Sumas-Huntingdon Border Crossing
|Sumas-Huntingdon Border Crossing|
The Canada border inspection station at Huntingdon, British Columbia
|Country||United States; Canada|
|US Phone||(360) 988-2971|
|Hours||Open 24 hours|
The Sumas-Huntingdon Border Crossing connects the cities of Sumas, Washington and Abbotsford, British Columbia on the Canada–US border. It can be reached from British Columbia Highway 11 on the Canadian side and Washington State Route 9 on the American side. This crossing has been important since this part of the border was established in 1846, but it would be several more decades before settlements were established on both sides of the border. This is because level terrain made this an ideal location for both roadways and railroads to cross the border. Border inspection services were first established here in 1896. The land surrounding the Sumas-Huntingdon border crossing is so flat that it is prone to frequent flooding.
Over the course of its history, the Canada border station at this crossing has sometimes been called "Huntingdon," and sometimes "Abbotsford," because of its location in Huntingdon, Abbotsford. Today the Canada Border Services Agency calls this station "Huntingdon-Abbotsford".
The US first established a Customs office at Sumas in 1891, the year the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad completed its connection to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Canadian government established a border station at this crossing in 1896, and the US began renting a building for its US Customs officer in 1907. The road through Huntingdon was relocated in 1913, resulting in the Customs office being in a poor location. US Customs built a new border station on the east side of Cherry Street in 1914, and rented part of it out as an automotive repair shop. In 1932, as traffic continued to grow, and in response to smuggling during prohibition, the Sumas border station was upgraded once again. In 1949, the operating hours of the Sumas border station were expanded to 24 hours. The building was large and ornate, but when it was once again deemed inadequate in 1988, a fourth Sumas border station was planned. Rather than demolishing the historic building, the decision was made to move the 714 ton brick building intact to 131 Harrison Street, where it stands today. Construction on the current US border station was completed in February 1990.
Canada built a concrete border station at Huntingdon in the 1930s, and replaced it with a brick facade structure in a style similar to the current facility at Carway, Alberta in the mid-1950s. This structure was replaced by the current twin-wing facility in 1992. This border station has been sometimes called "Abbotsford", and CBSA now officially calls this station "Abbotsford-Huntingdon".