Friday, February 28, 2014

Fourth of July 1905 - Sumas, WA

Photograph credited to the Whatcom Museum Photo Archives. Bellingham, WA
Today I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA.  We found that the museum has a photo archives which is available for research.  If anyone wishes to obtain copies of the pictures they can stop by and for a moderate fee get superb service. 
This photograph is a fascinating view of Sumas which shows Cherry Street during the fourth of July Celebration in 1905.  The description from the museum describes the photograph as followed:
"Street scene in Sumas, Washington, Cherry Street, showing bandstand.  To the left of the bandstand was the circus ground.  "
Now upon examining the photograph it is fascinating to see that behind the bandstand is the back of the Methodist Church on 2nd Street.  The building on the right in the foreground is the Mt. Baker Hotel.  The hotel was located on the south west corner of Cherry and Garfield Street.    In the background there is a house on the far left that is still standing today (Feb. 28, 2014) on 2nd Street.   See photo below of the house shown in the above photo.
Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, Feb. 28, 2014.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rees Thomas Hardware Store - Sumas, WA

Photograph scanned original from original in a private collection
Rees Thomas Hardware Store in 1906 that was located on the northwest corner of Cherry Street and Garfield in Sumas, WA.  
The owner of the hardware store, Rees Thomas was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales January 12, 1862.   He married Fanny Baldwin in Nebraska at the age of 25 in 1887.   By 1906 he was residing in Sumas, WA raising his family and operating his hardware store.  He died November 16, 1933 and was buried in the Sumas Cemetery.  
Photographed scanned with permission from the original in a private collection.

Interior of Rees Thomas's Hardware Store in 1915.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Hospital in Sumas, WA - 1900

 photograph scanned with permission from original in private collection.

First hospital in Sumas, WA located off the Rock Road, S.E.
Circa 1900

Since this was the closest medical facility Canadians would cross the border for any treatments and care.  Until the lake was drained and transportation was more direct,  this was the main hospital.
Photograph scanned with permission from original in private collection.

Sumas 1st medical doctor
Dr. Lucy Moorehouse Saar
circa 1890

Thank you for everyone's interest and support!

I am very pleased to say that I am receiving great feedback regarding this blog.  Yesterday I passed 1,000 page views!  Again thank you.

As of yesterday I have received 938 hits from the United States, 32 hits from Australia, 17 hits from Germany and 14 hits from Canada.   I also received hits from Russia, Poland, Indonesia and Venezuela.  Thanks you to all of our worldwide visitors.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Grand hotel, Sumas, WA - 1917

Photographed scanned with permission from a private collection.

The Grand Hotel circa 1917 on the south east corner of Cherry Street and Garfield Street.
 This building used to face Cherry Street and also housed the Caribou Tavern in its later years.  The building was torn down in the 1970s and Klander's Department Store was built in its place.  Since Klander's closed it has been home to various restaurants.  Pinochio's Pizza, El Nopal and now Basil's Thai Food  had served lots of people over the years.

Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, Feb. 24, 2014

This is the same location that the Grand Hotel use to stand.  The hotel would have come up to the sidewalk and covered parking lot as well as the restaurant. 

Also notice the difference in the snowstorm from 1917 compared to the snow in 2014.  I don't think we have any reason to complain about the snow!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Snowy Sumas - The difference between 1980 and 2014

photographed by Burl Beane  Ca.1980

This is a picture taken by Burl Brooks Beane in  approximately 1980.  Maybe someone can help me date the cars in the photo. This is facing east on 1st Street half way between Lawson Street and Sumas Avenue.  Notice  how deep the drifting snow is.  I remember some severe snowstorms that would totally put the town to a standstill.

Photographed by Deborah Morgan, Feb 23, 2014

This picture was taken at the very same location as the earlier photograph taken by my father about 34 years ago.  The snow storms aren't nearly  as severe as they used to be.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sailing on Sumas Lake - Ca 1890

Another greats set of pictures provided by the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, B.C.  If copies are wanted of any of their photos  please refer to their website:

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, B.C.

According to the Reach Gallery Museum the description reads:  Group aboard Orion Bowman's sailboat, Argo, out on Sumas Lake.  Bowman would sail the Argo out of Sumas Lake via Sumas and Fraser Rivers and as far as Vancouver Island. 

