A Shrinking Strip Of Sidewalk Curb Hints At A Lost Shopping Center

Close up of a strip of concrete in the asphalt parking lot with newer store in the background
Like the fossilized backbone of a dinosaur, this leftover strip of curb barely registers as a bump in the blacktop as it heads off into the memory of a long-gone supermarket and its vanished wing of commercial storefronts.

An Enormous Piece Of Whatcom County Railroad History Awaits An Uncertain Future

A railroad turntable sitting upon two sets of wheels on tracks in the forest
Sidelined by a broken dream, this unusual hulk of riveted iron patiently waits in loneliness for a more hospitable, functional place to call home. (D. Spangler)

The Roeder Home’s Lost Water Features May Have Left Us A Few Clues

old, black and white photo of the Roeder Home with pond in the front yard
The Arts and Crafts Roeder Home at the tail end of its construction. Note the unfinished front steps. The pond and its companion rock feature at the rear are already in place. Photo courtesy of Whatcom Museum Archives

In a Neighborhood of Rectangles, One Venerable Garage Stands Out

A round fronted, stand-alone garage with a curved rolling door and shingled sides facing an alley.
A fascinating, non-conformist concept from yesteryear stands along a quiet alley. Since the doors disappear like magic into the little building, it is unknown how the inside walls were originally addressed. I hope to meet the owner someday to get an enlightening peek at its construction.

Still Standing On Sehome Hill, Three Forgotten Utility Poles Leave Only Guesses

Riddled from decades of lineworkers “gaffing” up and down the pole followed by the deeper holes of opportunistic woodpeckers, this relic lives on, more tree than a utility pole. In contrast to its youthful bottom half still ready for its first day at work, its upper half is a mere skeleton in the sun. “Pole steps,” the spikes used for ascending and descending the pole, are still nailed into its sides.

Only Traces of the Recently Dismantled Pedestrian Bridge Remain — For Now

A paved trail dead-ends at a barricade with a new fence and bay in the background
Heading off into the wild grey yonder, this once-active, pedestrian park path now leads to, at the very least, a dead-end, at the very most a panorama of the bay. An eager set of newer steps trots down with its tail wagging to meet the overpass, only to find the bridge has left for good. A plastic orange and white barricade — the rent-a-cop of the barricade world — does all it can to keep park users from strolling over the brand new fence, through the barbed-wire tangle of blackberries, and off the cliff into a moving railroad coal car.

A Short Pedestrian Tunnel Reveals Both An Earlier Purpose And The Closing Of An Era

A shaded path leads through a mossy, rocky tunnel to the inviting sunshine just beyond.
A view of the south-eastern entrance. Adorned with moss and crowned with an old sign that states only rust, this wonderful little shaded tunnel lives on at the top of the hill. Sadly, it has recently been closed for safety reasons.

A Missing Hill And Its Library Leave Us Something To Remember

An exterior wall with the shape and remains of sandstone hill still embedded
Entombed in concrete at Commercial and Champion Streets, a small sample of a greater hill that once existed stands out in full relief. Thankfully, this rocky profile was not also painted lavender.

Two Tantalizing Remnants Hint At A Lost Set Of Homes

Old newel post and buried old steps with ivy crawling over the top next to a tree.
Draped in ivy and forgotten, this magnificent and partially buried stair entrance stands as a portal to an earlier era on High Street. While the right-side newel post stands firm against more favorable odds, the one on the left lost the battle with an unyielding tree long ago.

Over Three Decades After Closure, The Fading Remains Tell Of A Campground Lost

An enormous Douglas fir tree laying in the river among other old trees, still attached to its rootball.
The once high and dry Nooksack campground becomes the river once again. Remains of the flat plain of campsites can be seen upper right. Stripped of their limbs, mighty old-growth trees that once stood tall and healthy less than a decade ago, succumb to the river’s fascinating and inevitable cycle.

David Spangler

History can be connective. Since I am moved by what remains, I am documenting and sharing remnants of Pacific Northwest history before they vanish forever.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store