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Featuring: y l i m a F n a d r a H e h T | y l i m a F t r a n en L e Th A supplement of the Ferndale Record and Lynden Tribune | July 2021

125th Annual

Old Settlers Picnic

July 23 & 24 | Pioneer Park in Ferndale


LIVE Entert -mentain

12PM-6PM: Cabins open 12PM-Dusk: Concessions & Food Vendors available 12:10PM: Opening Ceremonies of the 125th Old Settlers Picnic 1PM-7PM: Whatcom Genealogical Society, “Family History Fun and Exploration” 1PM-10PM: Beer Garden

Friday (Senior Citizen Day)

12:30PM-1PM: Sandy & Howard Andreasen and Carol & Joe Younger 12:30PM-7PM: Pioneer Corral Children’s Activities 1:10PM-2PM: Alan & Carol Linde 2PM-2:45PM: Al Ulrich & Jim Taylor 3PM-4PM: Roger Quiggle 5PM-6:30PM: Matt Audette & the Circle of Friends Band 5PM-8 PM: Wagon Rides through downtown Ferndale 8PM-10PM: Southbound Hard Rock

Alan & Carol Linde


8:30AM- 3PM: Pioneer Car Show 12:30PM-7PM: Pioneer Corral Children’s Activities 12:45PM-1:45PM: Jon Mutchler 2PM-4PM: Southbound Hard Rock 1PM-6PM: Wagon Rides through downtown Ferndale 8PM-10PM: Free Rain Band 9PM-10PM: Fireworks & balloon glow sponsored by WECU & Ferndale’s Class of 1972

Sandy & Howard Andreasen

Al Ulrich & Jim Taylor

Free Rain Band

Southbound Hard Rock

Matt Audette & the Circle of Friends Band

Gates open at noon both days! WHATCOMOLDSETTLERS.COM

Cemetery District 10 records essential history

The gravestones of Phoebe Judson, the "Mother of Lynden," and her husband, Holden, are two of many pioneer gravesites located in the Lynden Cemetery overseen by Whatcom Cemetery District 10. (Brent Lindquist/Ferndale Record)

Hundreds of pioneers are buried in Lynden, Greenwood cemeteries By Brent Lindquist brent@lyndentribune.com

FERNDALE — If history can be measured by the square foot, it’s hard to imagine more

history in a single area than the Lynden Cemetery. For Dick Decima and the commissioners of Whatcom Cemetery District 10, overseeing the Lynden and Greenwood cemeteries, it goes far beyond the many gravestones that dot the two cemeteries’ landscapes. It’s about preserving history, and the district’s office on the Lynden Cemetery grounds is packed full of it. That history extends into the pioneer era of Lynden and

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

Whatcom County, and Cemetery District 10 has worked with the Whatcom Genealogical Society to compile a list of pioneers interred in the Lynden and Greenwood cemeteries. “We have here the alphabetical name of the person, the state that they came from and then the record that the classification of pioneer came from,” Decima said. According to the district’s policies and procedures, the Whatcom Genealogical Soci-

ety published the 1889 Territorial Auditor’s Census as their Washington State Centennial Project. The information was extracted from the available microfilm of the census of names of people residing in the Washington Territory on the first Monday of April 1889, which is filed in the Bellingham Public Library. This information provides a complete transcript of the Whatcom County census as Continued on next page


performed by then-County Assessor Albert W. Custer. It shows the microfilm page number for each entry page. The census notes the age, sex, race, marital status, birthplace and occupation of each person counted. The pages in possession


of the district show the names in the order that the census taker interviewed the individuals, house to house or farm to farm. It also shows family members under the head of household. The genealogical society has the ability to show an alphabetical index of family

names in their records. The Whatcom Genealogical Society painstakingly compared its index to the Cemetery District 10 records to locate matches in order to figure out who was in the county at the time. There’s a separate list of

individuals who died prior to the 1889 census who are interred in the cemetery. Decima said it’s unusual that Washington has an 1889 census record available at all. “Censuses are always Continued on next page