Photograph and descriptions credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, British Columbia.
 Bowman, family and friends took many trips aboard the "Argo". Ida (Bowman) Campbell chronicled one memorable trip in "The Log of the Argo", available at The Reach. Amongst other things, the Argo was sunk when the Mission bridge swing span closed prematurely but was raised and finished the trip.

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia

Another picture of the "Argo".

Orion Bowman resided in Canada.  He operated a Creamery across the border in Canada to accommodate the growing dairy industry locally.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sumas Lake

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, British Columbia
  B.C.  Electric Railway track along Sumas Lake.

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, B.C. 
 Sumas Lake with snow on distance mountain Ca. 1920
 Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, .B.C.
Sunday School Picnic at Sumas Lake near Belrose Station.  Group includes nine people, children and adults swimming at Sumas Lake.  August 1919.
Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, B.C.
Boating on Sumas Lake

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, B.C.
A woman seated next to the BCER,  B.C. Electric Railway tracks near Belrose Station painting the distance Chilliwack Mountain looking northeast.

Just to the north of Sumas across the border there was a large shallow lake that extended north to Abbotsford and east to Vedder Mountain and towards Chilliwack.  Sumas Lake was known for its abundant wildlife, including migrating birds.  According to Wikipedia the lake supported sturgeon, trout and salmon.  The migrating birds included Hutchins Goose, White Fronted Goose and Whistling Swans.  There was even allegedly grizzly bear inhabiting the area around the lake.  The lake was a major source of hunting and fishing for the local Sto:lo tribe.

During the wet flood season the lake grew and extended into the Whatcom County south of the border.  The flooding was severe and caused lots of damage to local homesteads, farms and communities.  

To control the flooding and to provide more farmland, the local Canadian officials decided to drain the lake.  They succeeded by building canals and dykes to direct the water with the help of large pump houses, to the Fraser River.   Unfortunately this destroyed the native food sources as well as displaced the wildlife.  This is the 90th anniversary of the draining of Sumas Lake.  

I recommend that people visit the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia to visit their special exhibit regarding the draining of Sumas Lake.  There is a great art exhibit interpreting the impact of the draining.   

Monday, February 17, 2014

Steaming down the Sumas River - Circa 1900

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery Museum,  Abbotsford, B.C. 
Another wonderful gem of a photograph thanks to the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia.   It is labeled as "sternwheeler traveling up the Sumas River".
This photograph was probably taken on the Canadian side of the border before Sumas Lake was drained.   Today according to Wikipedia the Sumas River is 36 miles long and runs into the Fraser River.   Before Sumas Lake was drained, the river ran into the lake then outflowed into the Fraser River.    I was sure like to know where this picture was taken.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sumas Baptist Church - 1910

Sumas Baptist Church about 1910.  This was supposedly later converted to the Christian Reformed Church in Sumas.   It has been since torn down although I do not know when.   Maybe someone will have that information.  
This is a cupola south of Sumas on someone's private property.  It appears to be from the steeple of the above pictured church.   Does anyone have any information on it?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cherry Street, Sumas, WA - 1916

Original photographed scanned with permission from a private collection.
This is Cherry Street in Sumas, WA facing north in 1916.   It looks as if that is the Mt. Baker Hotel in the distance on the left side of the street.   The store in the foreground has a sign advertising dry goods and another sign advertising cigars.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The First Methodist Church in Sumas?

Photograph credited to The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, B.C.
Another great find from the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, B.C. archives website.  
According to the information at the Museum this is what the written description of the photograph:
"Two small would buildings, inscription on the back reads "First Methodist Church, Sumas, BC (possibly Sumas, WA)"  Almost positively identified as being Sumas, Washington."
So there is the mystery,  Is it British Columbia or Washington?   The Methodist Church that was pictured earlier in this blog was built in 1892.  Is this the predecessor of the other church pictured? 
If it so where was it?   Was It near where the Lambert House was built? 
Help me solve this mystery.  Does anyone know of an older Methodist Church that was built before the one we all knew?  I would appreciate any feedback.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sumas Mercantile and Groceries - c. 1910

