Friday, April 25, 2014

Hotel Sumas and the Howell Family...part 1 of 3

 posted with permission from the collection of Cregan Marmont
I was delighted to receive permission from from Cregan Marmon to share their family's early contribution to the development of Sumas, WA.  in the 1890s.   Above is a picture of the Hotel Sumas which according to Cregan was at the corner of 3rd Street and Cherry street with the hotel  barn across Johnson Creek. It is uncertain on which corner it stood on.  Although, it is believed by the family to have stood on the west side of Cherry Street.  This is an excuse do more research.The Hotel Sumas was more of a boarding house for the railroad workers then a traditional hotel. 
Thomas James Howell was the proprietor of Hotel Sumas and can be seen as the bearded man in the doorway.  His family are lined up to the left of him.  According to the 1900 census he was born in Ireland and  immigrated to the United States in 1872.  Thomas James Howell came to Sumas after losing everything in  the blizzard of 1888, while homesteading in South Dakota.  Thomas  traveled across the country by working for the railroad.  He and his family made their way to Spokane then up to Sumas where they decided to reside and build the hotel.  

Posted with permission from the collection of Cregan Marmont

The photo above shows Ellen Shanahan Howell, wife of Thomas Howell standing in front of the Hotel on the boardwalk.  She was originally from Balbriggan, Ireland.  According the 1900 census she was born around 1842 and immigrated to the United States in 1872.  According to the Washington State Death records, Ellen Howell, the daughter of James Shanahan and Deborah Noonan, died April 3, 1919 in Seattle, WA. 

My next posting will be continuing with further information about this colorful family. They came to Sumas during the town's early growth period and were a vital part of the community.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

International Boundary Markers @ Sumas (part 4 of 4)

Postcard (front and back, sent from Sumas, WA s to Weatherford, Texas)
postmarked  12 March, 1910
Posted with permission from the collection of local historian, Wes Gannaway .
This picture is interesting on many different levels.  The main subject is the 2 story building used by U.S. Immigration as a Detention House.  You can also see 2 windmills, one on the left side of the picture and on behind the right side of the building. I will be discussing this interesting building and the windmills at a future time as they deserve their own post. 
We are looking West and can see Moe's Hill in the background.  I was excited to recently find this postcard amongst a set showing local features from the Gannaway Collection, as it shows contextually the International Boundary Marker on the top of Moe's Hill in the upper right side of the picture.  This picture was taken from a point near the local RR right of way.  On top of the hill you will see the Marker proudly pointed out by a hand (drawn in ink).   
On the back of the card is written in ink:  "This is the U.S. Detention House.  Monument seen on top mark the Boundary between U.S. and Canada.  CHB"
I will be moving on to a different subject on my next post.  There is much to share.  Thanks for viewing my blog.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

International Boundary Markers @ Sumas (Part 3 of 4)

Postcard (front and back), sent from Sumas to Nooksack, written in pencil, dated 16 August, 1909.
Posted with permission from the collection of Wes Gannaway.
Local county historian and collector Wes Gannaway, has kindly shared a wonderful bundle of old postcards relevant to my blog . 
The first of the cards has a close up view of an International Boundary marker and tower labeled "Sumas, WA".  The photo shows a different structure from the log marker featured in Part 1 and 2 of my earlier post.  The smaller marker is either a cement or stone obelisk, with base, set on the ground.  A crude wooden plank tower stands over the marker.  I don't know if the wooden tower predated the smaller obelisk or if the tower was built to increase visibility of the boundary or ?.  
The cards reverse shows it was sent to a Mr. Carl Brown in Nooksack, Wash. from Laura.  She asks Carl "to tell Ada to write to her".  According to the 1910 census, Carl Brown was an 18 year old young man living and farming at that time with his parents in Nooksack.  He was born in Natoma, Kansas, 24th May, 1891.   He married Ada N. Pritts (Is this the same young lady mentioned in the postcard?)  27th November, 1912.   By 1920, Carl and Ada were still farming and had two children.  According to the 1940 census, they were still farming on Telegraph Road near Nooksack, WA.  Carl died 11 November, 1988 in Bellingham, three years short of his 100th birthday. We might never know who Laura was.

My next posting is another great postcard from the Gannaway collection that will complete, for the time being, my local International Boundary markers series.  Thanks for visiting.  See you next time.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Programming at the Rose Theater in June of 1946.

Front side of a postcard in the Morgan family collection
Reverse side of a postcard in the Morgan family collection.
This is an one cent postcard advertisement which was delivered to Sumas, WA residents.  This card lists the movies scheduled to show during the month of June, 1946.   At this time the theater was owned by Bruno Hollenbeck, however notice that the postcard states that the Rose Theater is operated by the Sumas Lion's Club as a community project.  I think this needs some more research to determine what role the Sumas Lion's Club had in the theater operation. 
According to a discussion with Rebecca (Beane) Miesuk she remembered going to the theater in the early 1960s and seeing "Gone with the Wind" when they revived it.   Does anyone else have any memories of attending the Rose Theater?  What was your favorite show?  Please share!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lets go to the movies! The Rose Theater in Sumas, WA.

