GIHS minutes - September 2019



September 17, 2019


Present: Tom Deach (chair), Janice Veal (treas), Adam, Oscar & Johnny Veal, Kathy Whitman, Al Bush, Bob Anderson, Morna McEachern & Grant Brockmeyer, Tim Riordan, Sue & Dean Eriksen, Randy & Barbara Schnabel, Sally Stapp & Dick Brigham, Susan Hayton Magorien, Melita Balzan Townsend, Brent Morrison, Ian Woofenden, Sue Stapp O’Donnell (sec)

Show & Tell:  Artifacts from the 1988 campaign to stop the American Sea Vegetable Nori Farm on North Beach of Guemes Island. “Wrap Your Sushi in Cabbage!”  “Say NO to Nori” “NORI is a NoNo!”

Program: North Beach walk along Alverson’s Camping Tracts (1921) and First Addition to Alverson’s Camping Tracts (1925)

Beginning at the Sally Stapp/Dick Brigham home on Lewis Lane, Sally led the gathered neighbors east to the Guemes Island Road and toward camping tract #12.  This 50’ wide lot was bought by the Stapp family in 1924 for $40.  On the way, she mentioned the charms of the historic old Tony Naser home and yard (now Phil and Anne McCracken) on the water side of Guemes Island Road.  Plus, on forest side of Guemes Island Road,  the historic TonyNaser/Charlie Uhlberg-built cabin of Harold & Meta Whicker (now Everett), the properties of the Everett family (camping tract #s 13&14), the more recently built (1960s) W. E. Everett home (camping tract #s 15&16) and the more recently built (1960s) C. P. Stapp, jr. home (camping tract #17).

The group walked through yards to the steep concrete Stapp stairway to the beach (built in late 1920s).  Once on the beach, Sally pointed out some of the remaining beach shacks and boat houses as we walked south-easterly to view the properties bought in the early 20th century, some still owned by the same families; some having changed hands several times in these past nearly 100 years.  Our focus was on the 21 building lots bordered by the shore of Bellingham Bay and Guemes Island Road.  Over the years the original dwellings have been:

   (1) left as originally built in 1923, no changes or upgrades (except for addition of indoor plumbing, electricity and updated wood stove) – McCormack (#2)

    (2) original homes demolished for new construction – Stapp (#12), Hunt/Cheney (#11), Deutsch(#10), Mount/Van Dalfsen (#6), Gilkey (#1)

   (3) original homes moved to new site – Mardesich(#7), Leatherwood/Shannon(#71)

   (4) original home demolished & replaced by RV – Rydberg (#8 )

   (5) original homes updated, remodeled, raised up – Brown/Bugge (#3), McCracken/Dillon/Eriksen (#4), Balzan/Townsend (#5), Shaw/Cahail/Oliver (# 69F)

   (6) new homes built – Mardesich (#7), Gilkey (#1), Gilkey (1/2 LotA), Leatherwood/Shannon (#71), Tucker/Kamphenborg(#68)

   (7) original house demolished, land left fallow (#13)

   (8) original homes more recently built - Wells/Hanon (1/2 LotA) built in 1971; Hayton/Magorien (#72) built in 1957

Having walked past all of the properties on the beach, we then walked back to Lewis Lane on Guemes Island Road.  Back at Sally’s house we enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and fancy desserts while all sharing maps and photos and history of the various properties.  These websites have proved to be helpful in researching property histories:  (1890-1922)


Old Business: 

Treasurer’s Report (attached)

Brent Morrison has donated $20 to the Historical Society; Kathy Whitman bought some lavender from Sally’s garden, proceeds to go to the Historical Society; SueO has donated $20 to the Historical Society

Dog Show 2019 report – Janice brought her financial report from the August 24 event (attached).  29 folks showing their dogs, a vast audience of onlookers – clapping and cheering, hungry hoards eating Guemes Dogs (“hot” dogs), bidders in the silent auction, the Guemes Fire Department, the large crew of setting-uppers and taking-downers brought a profit of $1773.37 for the Guemes Island Historical Society treasury.

Vendovi Cruise Fundraiser – a lovely day to ride with Monte Hughes and daughter Crissie on Rising Tide Charters which whisked us, 6 people per ride, out to Vendovi Island for a catered lunch (by Gere-A-Deli); a stroll through the gardens; a hike along the salal bordered trails through lovely old forests; and the ride back to Young’s Park on Guemes.

Proceeds from this year’s event: $892.50 for the Guemes Island Historical Society treasury.

Future fundraising - Janice is looking into possibilities for next year’s fundraiser – ideas: on land bus tour, hayride, “Island Adventures” tour, others?

Guemes Church project – the island church is in process of buying an updated commercial gas range/oven.  Historical Society has donated $200 toward the expense.  The church kitchen is used by many organizations and a church closet is dedicated to storage of Historical Society papers and artifacts.



New Business: 

Historical Museum – hoping to eventually have a dedicated home for the Guemes historical artifacts and writings, Tom Deach is participating in the Guemes 2nd Century Visioning Committee (Carol Pellett, Tom Deach, Gary Curtis, Barb Ohms, Rob Schroeder) which is looking at shared properties managed by the Community Center (center, library, parking lot, stage, possible museum?).  Logistics are being pondered and discussions with a local landowner are ongoing.


Next meetings – photos of local buildings, Monte Hughes speaking about the history of the surrounding San Juan islands, intellectual property criteria (Bob A. to suggest guidelines)


Recent Guemes Losses:

Thelma Palmer-Lumina (1927-2019)


Respectfully submitted,

Sue O’Donnell (secretary) 9/17/2019