Photograph credited to the Reach Gallery and Museum, Abbotsford, BC
I was delighted to visit the Reach Gallery and Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia.  It is a very classy museum and I recommend people to give it a visit.  They have a great photo archive and I am honored that I was given permission to post some of their photos which this the first.
According to The Reach the following description was shared with this photo:
"Sumas Meat Market and Groceries building in Sumas, WA.  Man in horse drawn wagon on street in front of the building.  Resident of Huntington and Sumas Prairie often travelled to the U.S. to shop and for medical care. Sumas was more accessible then Abbotsford at that time."
According to description from The Reach Gallery, they identified the business to being Sumas Meat Market and Groceries.  However after close examination, a Sumas resident pointed out the fact that she believes it was Sumas Mercantile and Groceries.   The sign isn't totally visible but there was a Sumas Mercantile in town.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sumas Methodist Ladies Aid Society - 1901 or 1902

After sharing pictures of the old Methodist Church yesterday it was only appropriate to meet the Ladies Aid Society.  
This was part of a history project that my father, Burl Beane spearheaded in 1976 with many of the seniors of the community.   I am not certain of the accuracy of the labeling and identifications of the ladies.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sumas Methodist Church - 1894

Photos used with permission from a private collection.
Methodist Church in 1894 when it was on Columbia Street near where the Lambert House is located.

The Methodist Church was built in 1892 on Columbia Street but was moved to 2nd Street in 1898 where it remained until it was torn down. It was on the north side of 2nd Street next to what is now the Youth Center (Which used to be the parsonage)   It  was later converted to a Senior Center in either the 1960s or 1970s.   The Senior Center remained in the old church  until it moved to its current location at 451- 2nd Street  next to the library. 
If you look back in the blog at the photograph of the Highway Garage you will notice the steeple of this Church behind the garage.
 Can anyone share when the building discontinued being a church and when was it torn down?   

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sumas High School basketball team - believed to be 1933

Original photograph scanned with permission from private collection.
I couldn't find a football picture to post today in honor of the Seahawks, so I posted a picture of the basketball team instead.  
From left to right:

Top Row:   Gerald Cruea - manager, Ken Tudor, Ray Richardson, Vernon Edin, Mr. Lambert- Coach
Second Row:  Richard Miles, Stanley Remmington,  B. Johnson, Buster Watson, Ted Brower
Third Row:  Herb (Red) Killum, Bill Weston

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Great Shingle Caper - 1914

Paul O. Dolstad, motorcycle patrolman
Photograph and letter used with permission from a private collection.
Inspector Paul O. Dolstad was responsible for the discovery and seizure of about 200 cords of shingle bolts that were being floated down Bertram Creek (near Lynden) to a mill owned by an American. without being reported to U.S. Customs. 

This letter was written from the owner of a mill who floated 200-350 cords of shingle bolts, from Canada, down Bertram Cree, near Lynden without reporting them to U.S. Customs, dated November 12, 1914.

Extract from the letter:

"Dear Mr. Dam & Mr. Dahlstead. Sumas, WA

Dears Sirs, pondering, on my way home, over our conversation yesterday there was one pre imminent thought in my mind and that was this - It seems certain that you do not understand me and I am positive that I do not understand you."

From Burl Beane's history of the Sumas U.S. Custom's office:

"Paul Dolstad's patrol activities had resulted in the discovery of several hundreds cords of shingle bolts which were being floated down a creek, from Canada, to a mill in the U.S. The owner of the mill had previously been admonished to make entry on all material which he imported in this manner, however,  he failed to attend to this detail.  This incident resulted in a fine which very likely sufficient to secure future compliance to the law. 

In January 1917, The motorcycle which had pursued too many border runners and negotiated to many mud road had been sold.  Deputy collector Dam wrote Collector Roscoe Drumheller as follows: In view of the fact that since the sale of the motorcycle that this port has no government means of conveyance I desire at this time to respectfully recommend that day inspector, Paul O. Dolstad, at present receiving $3. per day, be promoted to mounted inspector at $4. conditioned upon his providing himself with suitable conveyance for patrolling the border....This recommendation was accepted by the collect and Paul purchased a Ford automobile.  His very successful patrol activities continued."

There is also reference to this incident in the following book :  One Foot on the Border, the history of Sumas Prairie and area, by the Sumas Prairie and Area Historical Society, page 368:

    "The second excerpts refers to a lengthy smuggling case against  an American shingle mill owner.  The first entry was in 1906 and the matter was not concluded until 1914, at which  it seems that officials had enough and decided to seize 200 cords of shingle bolts. "

 The United State Customs seized about $600.00 worth of  shingle bolts  October 14, 1914.  A considerable sum at that time.