Save the Black Bear Sign in Sultan


A Black Bear Clothes sign has been uncovered while restoring the building at 401 Main Street Sultan, WA 98294 and the owner wants to find a way to save it!

Jim Tinney is the current owner. While removing some shingles from the side of the building to expose the footings for the foundation work, he discovered that there was an old sign painted on the side of the building. Because of the ongoing work, revealing the sign took several weeks and was done in a number of stages and attracted many onlookers and interest.  He started to realize it was something special.

Jim Tinney shares his findings about the sign:

The sign advertises Black Manufacturing Co. of Seattle’s Black Bear Brand clothes. Black started the company in 1914 and it was operated as a family business until the 1980s. They made work clothes for loggers and miners – waterproofs, work pants and overalls, wool shirts and other heavy-duty outdoors wear. It’s interesting, and historic, it’s a sign for logger’s clothing in a logging town, it was painted 90 – 100 years ago. The best place for the sign is right where it is, where it’s always been. The people of Sultan have almost unanimously expressed very strong feelings about keeping the sign there. Unless it’s impossible to conserve in place, that’s plan A. If it’s not possible to preserve it in place, plan B will be to move it to someplace in town where it can be protected and enjoyed.

The issues with restoration and protection:

Tinney didn’t expect to find a cool historic sign and does not have the budget to protect it, conserve it, and ultimately display it proudly for the town. He is working with Sky Valley Arts Council to provide a way for interested people to contribute to a fund to save the sign. Find a donate button on the Be a Supporter tab, then click the Online Membership and the Save the Black Bear Sign is listed. 

Make a donation to the Save the Black Bear Sign Now! 

About the business Tinney will open at the location Kiss The Sky Books:

Kiss The Sky Books will be a new and used bookstore, coffee-house, and entertainment venue. Tinneys daughter Michelle Tinney has come to Sultan to help build and manage the business. They plan to provide the community with a place to enjoy virtually any kind of books from paperback romances to science fiction, history, art, and how-to – as well as have a great cup of coffee and attend events such as poetry and book readings, music, wine and beer tasting, and much more. 

About the building:

401 Main Street was built in 1892 and moved to its current location at around the turn of the century. Tinneys concept for the building is simple – it’s a great old building, and he is going to turn it back into a great old building, restoring features that have been removed or covered over since its heyday at the turn of the century. Several great artists and craftsmen are collaborating on a unique art-nouveau / northwest decor.