The Last Clue of the Forgotten

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.
black and white image of shopping center with cars in the foreground
An enlightening view of the shopping center in 1957. Judging by the empty parking lot with random items sitting on the pavement, saw horses out front of the storefronts, ladders leaning against the building, and workers on the roof, the shopping center appears to be in a final construction phase. Note the two chimneys and a rooftop of a few houses that once stood behind the commercial wing and a driverless Ford station wagon (center) blocking the shopping center’s entrance. (Jack Carver Image Courtesy of Whatcom Museum Photo Archives)
parking lot of cars and supermarket in the background
Looking very much like the day it opened, this full-color slide image from 1964 gives us a lot to study — even on a cloudy day. Note the string of utility poles still anchored along what was once the alley, the rooves of those houses yet standing directly behind the center, and the canted pylon sign of the Shell service station poking up in the distance. A red phone booth (left) stands at attention, and an enormous 1958 Chrysler Imperial (center) claims more elbow room, smartly parked away from the clustered riff-raff of door-denting station wagons. (Image courtesy of Whatcom Museum Photo Archives)



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David Scott 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.