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This article is for the city in Washington state. For the former municipality in British Columbia and other uses see Sumas .

Sumas is a small town in Whatcom Countymarker, Washingtonmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 960 at the 2000 census. Sumas is located adjacent to the Canadianmarker border and borders the city of Abbotsfordmarker, British Columbiamarker. The Sumas-Huntingdonmarker port of entry at the north end of State Route 9 operates 24 hours a day. Sumas shares Nooksack Valley School District with the towns of Nooksack and Everson.


Sumas was officially incorporated on June 18, 1891. Established first as a trading post in the late 1850s, it grew in size and importance as the junction of three railroads and a border crossing into Canada. The name, Sumas, comes from a local native tribal word meaning "land without trees." The broad valley in which Sumas is located is called Sumas Prairie. Before settlers built canals and dams, the lower valley was marshland and covered in shallow flood-filled lakes. The abundance of large trees in the surrounding hills attracted loggers and helped the city grow. In 1897, gold was discovered in the mountains nearby and Sumas quickly grew to more than 2,000 residents as gold miners and mining suppliers moved in. After the gold rush subsided and trees were cleared, the town began to shrink and businesses shifted to support the growing farming industry surrounding the town. Dairy farms sprouted in the valley and still play an important role in the area's economy. The farmers, many of Dutch origin, and other area towns further tamed the flood prone valley with a series of dikes and channels. This opened the valley to an abundance of dairy and crop farming. Today, Sumas hosts several forest products businesses as well as businesses supporting farms in the surrounding area. See the town's website for additional information and a more colorful description of its history [20647].

In 1999, a proposal was put forth to build a cogeneration electric generator in Sumas. This project was known as Sumas 2 until it was canceled in 2006.


Sumas is located at (48.997278, -122.265522) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 960 people, 346 households, and 235 families residing in the town. The population density was 687.5 people per square mile (264.8/km²). There were 401 housing units at an average density of 287.2/sq mi (110.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.15% White, 3.23% Native American, 4.17% Asian, 4.79% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.81% of the population.

There were 346 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the town the population was spread out with 35.0% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $29,297, and the median income for a family was $36,250. Males had a median income of $30,227 versus $20,268 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,497. About 13.9% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.1% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.


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