Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Floods of Sumas - part 1 of 1 - featuring early floods

Those who have lived in Sumas for any length of time are familiar with the flooding risks.  It is not
"if" the flooding is going to happen, but "when"...
 
 picture 1
   illustration from the Geologic Survey of Canada
 
As can be seen from picture 1, "...the Fraser River to the north in Canada had at one time spread into a large delta, south of Sumas Mountain, that fed into the Salish Sea to the west, through what is today the area between Vancouver, B.C. and Bellingham, WA."...the Geologic Survey of Canada.
 
It is believed that the Fraser River had possibly changed courses numerous times and ran into Bellingham Bay.  This, combined with glacial activities leaving depressions and moraine deposits formed what we know today as Nooksack Valley.  Moe Hill on the west side of Sumas, is a classic example of a glacial moraine deposit.  The geological activities also created Sumas Lake which we discussed in an earlier posting,http://nooksackvalleynostalgia.blogspot.com/2014/02/sumas-lake.html. from 18, February, 2014. 
 
Before the draining of Sumas Lake, flooding was a major source of difficulties.  The Spring rain and snow melt would cause the Fraser River the raise 10 to 12 feet and caused the local streams and rivers to overflow their banks causing much community and farmland damage both the United States and Canada.  There was simply no where else for the water to go quickly. 
 
The draining of the Sumas Lake and the building of the Vedder Canal helped improve the flooding situation in Sumas however our community is still prone to flooding.
 
 
picture 2

picture 2 shows Sumas Lake before 1924.  The dotted  boundary shows where the lake flooded during the high water season.  The pink arrow points to the approximate eastern edge of modern Sumas at the International Boundary.
illustration credited to Yarrow Pioneer and Settlers website.
 

picture 3
'Then'
picture 3 looking N towards the International Boundary on a soggy Cherry Street, Sumas.
written on the back of the photograph..."Photo taken 10:30 A.M. Monday 31st Dec 1917".
picture posted with permission from the Morgan family collection

Picture 4
'Now'
Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, 26 January, 2015
picture taken at the same location as picture 3.  Looking north to the International Boundary, the yellow lines points to the red-orange Canadian Immigration Building. The blue building on the left is visible in the old photograph with a large Z painted on the side.  The bright green 24/7 Parcel building (arrow A) is barely visible in picture 3.
 
 picture 5
'Then'
a vintage flood view looking S down Cherry Street in Sumas, date unknown.
Notice the building on the right side of the picture (seen in picture 6 as arrow A), through the years it has housed many businesses: today it is the home of 24/7 Parcels.
picture 5 credited to the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, British Columbia
 
Picture 6 
'Now'
 Photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, 26 January, 2015.
picture taken at the same location as picture 5.  Both the current Wow Hair Salon (arrow 1) and 24/7 Parcel (arrow A) buildings are visible in  picture 5.
 


 picture 7
'Then'
 picture 7 shows another vintage flood view, looking N, up Cherry Street, from a position just S of Second Street, Sumas, date unknown.  The brick building to the far left is currently the Wow Hair Salon, (originally was the Bank of Sumas and then later the Seafirst Bank).
Notice the 'FURNITURE' sign on the right side of the picture, see the same sign in picture 9.
posted with permission from the Gannaway family collection
 
Picture 8
'Now'
Picture taken by Deborah Morgan, 26 January,  2015.
picture taken at the same location as picture 7.  Again, the Wow Hair Salon (arrow 1) and the 24/7 Parcel (arrow A) can be seen in picture 7.
 
 

picture 9
another vintage picture looking S, down Cherry Street from a position just N of Second Street, Sumas, date unknown. 
Notice the 'FURNITURE' sign on the left side of the picture, see the same sign in picture 7. 
 posted with permission from the Gannaway family collection 

 
picture 10

vintage flood view looking SE (towards Mount Baker) with Vedder Mountain strung out in the background, from the classic vantage point on Moe Hill (early 20th C).  In the center background, you can see Central School (featured in my posting 23 January, 2014... http://nooksackvalleynostalgia.blogspot.com/2014/01/central-school-sumas-wa.html. )
posted with permission from the Gannaway family collection.
 
Watch for more postings on the Floods of Sumas!  Thanks for visiting. 
 

 




6 comments:

  1. When I was about 4 or 5 years old (1950 or 1951?) I experienced such a flood in Sumas. Have you found that date in your studies?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just came across your blog, looking to see if I could find any pictures or history of a building that we own in Sumas - the old bowling alley. I find the history fascinating, and am enjoying seeing all of the pictures as we had lived in Huntingdon for 18 years as well. Would you have any information on the age and history of the old bowling alley? Also, would you have any old pictures of it?

    thank you,
    Sandra

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    Replies
    1. Sandra, thanks for you query! I will look into the bowling alley and would like to do a posting on it. I have some old ads and league statistics. I will look for some pictures and see what I can find. When did you own it? The building is now a shipping business.

      Deboah

      Delete
    2. Sandra, thanks for you query! I will look into the bowling alley and would like to do a posting on it. I have some old ads and league statistics. I will look for some pictures and see what I can find. When did you own it? The building is now a shipping business.

      Deboah

      Delete
    3. Deborah, thanks for your reply! I couldn't remember which posting I had made a comment on and just googled it. We currently own the old bowling alley and are running a shipping business there. I find the history of Sumas and area fascinating and am enjoying reading your blog and seeing all of the old photographs along with the information. Any information and pictures you would have would be very much appreciated!

      thanks,
      Sandra

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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