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

conducted in years that end in a zero, but there was an 1889 census,” Decima said. “We believe that the reason for that is because it was a requirement of the federal government to have a count of the people when the territory became a state, and Washington became a state in 1889. They would have had to have done that.” The list on hand at Cemetery District 10 has such locally well-known names as Hans Berthusen, Phoebe Judson, John Tennant and more. “Pioneers as we’ve ID’d them as anyone who was included in that census regardless of age who are interred in the Lynden Cemetery or the Greenwood Cemetery,” Decima said. Decima said there are 175 pioneers interred in the Lynden Cemetery and about 30 in Greenwood. The district has existed since 1974, and Decima has been a commissioner since 2004. The Lynden Cemetery is Continued on next page

Facing page: Dick Decima holds up the original handwritten minutes from Whatcom Cemetery District 10's first-ever meeting in 1974, shown above. (Brent Lindquist/Ferndale Record)

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021


considered a Heritage Cemetery, which means it has been designated as such by the Governor’s Council on Archeology and Historic Preservation. Decima said he’s particularly proud of this distinction, and that other cemeteries in the area could probably gain this status if they tried. Their application materials, which are retained at the district office, are sizable and thick, and Decima said that certainly helped with earning the Heritage Cemetery distinction. “We overwhelmed them with our application,” he said.    The district has done a lot over the years to preserve its cemeteries’ place in history, Decima said, including enlisting the help of Western Washington University to geologically survey its plots in order to map out which plots have been used up. FindAGrave.com reached out at one point and informed the district that around 500 people had been listed as interred in the district’s cemeteries without marked graves. Decima said there are various reasons for this, including families being buried together without all the names included on grave markings. The district still meets regularly, and is still on hand for interested parties to contact regarding the cemeteries it covers. Decima said in all his years as a commissioner, they have never had a visitor, but they still set aside time each meeting for public comment. The meetings take place the second Monday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Anyone interested in the district can visit https://www. lyndencemetery.com/ to learn more about it. Cemetery tours take place every Saturday at the Lynden Cemetery and the fourth Saturday of the month at the Greenwood Cemetery featuring a volunteer in a period costume from the Lynden Pioneer Museum. These tours take place during the months of May through October and are free and open to the public.


Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

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The Lennart Legacy

This is the family home about 100 years ago before a lot of remodels. The home still stands at 2130 Stickney Island Road, Everson. However, the house looks nothing like this today. (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen)

Giving back to the Everson community By Elisa Claassen for the Tribune

I was born to older parents, 41 and 51 at my birth. My father’s family was, and still somewhat is, ingrained in a farming region in south-


ern coastal California. They have ranched so long that my paternal grandparents and relations are buried in old cemeteries visited by historical societies. Once upon a time, German Mennonite churches were nearby, but one was moved. The other one burned. Each cemetery remains, but you need to know where to look for them. Also be careful to watch

for snakes. That’s what my cousin told me as I wore sandals. My mother’s family came from northern Sweden in the region near Lapland, a region of Northern Lights, with long days in the summer and no days in the winter. Since I was one of the younger grandchildren on each side of the family, some of the memories were missed. Some things were not ex-

plained. I’m still continuing to learn and appreciate what the family loved and brought from Sweden – and why they wanted to live in the United States. (Grandpa drove his family car across the U.S. onto a ship which they took to Sweden so they could drive it back there.) We inherited my mothContinued on next page

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

Aunt Lucille, mom, and aunt Marilyn, from left. (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen) er’s childhood home on now Stickney Island Road, formerly known simply as Route 1, between Everson and Lynden. Mother’s maternal grandfather, Oscar Burman, had chosen to settle here but had also considered the farmlands of Skagit County as well. He had three wives and saw the loss of wives and children. Some of them are buried in Sweden, others in the U.S. Our childhood home was a place where my grandpar-

ents raised my grandmother and sisters, my grandparents raised my mother and her siblings. We then arrived in 1974 in time for part of grade school through high school years in the Nooksack Valley School District. Several family members still resided nearby: mom’s aunt and uncle, the Fritzbergs, across the street. Mom’s cousin Bob Burman, who lived across the field in her childhood years, became

