Salishan walking tour: Blaine then and now

Published on Wed, Aug 15, 2012
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As August’s summer sun beats down on Blaine, The Northern Light followed Kathleen Capson, one of Blaine’s most knowledgeable historians, on a present-day look into Blaine’s history.

Longtime residents know it to be more than a sleepy border town, but few have documented the city’s rich cultural history. In 1996, Capson added her name to that list.

Capson’s contribution to the preservation of Blaine’s history was a three-part walking tour of Blaine titled “Blaine’s Historic Homes, Buildings, and Churches: Three Self-Guided Walking Tours Highlighting Blaine’s Early History.”

These stirring, century-old structures and Blaine’s deep roots were Capson’s inspiration for the project, she said. It took three years and many other hands and voices to complete the guide.

Capson received a grant from the Blaine City Council. Her friend Sue Sturgill set up interviews with knowledgeable Blaine residents who contributed to the content of the pamphlet.

In the end, more information was gleaned than Capson knew what to do with, she said. Her original plan had to be revised.

Ultimately Capson and Sturgill decided to turn it into a three-part booklet. It covered the three different sections early Blaine was divided into, and discussed the four families who founded the city. It followed her initial idea to create an accessible document that illustrated the daily lives of Blaine’s early settlers.

Around 1,000 copies of the 44-page pamphlet were originally printed, and it was free to interested residents. Copies can be borrowed at the Blaine Public Library and the Blaine Visitor’s Center.