The Tome, 50 Years of Community

This summer Lummi Island Community Association (LICA) is celebrating 50 years of the Tome, "spawned by a group of Islanders who loved this Island."

In the beginning its hand-drawn title was Lummi Island News Letter. LICA was known as Lummi Island Community Club then. In 1966, Islanders were concerned about the post office closing, water systems, and industrial pollution from Cherry Point. Really, does anything ever change here?

By 1981, newly retired Paul Davis was back to stay after enjoying Lummi Island as a summer kid in the 1930s. He was serving as treasurer of LICC, "when the former editor left and I was the only one standing around." The newsletter would never be the same again.

The original News Letter, now the Tome

Paul davis' first edition at the helm, selections from the NewsLetter, may 1981.
click to enlarge.

It would hardly change from that point on either. 

Unsophisticated, amateur, all volunteer

Paul donned the mantle of editorial authority. It fit. He expanded the publication to three double-sided legal sheets. The Newsletter lost a space. Each sheet was a different color. An array of advertisements on the back page. Submissions were accepted from Island organizations instead of scribing the entire thing himself. 

I would like to announce the installation of our new Newsletter Computer. This computer will automatically change our address labels when members go to Arizona for the winter. It will keep track of readers who like to pay a few years in advance, and it will remind advertisers to please pay their ad fees. As I say, I would like to announce the new computer, but I can't because there isn't any computer...

This Newsletter is an unsophisticated, amateur, all volunteer operation, and your cooperation is requested and appreciated.

Paul Davis, LICC Treasurer and now Editor

Lummi Island Community Club Newsletter, May 1981

He would rename the newsletter The Tome of Lummi Island as the editions piled up. Previous editors didn't think to save an archival copy. So Paul scoured the Island and reassembled a complete collection of every edition. It became of collective work of local history, the Island's own diary.

Unceasing for 35 years, Paul just kept on publishing the Tome "deciannually"a term only an engineering wonk can loveevery month except August and December. 

Paul Davis creates the July 2016 Tome

At the age of 90 Paul Davis is still editor. Content layout is done with a computer, but Paul insists on "real Elmer’s glue, cut and paste” to place ads and photos. Ten pages in five colors: blue, yellow, green, pink, and goldenrod.

The 50th anniversary edition of the  Tome

The 50th anniversary edition of the Tome

Getting the Tome

Subscription fee is $6 for Lummi Island addresses, $15 for off-Island, and $6 for email delivery. Canadian addresses are $21 USD.


P.O. Box 163, Lummi Island, WA 98262

Or contact Paul Davis
for information about subscriptions or advertising:
(360) 758-2414

The Tome is mailed to every Lummi Island address. The calendar page is promptly stuck on the fridge (if you want to stay in Paul's good graces). Chuckles at the one-liners, sighs for the eulogies. Advertisements from familiar neighbors.

Kulture must be soived!

The first News Letter of May 26, 1966 was little more than a memo, opening with this pleonasm: 

Due to the extreme urgency of a Park Department decision prior to the approaching deadline established for the use of allocated federal funds it has become necessary to exert immediate and concentrated effort along this line by the Lummi Island Community Club.

The panicky park project fizzled. But the second News Letter cast the mold. It nobly straddled the divide "to retain as much as possible the charm and beauty existing while at the same time fully realizing that change and growth are inevitable." With this solemn nod, the "SAME BRILLIANT GENIUS!" then backflipped into folksy "flotsam". 

Artifacts of the original editions are still found in today's Tome: the association meeting schedule right below the masthead, "pancake breakfast" here conceived, slideshows of travelled locals, kooky quotes, and the mandate "to do a lot of real good and have fun doing it."

July 1966 news letter. click to images to enlarge. complete text reproduced in the FEATURE box.


JULY 1966


The Community Opinion Poll will apparently get underway within a few weeks, and we take this means to humbly ask all the Islanders to seriously give their full cooperation to those individuals who will do the interviewing as it is a rather thankless task and a most time-consuming one. The results of this survey could quite possibly determine the future of the entire Island for years to come.

