Sumas sits on ground at the U.S./Canada boundary that once was a swamp-like lake.
Grounded in agriculture, logging and, for a time, gold prospecting in the nearby Mount Baker area, Sumas experienced ups and downs through the decades. Today, it remains a small city, with about 1,200 people, but it has grown by nearly 22 percent since the millennium.
Popular local events include a Sumas Community Days celebration each June, and the long-established Sumas Junior Rodeo, on Labor Day Weekend. Sumas was home to the fourth organized border station along the U.S.-Canada border, and remains one of a small number of cities in the state with its own electric utility.
In its early days, Sumas evidenced a split personality. The respectable side had a school, post office and community center. The other side had nine taverns that offered gaming and women for hire. For many years, Sumas was the sole “wet” town in the area, attracting drinkers from far away.
Sumas Elementary, Nooksack Valley Middle, Nooksack Valley High, Timber Ridge High.
District: Nooksack Valley School District, www.nooksackschools.org.
City, Sumas Rodeo Grounds, Bowen Fields Ballpark.
“We’re kind of tucked up here in the corner with a quiet, rural atmosphere. It’s centrally located. If you want to go to Mount Baker, Vancouver, Seattle or the interior, it is a really good spot.”
Rod Fadden, Sumas resident for 54 years; city utilities superintendent for 10 years