245 people attended the Salmon Barbecue this year. The annual fundraiser for Lummi Island Grange started with a pumpkin contest and ended with pumpkin pie, with lots of barbecued salmon in between.
Photos by Linda Smith
A long tradition
Originally, the Salmon Barbeque was held at a Lane Spit park on Labor Day weekend. The cooks would nail salmon filets on cedar planks, and prop them up in front of beach fires to cook. Islanders could bid farewell to the many summer visitors that would be leaving after their stay on the island, to head back to school or jobs on the mainland.
In later years, the Barbecue was moved to the Beach School. After the meal, the tables would be removed, someone would spread powdered wax on the gymnasium floor, and a local band would strike up the music while everyone danced the night away.
Now the men of the Grange barbecue it on grills outside the building. Hank Baumgart—descendant of Mac Granger, one of the original barbecue cooks at Lane Spit—donates the salmon from Icy Strait Seafoods. The proceeds from the Salmon Barbecue go to the Lummi Island Grange Scholarship Fund.
Host of our community
Nationally founded in 1867, the Grange is a family and community organization with roots in agriculture. On the Island, the Grange's Country Living Series helps locals "reskill" by learning to do things self-sufficiently and for neighbors.