Lest we forget what the expressed goals of your Community Club have been, we would like to herein reiterate this Club's position. We are not a group of malcontents, do-gooders, reformers, hermits or promoters, nor was the Club formed because we had an axe to grind or because we felt the community was beset with insurmountable problems that needed remedying. On the contrary, it was spawned by a group of Islanders who loved this Island and had a real desire to retain as much as possible the charm and beauty existing while at the same time fully realizing that change and growth are inevitable. We are generally of the opinion that problems are best solved before they develop and by consistently using the tools of unified, analytical study and comprehensive planning all areas which might cause friction or mar the orderly and esthetic development of the Island could better be controlled. We do not intend nor expect to solve all problems within the next 15 minutes nor do we intend to completely subjugate the pleasurable aspects of community get-togethers in favor of total concentration and monotonous sessions. In short, we fully expect to do a lot of real good and have fun doing it.

Several study groups have been formed to look into such items as a community wide water system, possibly along the line of the Regional Planning Council's recommendations, and also the problem of unauthorized garbage or refuse dumping on the beach and along the roadsides. Apparently legal action will be sought.

At our next meeting we are fortunate to have a program presented by Mr. and Mrs. Cline and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lockwood. They are going to tell, and show via slides, etc., their experience living and school teaching in the remote sections of Alaska. According to the Bellingham Herald they have a very interesting story to tell.

* * * * * *


Some of the male type characters belonging to the Club are of the strange opinion that they can whomp up a tasty pancake breakfast by themselves (without wimmen) and are planning to throw a fund raising pancake breakfast Sunday, July 17, from 7 to 11:00 A.M. at the Grange Hall – cheeze! how conceited can you get?? Oh well! guess for the preservation of the gender we better humor them and possibly even help. Come to think of It, maybe you all better too, or at least agree to eat some of their "delishus" offerings, for a slight fee that is. You know them there male chefs temperamental as heck but 90% temper.

Maurine Melcher has again opened Driftwood Manor and welcomes a chitchat with anyone willing to pull weeds. She looks real chipper and we all hope she is over her bout with ticker trouble. She says her son John and family are moving to Portland where he has a rather attractive offer. Maurine is being "brought up" by her daughter Jackie's children this summer and they are definitely not the introvert types.

Heard Johnny Brown has developed a novel method of boarding a small skiff. It involves getting a fisheye view of the situation possibly to inspect for air leaks. Give our best to King Neptune, John.

Joann Nordensson has been bussing the berry pickin' bumpkins and understand she is a boss lady too. Might say she is an authority in the production and collection field.

Glenn Schuler is equipping his fishin' "yacht" with safety belts (fiber and liquid types) just in case he snags pnto any more 200 lb, halibut like last week. He says hooking his toes over the gunwales gets a bit rough as a feller grows older, and besides the salt water kinda ruins the part in his hair.

Anyone see a stray manx cat recently? Robert Aiston has been "here kitty" ing all over the island, for it seems as how his foster feline forsook the felicitous fireside of friend Alston for fabled fortune elsewhere.

Manly Smith is back on furlough from the "war kollitch"—looks real natty in his "youniform". Saw him giving the lowdown to Bob Dickinson—possibly telling him all about the gracious living to be encountered in Uncle's health spa.

Frank Adema, our local mail carrier, has decided to take the cure (for unemployment, that is) as he has accepted the postal authorities' suggestion (?) that he operate out of the Bellingham Post Office. He sorts the mail there at 6:00 a.m., then comes to the Island and sorts and delivers the mail here, then back to the mainland where he delivers the mail on his way back. Hope he don't decide to move off the Island entirely.

Patsy Andriff has apparently found herself the one and only in Jerry McAlpine from, Ferndale. Understand they are making plans for that trip down the aisle soon — Hmm !! Wonder if they are in the market for a honeymoon cottage??

The Fire Department is installing a new 7-1/2 horsepower siren which is about 3 times bigger than the 2-1/2 HP they have now. Should help the rating considerably. Bet it sounds real sharp — say some cold morning about 3:00 a.m. They have some 20 trainees who have passed their fire fighting exams and as such are entitled to a spot in the Lummi Island Fire Hall of Fame along with a big red box of matches each. Congrats, fellers! Understand the following is your new motto — "To Blazes with you" !!


The Publicity Committee
Johnson, Tuttle, Konecke & Miller