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A boundary town of frame and old brick buildings. In 1858, during the first of the periodic gold rushes, a number of prospectors with great difficulty made their way overland along an Native American trail through Sumas Valley to the wilderness of the upper Fraser River country.

Sumas was the fourth organized border station in the history of the U.S./Canadian border crossing locations. Yet, even with gold strikes in both countries, travel across this point has always been light.

Sumas is a satellite community, and is close to popular recreation destinations like Mt. Baker and Lake Stevens. The port of entry at Sumas is used primarily by local Canadians visiting Sumas Prairie, as this area is still sometimes called, getting gas and sampling the many restaurants and bars. Gambling in the form of pulltabs is one of the biggest tourist attractions. Another is the Sumas Jr. Rodeo sponsored by the local chamber of commerce each Labor Day Weekend.

The Dutch Colonial U.S. Border Station at Sumas (1932) was designed by James Wentmore and is a Washington Heritage Register landmark.