 Scanned with permission from original photograph in private collection.
This is a photograph of The Rose Theater which was located on the north side of  Garfield Street in between Cherry Street and Railroad Avenue.  As noted in the photograph it is facing south with Moe Hill in the background.  The picture was taken during wartime 1940s with the signage in front of the snowdrift reading "Military Area No. 1 Zone A Prohibited."  What does this mean?  Does anyone know why there would be a military area in Sumas?  Where was it and what was it for.  I would like some feedback on the subject. 
The theater was owned and operated by  Bruno Hollenbeck and his wife, Hildegarda.  Bruno was born in Germany May 12, 1900 and immigrated with his family in 1909.  He served in the Marines enlisting December 6, 1916.  He was only sixteen when he enlisted in the 94th Co., 7th Regiment, 6th Battalion  and served in Cuba as radio operator until 4-1-1919 (The source of this  information was found in in the World War 1 muster rolls.)
I found him in Sumas in 1929 owner of The Rose Theater according to the Whatcom County Business Directory.  It appears that He ran the 228 seats theater until March 1949, where according to an online source, he sold it to Mary Kost.   Mary changed the name  to the Lyric Theater.  However the town always knew it as the Rose Theater. 
Since selling the theater Bruno Hollenbeck and his family relocated to Seattle where he died September 15, 1969.
 I have enquired but haven't found anyone who can tell me when the theater closed.  I have talked to many people who remembers going to the movies as late as the early 1960s.  The building has long been gone and now the parking lot of Bromley's Market covers where many young people spent their evenings watching the stars and starlets of the silver screen.  
Tomorrow more about the Rose Theater and the movies it presented.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Resources and References

Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, 2014
Cherry blossoms at Bromley's Parking Lot.

Since I started this blog, I became aware of how much is available for reference for local history.  I found nothing but enthusiasm and help from local people.  This is much appreciated.   I wish to use this posting to recognize my sources.

I recommend a visit to the Nooksack Valley History Project at the Everson branch of the Whatcom County Library System.   Great Job!  (They also have the library edition of Ancestry available for public use!)

Also Thanks to Troy Luginbill of the Lynden Pioneer Museum.  (I suggest you visit the Lynden Pioneer Museum and allow yourself plenty of time to view the exhibits!)

Please also take the time to head up to Abbotsford and visit the Reach Gallery Museum.  They have an interesting modern art gallery.

I wish to thank the following people for their support and sharing their stories and pictures:

Mayor of Sumas, Bob Bromley
Rod Fadden
Jospehine Fadden
Doug Miller
Ivan and Becky Miesuk
Warren Dale
The good people at the Sumas Drug Store (Thank You, Doug!)

I have received lots of help from Jeffery Jewell at the Whatcom Museum Archives, Bellingham.  He directed me to many great pictures that added interest to my blog.

I am also pleased to say that 'Cyndie's List' (a great online genealogical resource), generously listed a link for my blog which has increased my readership.    I recommend their great website!

I also wish to thank my supportive husband, David Morgan, who has diligently proofread my postings and shared great ideas with me.

I know I have forgotten many people who has been helpful to me and for this I apologize!  

Local Reading List!

Many of these books are out of print.   They can be found in used book stores and the Whatcom County Library System.
'Boundary Town' by Roy Franklin Jones  
..a definitive book on the early years of Sumas, WA.  It is currently out of print but is available from the Whatcom County Library System.
'One Book on the Border,  the history of Sumas Prairie and area' by the Sumas Prairie & Area Historical Society. 
This is another out of print book which is focused on the Canadian Side of the border.  This book is also available in the Whatcom County Library System. 
'The Fourth Corner' by Lelah Edson Jackson 
A good county history book.
'Nooksack Tales and Trails' by Percival Robert Jeffcott
A must read!
'History of Whatcom County'  by Lottie Roeder Roth 
This is consider one of the more complete Whatcom County history in a  two book set.
'Skqee Mus or Pioneer days on the Nooksack'  by Robert Emmett Hawley
'The Nooksacht's Trail and Crossing'  by James Berg

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

International Boundary markers @ Sumas (part 2 of 4)

 Photograph #1
 Taken by Deborah Morgan, 28 March, 2014
Compared to the large, wooden, International Boundary marker originally placed at Sumas, Photograph #1 shows the current markers are rather unassuming.  I took a picture of one of the markers (this one is polished metal with a concrete base) approx. 8 miles W of Sumas, just S of the intersection of 0 Ave. and Defehr Rd..  We are looking NW across the border into Canada, with agricultural fields and greenhouses in the background. I was standing on the N edge of Boundary Rd.  Boundary Rd. runs parallel to the border on the US side, while 0 Ave. runs parallel on the Canadian side.
Photograph #2
 Taken by Deborah Morgan, 28 March, 2014
Photo taken in Canada, facing S towards the United States.
Photograph #2 is of a small stone cairn which was placed on the International Boundary just E of the point of entry lanes at Canada Customs (Sumas is in the background).  The chain link fence just behind the cairn is in the US.  This isn't an official border marker (although the cairn is on the International Boundary) but a proud commemoration by the town of Huntington for the 100th Anniversary of border service at the Port of Huntington.  
The brass plaque on the north face of the cairn is dedicated as follows,
This tree was dedicated on July 1, 1997 to commemorate 100 years of service at the port of Huntington.    1897-1997"
This information is repeated in French.   I don't know what kind of tree is next to the marker but when it leafs out, maybe we will be able to tell what it is. Although the cairn is in full view, there is no public access. In order to approach this cairn you need to ask permission from one the Canadian Port Officers.  An escort was cheerfully provided due to border security.  Make sure you check in at the Customs office first. 

Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, March 28, 2014
Photograph #3 is the W side of the cairn (looking NE) with 'the tree' in view on the right.   
My next posting will be informational.  I will be sharing links and resources that help follow the local history trail.  I also will also recognize some great organizations that have been supporting my blog.
Thanks for visiting!