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a college professor in Wyoming. The home itself still stands. It’s a tall white farmhouse around 120 years old that has gone through a few remodels and changes. Trees surround it. Our era still had strangers parking by the road and eating lunch in our front yard. I guess it resembled a bit of a park. Grandpa’s amazing wooden teeter totter and glide swing. It also had an acre of lawn, shrubs and orchards,

where we raced our ponies attached to a cart, snacked on fruit trees instead of the cupboard, and invited the whole church for potlucks (or the school for school picnics). Another owner has been there for the past nearly 30 years and has maintained it well. When we grew up, it has vestiges of the prior generations: 1950s prom dresses to play dress up in, a well-estabContinued on next page

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Grandpa, at right, and his friend, Lt. Gov. John Cherberg, and grandma. (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen) lished library with the likes of Carl Sandburg and wellknown orators. As a teen, my grandfather arrived in the U.S. with a friend – and with a dream – to have more opportunities than at home where the large family lived in a small house and farmed or worked in mines. Poor weather could produce poor crops and leave little food for man or beast. Many people here have not lived through a famine. They don’t know true hunger. I


know I haven’t. Some of this Swedish family, according to my aunt, would take the inner bark of trees and make bread. Mom and dad, who grew up in the Great Depression, remembered it too well from their own childhoods. Dad went from farming and ranching to using his skills as a mechanic. Mom trained in office work and studied at the University of Washington and California Polytechnic State College (now University) in San Luis Obispo. Her working

years were primarily spent in press public relations for the airlines which gave her the ability to travel affordably and creatively to places such as Iraq, Japan, Turkey, through South America, etc. on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser planes before jets. Initially, grandpa received a name change entering the country with the removal of his last name (Bergqvist) found a place in the U.S. Army and working along the railroads. Later, he

found a way to “make something of himself” and started a large seed potato farming business. Eventually, he started what would become a long career in state politics. Mom’s mother, Edith Burman Lennart, was college educated at the precursor to Western Washington University to teach in an array of one-room schoolhouses including on Whidbey Island. Pictures show her astride Continued on next page

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

horses going to start fires to heat the building, put on lunch, and get ready for pupils. After marriage, she was busy with family, the home farm with beans and small dairy, and the family seed potato business. She also moved the family from the farm to the cottage on the shores of Orcas Island at Olga, and an apartment in Olympia during legislative session year after year. She always found a way to stretch a meal and add a chair to the table to feed one more or two more. We always knew we were loved, heard about Jesus and Heaven, and the enjoyment of watching Lawrence Welk on TV bring out Bobby and Cissy to dance. Grandpa was gone when I was very young, but we inherited his love of beautiful things. He wrote poetry, played instruments, designed architectural pieces, and drew portraits. We also inherited his love of community and country. See Lennart on page 14

Mom's parents and siblings during World War II. (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen)

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Family quilt, by Aunt Marilyn Fitch. Quilt was mom's "prized possession." (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen) Continued from page 11

His brother Oskar Bergqvist was a mining engineer in Kiruna, Sweden and also a celebrated painter of vivid landscapes. Family treasures pieces of his work.    Our family room, which was also his old home office, had remnants of our lives and their lives combined including our own multi-book collection of the Revised Code of Washington (Washington State law) circa 1950s, old


Senate business cards (which we used to make card houses), and photos of the Capitol building in Olympia. The desk contained beautiful mother-of-pearl fountain pens for pen-and-ink sketching (often of his colleagues or family). I later made my way into that complex, working in the House of Representatives and Senate and also sketching the members myself.    Many of the older members had known my grandfather and it was like a second

home. In those days, friends were made across the aisles more than today between the parties.    (One of my favorite of these friends was former Washington State Lt. Governor John Cherberg. He was the epitome of class and kindness. Cherberg was the longest serving Lt. Governor in the country at one time after having been a football coach at the University of Washington.)    Grandfather had a viva-

cious personality with a bit of charm – and a temper at times from what I have been told. He eloquently gave the Lincoln Day speeches in the Senate and at local events. President Lincoln was a personal hero of his. Mom would join him at business or Republican events to take meeting notes and learn about politics, including the White House for tea with Mrs. Eisenhower or a national convention at the Continued on next page

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

Aunt Carol, aunt Merilyn, grandma, aunt Lucille, and mom, from left. (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen) Chicago Stockyards.    Several family members pulled up pictures.

