Sunday, January 10, 2016

Snowy Sumas - January 1969

As we are enjoying beautiful sunny days here in Sumas this week it is interesting to remember the storms of days gone by.  I am sure many of us remember the blizzard of January 1969.   The Arctic wind blowing down the Fraser Canyon and dumping it's snow in our town. The sound of the wind howling and blowing under the door.  Many housewives were busy trying to insulate the gaps with towels to hold the warmth in the their homes.  Of course there was power outages as well.  The lucky families had generators that provided light.  The school children were delighted to have an unexpected school break.

Picture 1
Photograph posted with permission from the Rev. Carl Crouse's Collection.  
Photograph taken in January 1969, Looking east on the East Badger Road. This picture was taken about 4 miles southeast of Sumas, WA.

Picture 2
Posted with permission from the Rev. Carl Crouse's Collection
Photograph taken January 1969, looking east from the Schuett Road towards the mountains. The large barn on the right is still standing on East Badger Road by Garrison Road.  The highway has been redirected and Schuett Road is now an extension of East Badger Road. 

Picture 3
Photograph posted with permission of Rev. Carl Crouse
Photograph taken January 1969, of the Nooksack Valley High School with snow drifts obstructing the front entrances.  This is looking east from the parking lot in front of the school. The High School is located on the corner of East Badger Road and Nooksack Road.

Photograph 4
Photograph posted with permission from the Rev. Carl Crouse's collection.
Photograph taken January 1969 of the Sumas Elementary School on the corner of Lawson and Mitchell Street.  Rev. Earl Crouse posing in front of the school where the road was freshly plowed.

Photograph 5

Photograph posted with permission from the Rev. Carl Crouse's collection.  
Photograph  taken January 1969 after the storms were over. The snow drifts became dirty and and muddy.  The exact location near Sumas of this photograph is not known.

I would love to see some stories of the blizzards that used to be common here in Sumas.  Please share what you remember!  





10 comments:

  1. I remember. I was teaching and we missed almost two weeks of school.

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  2. I believe that was the storm in which they had to bring a convoy of supplies and mail into Sumas following a snowplow. The roads closed in behind the convoy becoming impassible. The snowplow then had to lead the empty trucks on the convoy back to Bellingham with the roads again closing in with snow behind them.

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  3. I believe that was the storm in which they had to bring a convoy of supplies and mail into Sumas following a snowplow. The roads closed in behind the convoy becoming impassible. The snowplow then had to lead the empty trucks on the convoy back to Bellingham with the roads again closing in with snow behind them.

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  4. Picture 1 looks as if it's taken on Rock Road... I can see the Borderline cut in the mountainside. Maybe near the Saar Creek Bridge?

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    1. I have wondered that myself. The photograph was identified by the Crouse family. I believe it was taken by Rev. Earl Crouse.

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  5. We lived west of the Trapline Rd. My mom and the neighbor lady left our home on foot around 9 a.m. to go to store to get milk, bread etc. while all us kids stayed in the neighbors warmer house. They walked through drifts and wind to the Van Buren store about 2 miles. She called around noon to say they were alright. The store had them dry their clothing and get warm for the trek home. They got home around 4 p.m.

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    1. Wow, it is amazing that they made it back alive! What a dangerous journey they took! Again, I am reminded how lucky we had it living in town. Thanks for sharing you story.

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  6. We lived on the corner of E. Badger and Van Buren Rd. Our house set next to Johnson Creek. The drifts in our back yard were 6’ to 8' tall Over the clothes line poles). We carried water from the house to the barn, twice daily, where the cows attempted to stay warm. If the water splashed on our legs as we walked, it froze immediately. My sister slipped and fell breaking her tail bone as she attempted to maneuver the chistled ice steps that led into the barn. The frigid cold was miserable! On one day, my dad let the cows/bulls out to get some fresh air, when two of the cows fell through snow drifts into the creek and two bulls fell through the ice on our pond, and froze/drown. What a tragedy! There was a "silver thaw" (freezing rain) which deposited an inch of ice on top of the snow drifts, making perfect slides for us to slide down, if we could stand the cold. It was so cold, my dad would come in with ice crystals hanging from his eye lashes and moustache. We had 2 or 3 strangers whose cars got caught in the snow drift at Johnson's Creek, and stayed with us for nearly two weeks. I remember the excitement when the government sent a Snow Blower along the E. Badger to clear and open the road once again.

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  7. Thank you sharing your family stories. It must have been a tough time for all of the farmers of the community. As a town kid I saw the storm with more of a sense of excitement totally unaware of the hardship that other people was having.

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  8. Photograph #5 is my grandparent's farmhouse (Don & Liz Burger) located on Hillview Rd. I know that home very well!

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