Dear Diary: I Wasn’t Allowed in Canada

August 27, 1934

Dear Diary,

I am sixteen years old and I just made the road trip from Bellingham, Washington to Sumas to cross the border at the Port of Huntingdon in British Columbia.  I had never been across the border before and have been working as a domestic (housekeeper) before I decided to make this trip.

Thelma Bolin’s occupation on a border crossing record

The trip from Bellingham to Sumas is about 50 miles by road if you follow the old Everson-Goshen Road through the small communities of Dewey, Van Wyck, Everson, and Nooksack. The small town of Sumas was only 43 years old during the time that I passed through.

Sumas Washington, C. 1950
Sumas Washington, c. 1950

This road trip was made with my dear friend Edith Christianson from Everett, Washington who was four years older than me (20) and making the same trip to visit our friend Nick Samuelson at 751 Beatty Street in Vancouver, British Columbia — which was going to add another hour and a half onto our drive…but we never made it.

Canadian Border Crossing
Canadian Border Crossing, Aug. 1934

At the Sumas border, we were questioned on our comings and goings into the country of Canada with questions about our ages, country of residence, heritage, whether we had been in the country before, our religion, our occupations and who we were visiting.

And then do you know what they told us? We couldn’t come across! How rude. Edith and I had to turn around and make the passage back home and inform Nick later on that we couldn’t come and visit him because they denied us at the border.

The only clue to why? This code:

Action Taken for Border Crossee's
Action Taken for Border Crossers

That’s about it for now, but I’m hoping we can make another trip up to Canada soon, I owe Nick a visit!

Sincerely yours,

Thelma Bolin

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