demeaning in our current views.  In 1958 it was not considered so.  Please do not judge by our current standards.
 
Picture 1
 Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
 
The young ladies on the float are heading south in Sumas on Cherry Street pass the Christian Science Society .   The building was at the southwest corner of Cherry and First Street facing east.  The building is now the 24/7 Shipping business. 
 
 
 Picture 2
Posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
 
A clever parade entry!   It looks like a young man enjoying a magic carpet ride! Notice the Ivy covered City Hall in the background.

 
Picture 3
Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.

 
These gentlemen would never be able to parade in such a fashion today.  What an interesting look into attitudes and humor of the times.  Certainly not acceptable with our current standards.
 
 Picture 4 


Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
 
Boys dressed like hobos and a unicycle.
 
Picture 5
 Posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
 
An unique way of dressing like Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.  This picture is in front of the Grand Hotel on the east side of Cherry Street just south of Garfield Street. 

Picture 6

 Posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
 
Girls costumed in their renditions of Native American dress.  The photo is labeled, Bev Wells and Nonie.
 
Picture 7
Posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
 
Ardis McWilliams on horseback ready for the Sumas Community Day Parade!
 
 Tomorrow will be another installment about the Sumas Community Days - August 30th, 1958.  I hope you find these retro photos as delightful as I do.
 
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sumas Community Day - August 30, 1958 Part 1 of 2

This upcoming Saturday, June 27th, 2015, our fine town of Sumas will gather and share a bit of community spirit on Sumas Days.  The park will be filled with festive venders, games and of course the annual Car Show which brings vintage car collectors in with their classics with pride.  Of course there will be the Sumas Days Parade in which the families will line the street watching for the bands, floats and fire engines to go by.  In the evening will be the firework show which is always a big crowd pleaser.  Sumas Community Days has been a yearly tradition for years!
 
However, Sumas Community Days have not always been a June tradition.  August 30, 1958, a photographer captured the parade in all of its glory.  As you will notice in the pictures the huge amount of work that went into the Sumas Day Parade! 
 

Picture 1
 Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
This is looking north from the center of the block on Cherry Street.  The ivy covered City Hall on the left is on the northwest corner of Cherry and First Street.   The flags are up and people are gathering to see the upcoming parade.
 
 
Picture 2
 Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
The Nooksack Valley High School making it proud march heading south on Cherry Street.   They are crossing the intersection of Cherry Street and First Street.

 
 
Picture 3


 The Sumas Legion float with the lovely Sumas Royalty.   The ladies are shown in picture  4.  This is looking north on Garfield Street.  The Grand Hotel in the background is facing onto Cherry Street.

Picture 4
Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
According to the labeling of the photograph,  "Queens Vicki,  Judy and Annette."
 
Picture 5


Posted with permission from the Crouse family collection
Queen Judy from the Sumas Legion Float.
 
Photograph 6

Photograph posted with permission from the Crouse family collection.
Everson Float headed south on Cherry Street in front of the Grand Hotel. This was on the southeast corner of Cherry and Garfield Street.
 
Picture 7

Janis Fisher in the Sumas Community Parade, August 30, 1958.
 
I hope you enjoyed this wonderful peek into Sumas Community Days past.  Tomorrow, I will post more delightful pictures of the parade of August 30th, 1958.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spring Fishing Derby - 1972

As most people in Sumas are aware, last weekend, the Sumas American Legion held the 26th Annual Howard Bowen Memorial Fishing Derby on June 6th.  I was unable to attend as I was working, however, I am hearing that it was a success.  In previous years, the derby was held at the park down on Johnson Creek.  The city workers would place barriers across the creek on each side of the park under the bridges.  The fish would be released into the contained area for the children's fishing derby.  When the derby was over the barriers were removed.  Any surviving fish were free to swim away. 

This year however the Fish and Wildlife officials determined that the creekside park was a sensitive habitat of an endangered frog.  So in order to protect the habitat the fishing derby was cancelled in the park after many years.  After much debate and consternation it was decided to clean up a pond over by the baseball field on the Hovel Road and the festivities were up and running again .
 
picture 1
 
 
Official poster advertising this year's fishing derby.
 