There was grandpa shaking hands with President Richard Nixon, cutting the

ribbon to open up Interstate 5 (no, it didn’t always exist), visiting with former

Washington Gov. Dan Evans (born 1925).    It’s hard to rectify this was the same person who also turned my name of Elisa into “Mona Lisa” when inscribing a book to me.    This was in contrast to grandma who was far more practical and thought “Lisa” was sufficient for my name. However, I was named for someone on my dad’s side. He had a heart condition but had committed to giving a speech in the south Seattle area in spring of 1968. He died of a heart attack while driving on the freeway afterwards.   Thankfully, Grandma, who was with him, was able to stop the car and wasn’t injured when they crashed. She passed away in 1973. At age 80, she was still mowing the one-acre lawn herself, teaching Sunday School, See Lennart on page 17

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021


Interested in Pioneers? Visit the Library

By Elisa Claassen for the Tribune

Not everyone’s family may be pioneers of the community where they live, but they can use the Whatcom County Library System (or Bellingham Public Library) at wcls.org with their library card and access subscription services such as Ancestry. com to research their own family history. Different branches of


the WCLS also have collections on site or for check out of local history books, such as “Nooksack Tales and Trails, “Being a Collection of Stories and Historical Events Connected with the Most Northwest County in the United States – Whatcom County, Washington” by Percival R. Jeffcott (1949), “Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages” by Candace Wellman (2017),

and “Mount Baker” by John D’Onofrio (2013). Also, “Fairhaven: A History” by Brian L. Griffin (2015), “The Saxon Story: Early Pioneers on the South Fork” by Marie Hamel Royer (1982), “Camp Glacier F-12: A History of CCC Camp Glacier from 1933-1941” by Michael G. Impero (2019), “Murder in the Fourth Corner: True Stories of Whatcom County’s Earliest Homicides” by T. A. Warger (2014),

“Remembering the Old Settlers of Whatcom County” by E. Rosamonde Ellis Van Miert (2004), “The Grand Lady of Mount Baker: A History of the Mount Baker Lodge from 1927-1931” by Michael G. Impero (2015).   The Everson Library has also recorded local history programs which can be viewed on a DVD. Several interviews I’ve conducted are also videotaped and are available for checkout.

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

served in the Washington State Legislature from 1941 to 1967.    Materials include correspondence, legislative reports, files related to state legislation, speeches and essays, newspaper clippings, and records of Lennart's farm operation.    The repository is at Western Washington University at the Golfz-Murry Archives, 808 25th St., Bellingham, WA. Call for access and hours.

Lennart Continued from page 15

and finding sewing projects.    For anyone interested, my family donated much of grandpa’s records to be in a public collection.    The collection documents the personal life and political activities of Ernest Werner Lennart, a Whatcom County farmer who also



5692 Northwest Drive, Bellingham Mom and I at church. (Courtesy photo/Elisa Claassen)


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Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021


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Hardan family history one of perseverance, innovations

Hardan family: Vernon, Loy, Minnie, Merl, Lester and John W. Hardan Jr. (Courtesy Hardan family) By Bill Helm bill@lyndentribune.com

It once was written that Mr. and Mrs. John Hardan were as sure as can be to attend any big picnic or outing back in the region’s pioneer days. The same could then be said for dances “within 15 miles of Ferndale,” the author


of the story Mrs. Harden (sic) Enjoyed wrote. “We used to dance until daylight,” Minnie Icephine Follett Hardan once was quoted as saying. “Because we couldn’t go home at night. There were too many animals that might get us.” Although the Hardans are believed to be one of several catalysts of Whatcom

County’s Old Settlers celebration, the family’s legacy is “rooted deeper in their perseverance and innovations as small business owners and original pioneers,” said Julie Hardan Falcone, daughter of David Hardan, the greatgreat-grandson of John Wesley Hardan Sr. That legacy, the history of the Hardan family, is told

in part in P. R. (Percival) Jeffcott’s 1949 book “Nooksack Tales and Trails.” The family’s first mention is on page 12, in the introduction, as the author thanks Minnie Hardan, wife of John Wesley Hardan Jr., for her help with early Ferndale history. Continued on next page

Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

Jeffcott’s book is a collection of stories and historical events “connected with the most northwest county in the United States (before Alaska became a state), Whatcom County, Washington, and depicting in popular style the pioneer days of the formative years between 1848 and 1895.” Falcone told the Lynden Tribune recently that her family was “one of the first 13 (Anglo) settlers in Ferndale.” David Hardan also talked about his great-grandfather, John Wesley Hardan Jr., who was the first postmaster of Maple Falls, the town once known as Hardan. “People came here to work the coal mines,” said David Hardan, whose family first settled in Ferndale in the late1870s. As the story goes, John Wesley Hardan Sr. “hailed from Iowa, from where as a young man, he migrated to the Rocky Mountain states Continued on next page

Julie Falcone and here father, David Hardan visit the Lynden Tribune to talk about the Hardan family's history. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

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where he was a freighter in the early mining days of that region,” Jeffcott wrote. It’s spelled H-A-R-D-I-N Speaking of writing, Falcone said it’s also interesting to note that Hardan is sometimes misspelled in documents and newspaper articles as Harden, or even Hardin. In Mrs. Harden (sic) Enjoyed, it’s told that Minnie Hardan served as mail carrier for her husband, who was the postmaster. This was back in the late-1880s when they moved into the woods and built a log house and barn. The settlement was known as (Harden). “Mrs. Harden (sic) went five miles on horseback to the old sight of Deming for mail and brought back settlers’ mail with her,” the author of Mrs. Harden Enjoyed wrote. Early Settlers and Mills In the story Early Settlers and Mills, the author talks of how Hardan Jr. “guarded the precious mail bag he carried,

anxious to hand out the letters from his postoffice (sic) for the area pioneers and miners.” One of those letters, as the story goes, “contained the patent for their lots in section one, township 39 and 39, north of range five east.” The Hardans built a cabin on that land, a cabin that saw the birth of two children, Lester and Merl. Deeper legacy At 78, David Hardan is the family’s oldest living member. Hardan, and his daughter Julie Hardan Falcone, will be among the attendees at this year’s Whatcom Old Settlers picnic, scheduled for July 2324 at Pioneer Park in Ferndale. Now in its 125th year, the annual gathering nowadays is more than a picnic. However, this year because of COVID-19, there will be no parade, and no dance. “My dad and I will attend, Continued on next page

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but it’s not something our families get together and do, en masse,” Falcone said of the celebration of Ferndale past and present. “Our family is smaller now, as are most and often attend separately.” Born in 1943, David Hardan’s father was Jack Lester Hardan, whose father was Lester David Hardan, whose father was John Wesley Hardan, Jr. Hardan Jr.’s father was John Wesley Hardan Sr., who lived from 1819 until 1905. The senior Hardan, wrote Jeffcott in his book, was one of several “and possibly a few others were the blue-ribbon pioneers in and around the present site of Ferndale.” “They all arrived before 1880, and their names deserve to be written high in the annals of local history,” Jeffcott wrote. “Of his coming to the Pacific Coast, we are uninformed, but he arrived in Whatcom County and settled on Barrett Lake in 1874.” The stories of the Hardan family and many others can scarcely be told without committing hundreds of hours – and hundreds of pages. The Hardan family we know is one of the first Anglo settlers in the Ferndale area. Anyone interested in learning more about the family is encouraged to reach out to the Ferndale Historical Society, at https:// www.ferndalehistoricalsociety.org, or the Whatcom Old Settlers Association, at https://www.whatcomoldsettlers.com.

John Wesley Hardan, Sr. (Courtesy Hardan family)

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More looks into Whatcom County's past

Oscar and Anna Berman (Lennart family).

Edith Berman Lennart.

Detail, EW Lennart sketch of courtship of Miles Standish.

Aunt Lucille and Bernice Lennart, front. Back row, EW and Edith Lennart.


Pioneering Families of Whatcom County July 2021

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