Fritz Koons Papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records, 1914-1990

Overview of the Collection

Koons, Francis, 1902-1997.
Fritz Koons Papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records
1914-1990 (inclusive)
3 linear feet
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0052koons (collection)
The Fritz Koons Papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records document the life and activities of Bellingham resident and outdoor enthusiast Fritz Koons, as well as the establishment and activities of the Komo Kulshan Ski Club. The collection spans the time period of 1914-1990.
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: (360) 650-7534
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Francis (“Fritz”) Jefferson Koons was born December 19, 1902 in Illinois and moved to Bellingham temporarily in 1908, and again permanently, in 1926. He finally settled into a job at Puget Sound Power and Light, where he remained employed for 42 years. Fritz Koons held various positions at "Puget Power," eventually becoming a surveyor and remaining so until his retirement in 1967.

Fritz Koons had an avid interest in outdoor recreation, attending his first meeting of the Mt. Baker "Hiking" Club shortly after returning to Bellingham. He remained active in this organization his entire life, often scouting out new trails in the mountains near Mt. Baker. In 1936, Koons and his outdoor enthusiast friends built a ski cabin at Mt. Baker.

In the mid-1950s Koons and other local citizens organized the Komo Kulshan Ski Club for young skiers in the Bellingham area. In addition to his Mt. Baker Club membership and activities with the Komo Kulshan Ski Club, Fritz Koons was also a member of the Mt. Baker Ski Patrol and the Bellingham Junior Chamber of Commerce. Actively involved with local senior citizens’ groups including the Senior Trail Blazers, he skied regularly well into his eighties.

Fritz Koons died in April 24, 1997.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection documents Fritz Koons' life history including writings, employment records, newspaper clippings and family photographs from circa 1916 to 1988, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1935–1988. The collection also contains records of the Komo Kulshan Ski Club including original writings, photographs and newspaper clippings dating from 1940-1990, but with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1970s onward.

Fritz Koons' personal papers include drafts of his unpublished life history, and “Early Memories of the Mt. Baker Hiking Club,” recounting the formation of the Mt. Baker Hiking Club in 1935. Newspaper clippings dating from 1940-1988 (bulk 1970-1988) document Koons’ involvement with community groups and senior organizations, including the Senior Trail Blazers, a hiking club.

Koons’ employment records include personnel files dating from his initial hiring with Puget Sound Power and Light Company in 1926 to his retirement from the company in 1968. . These records reflect changes in pay rate, and application and hiring procedures at Puget Power. Employment records also contain a 1980 letter from Puget Power referring to the local election defeat of Municipal Utility District Propositions 1 and 2, acknowledging Koons' volunteer work for the campaigns of incumbent Public Utility District Commissioners.

Loose personal and family photographs in the collection range from 1935 to 1990, and include family and school portraits. A photograph album documents family travels including trips to Mt. Baker, West Port, Crater Lake, Carson City, Virginia city, Oregon, San Francisco, White Rock, B.C., Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Lassen, Reno, NV and local hikes taken by the Senior Trail Blazers. Personal papers also include a 1936 coal mining agreement between Bellingham Coal Company and former owners of Fritz's property.

Komo Kulshan Ski club records include a handwritten history of the club titled “The Way It Was,” and newspapers and photo scrapbooks documenting club activities between 1940-1989. The albums document the annual Komo Kulshan sponsored Junior Heather Cup Race and notable accomplishments by club members. Ski Club records also contain photos, memorabilia and newspaper clippings relating to Mt. Baker events and scenery. Researchers should note that the photo album in Fritz Koons' personal papers includes images of the 1983 Komo Kulshan Kids Games.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Fritz Koons Papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The Fritz Koons papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club records are organized in accordance with the following series arrangement.

  • Series I: Fritz Koons' Personal Papers 1914-1990
  • Series II: Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records 1940-1990

Custodial History

Heidi Bush transferred the records to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in December 2005.

Processing Note

Roz Koester and Molly Hults processed the Fritz Koons Papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records for the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in 2006.

Processing Note

About Harmful Language and Content

To learn more about problematic content in our collections, collection description and teaching tools (including how to provide feedback or request dialogue on this topic), see the following Statement About Potentially Harmful Language and Content

Related Materials

The Mount Baker Club records are also housed at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Fritz Koons Papers, 1914-1990 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1 : Biographical Information
Unpublished Life History
circa 1975
"Early Memories of the Mt. Baker Hiking Club"
Newspaper Clippings
1940-1988,; 1976-1988
Subseries 2 : Employment Records
Personnel Records (Puget Sound Power and Light Company)
Correspondence re. Municipal Utility District Propositions 1 and 2 and election of Public Utility District Commissioners
1980 November
Subseries 3 : Photographs
Family Photographs
circa 1935-1960
Family Photographs
circa 1960-1975
Family Photographs
circa 1975-1990
School Portraits
Photo Album
Subseries 4 : Property Records
Coal Mine Lease for 2636 Cherry St. (Bellingham Coal Companies)

Series II:  Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records, 1940-1990 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
"The Way It Was": Unpublished History by Fritz Koons
Komo Kulshan Ski Club albums
circa 1940-1989
Album I: Newspaper Clippings
1940-1960,; bulk 1954-1960
Album II: Newspaper Clippings
Album III: Newspaper Clippings and Photos
Mt. Baker Photos
circa 1982-1990
Certificate of Support for the Komo Kulshan Ski Club
“Mount Baker Ski Area: A Pictorial History” with signatures and notes

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Hiking--Washington (State)--Baker, Mount--History--Sources.
  • Older people--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Societies and clubs--History--Sources.
  • Outdoor recreation--Washington (State)--Baker, Mount--History--Sources.
  • Skis and skiing--Washington (State)--Baker, Mount--History--Sources.
  • Youth--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Societies and clubs--History--Sources.

Personal Names

  • Koons, Francis, 1902-1997--Archives.

Corporate Names

  • Komo Kulshan Ski Club--Archives.
  • Mt. Baker Hiking Club.
  • Puget Sound Power and Light Company.
  • Senior Trail Blazers.

Geographical Names

  • Washington (State)--Baker, Mount, Region

Form or Genre Terms

  • Albums (Books).
  • Photographs.
  • Records (Documents).