A stroll down memory lane...
By Kelley Lyne
Serendipity, I think, is the word we came up for it, mused Pauli DeHaan, secretary for the Point Roberts Historical Society, as its nearly 20 members were greeted at Brewsters by 47 pre-1915 automobiles and their drivers from the Antique Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Vancouver. Mingling with the club, its members in period clothing, seemed a perfect way to start the walking tour down Gulf Road June 9, the first sponsored field trip of the Point Roberts Historical Society (PRHS). Serendipitous, indeed.
Listening to DeHaan describe the historic homes and buildings that gave Point Roberts its unique character Waters Mercantile, the Green Lantern Tavern or Sigurdurs Bakery it was not hard to imagine what Point Roberts must have been like at the turn of the century.
Did you know that Point Roberts was a fuel stop for steamships on their way to Alaska in the early part of the last century? DeHaan inherited the old signage that reads Blow Whistle For Service. Many attendees spoke of the old grange hall next to what is now the defunct Blackberries building on the corner of Gulf and Marine Drive. They reminisced about all the weddings that were held there, along with the dances and good times, but lamented the fact that all these events were not recorded somewhere.
Later in the tour, when asked who was the most colorful character in Point Roberts past, the rousing response was Pansy Mae! Word has it that, during U.S. prohibition, cannery workers could literally step over the border to score a cold beer maybe more at Pansys establishment. Hows that for free trade agreement?
Hey, can you talk a little louder for old guys like me? piped 90-year-old Edgar Dunning looking not a day over 70. Dunning worked in Point Roberts from 1925 through 1927 and his fondest memories of Point Roberts were staying at the Linger Longer cottage in Maple Beach or the early days of Boundary Bay. He also added One summer us kids camped on what we later found out was an Indian midden. They came and excavated it!
One of the goals of the PRHS is to raise awareness and eventually fund a museum to house memorabilia and photos. The next event sponsored by the society will be the Point Roberts Homecoming, a reunion of people who reside or have resided on the Point. The open pot luck will be held September 22, at the community center and promises to be a great time for all. To learn more about the society pick up the Old News newsletter at the Blue Heron Gallery, Brewsters, Point Roberts Realty or the library.
Do you have any materials, photographs or family history that you would like to donate to the society? If so, contact Pauli DeHaan at P.O. Box 780, Point Roberts, WA 98281-0780.