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.
...at B is Mr. Taylor's cobbler shop with its Giant Shoe sign.
...at C is the Swail Hotel. 
...at 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.
...at 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!

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