Although the poster announces it to be the 26th Annual Fishing Derby in actual fact  the Derby has been part of our community for much longer.  The following pictures  were taken at the Spring Fishing Derby in 1972.  I was either 11 or 12 years old and proudly walked around the Fishing Derby with my camera 43 years ago snapping shots of friends and community members. 
 
Picture 2
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12. 
This is facing east towards Sumas Avenue where the bridge crosses Johnson Creek.  A happy crowd of young people hoping to catch the prized fish.  Although most of the time was spent untangling each others fishing lines.
 
Picture 3
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
This unidentified boy was the first person to catch a fish at the 1972 Spring Fishing Derby.
 
Picture 4
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.

Tony Ehlers removing his catch from the hook.
 
Picture 5
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
An unidentified  boy with his catch.
 
Picture 6
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
Stacy Waddell showing off her fish.
 
Picture 7
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
A representative of the Sumas American Legion Post, LeRoy Witman.  The Sumas Legion sponsored the yearly fishing derby.
 
Picture 8
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.


A beloved school teacher, LaVoun Hoffman  enjoying the festivities at the fishing derby.
 
Picture 9
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
Harold Odergaard (school teacher and member of the American Legion) at the Spring Fishing Derby, 1972.
Picture 10
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
Lucy LaClair and Stacy Waddell at the 1972 Spring Fishing Derby.
 
Picture 11
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.

Burl and LaVelle Beane at the 1972 Spring Fishing Derby.
 
Picture 12
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
Venus Ruiz ready to catch fish at the 1972 Spring fishing Derby in Sumas, Washington!
 
Picture 13
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
Spectators of the 1972 Spring Fishing Derby on the Sumas Avenue bridge over Johnson Creek.
 
Picture 14
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
I was amazed when  I was looking through the pictures above.  The park looks a bit untidy compared to the manicure grass today.  I don't remember it being that way. 
 

Picture 15






 
Photograph taken by Deborah (Beane) Morgan at the age of 12.
The fishing derby at the creekside park next to Johnson Creek in Sumas, WA.  The building at the right is no longer there.
 
 


 
 


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The rise and fall of the Hansen - Lochbaum Building. (Also known as the Maple Leaf Tavern)

 
Picture 1
Photograph posted with the permission of the City of Sumas
 
The Hansen-Lochbaum Building was the home of the Sumas News .  The building was built in 1912 on the west side of the Cherry Street facing  towards the east on the north corner of Harrison Street. Moe's Hill (as it is currently known) is visible in the background. The Sumas News was in operation from 1889 until November 25, 1965 and was an important source of information for the local region.  According to the National Endowment of for the Humanity website, "Chronicling America.",  the publisher was L.A. Lymburner.
 

Picture 2
 
1914 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map (Portion)
Posted with permission of the City of Sumas
 
The red arrow at the top right hand side of the map shows where the Sumas News building was located.  At the time that this map was printed the Hansen-Lochbaum Building was newly built.  The top of the map is north and you can see where the Canada border is marked.
 
Picture 3

 
Photograph posted with permission of the City of Sumas 
 

After the Sumas News ceased production, the building was converted to the lively Maple Leaf Tavern.  A favored nightspot frequented by Americans and Canadians alike.  An aerial view of the Maple Leaf tavern can be seen on my earlier posting from March 25, 2014 .
 
Picture 4
 
Posted with permission of the City of Sumas

 In 1988 the lovely old building was finally torn down to accommodate the traffic lanes for the soon to be constructed current United State Customs and Immigration building.  The sad end  of a grand old building.
 
Picture 5

 Posted with permission of the City of Sumas
 
Picture 6
Posted with permission of the City of Sumas

In the background on the left side of the picture, Moe Hill is clearly visible.  To the right of the demolition is the traffic lane for the 3rd Customs and Immigration Building.

Picture 7

Posted with permission of the City of Sumas
 
With the Hansen -Lochbaum Building mostly torn down the 3rd customs and Immigration Building's distinctive barn shaped roof is prominent in the background.  It was later moved to another location. 

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.