The Roof House Gallery

The Roof House Gallery

Posted in the Lynden Forum

David Hay

UK

#1 Aug 5, 2006
I used to visit point Roberts nearly every day from Boundary Bay when I lived in BC. One of my best pals was the nephew of Paul Nielsen who ran the Roof House Gallery, famous for its delicious home-made Danish pastries.(Yum Yum!)

I have lived back here in England for the past 30 years and lost touch but would love to know if anyone out there knows what happened to the Roof House as I have never seen a reference to it since I left.

I also had a good mate, Ray, who used to run the airstrip --- he had a lovely old antique British pick up truck which went like the clappers!

I remember Point Roberts with fond memories. In those days you could walk over the border, often the customs kiosk would be empty!

I even lived in a mobile down there for a few months
--- I just drove in and out --- looking back, I'm sure it was all highly illegal. But in those days, everything was less sanitised by political correctness, beaurocracy and health & safety regs.
It was a more dangerous & exiting time. Well, after all, we'd just come out of the 60's man!

I hope Point Robert hasn't been spoiled too much in the intervening years --- to me, even then, it was a haven from the craziness of the modern world.

Kind Regards,

David Hay
Duncan Hawes

Santa Clara, CA

#2 Aug 12, 2006
The Roof House is still there and I think occasionally open for business although it is up for sale. The border crossing is now manned 24/7 but there are still gates in the fences of the houses lining the border.
Pat Grubb

La Conner, WA

#3 Aug 22, 2006
The Roof House is closed and up fpr sale. Poul Nielsen and his wife are still alive. Border is much more hassle post-9/11 but the place is still really laidback. Go on-line to www.allpointbulletin.com to give you an idea.
Linda Hammond

Vancouver, Canada

#5 Sep 3, 2015
David Hay wrote:
I used to visit point Roberts nearly every day from Boundary Bay when I lived in BC. One of my best pals was the nephew of Paul Nielsen who ran the Roof House Gallery, famous for its delicious home-made Danish pastries.(Yum Yum!)
I have lived back here in England for the past 30 years and lost touch but would love to know if anyone out there knows what happened to the Roof House as I have never seen a reference to it since I left.
I also had a good mate, Ray, who used to run the airstrip --- he had a lovely old antique British pick up truck which went like the clappers!
I remember Point Roberts with fond memories. In those days you could walk over the border, often the customs kiosk would be empty!
I even lived in a mobile down there for a few months
--- I just drove in and out --- looking back, I'm sure it was all highly illegal. But in those days, everything was less sanitised by political correctness, beaurocracy and health & safety regs.
It was a more dangerous & exiting time. Well, after all, we'd just come out of the 60's man!
I hope Point Robert hasn't been spoiled too much in the intervening years --- to me, even then, it was a haven from the craziness of the modern world.
Kind Regards,
David Hay
I was just remembering that beautiful smell of the Danish pasteries coming in the door or the Roof House.The art was pretty bad. Thanks for When I was a young teen, in about 1968-69, I had a big crush on a visiting english nephew( of maybe Paul Neilson?) down there. He drove a blue Malibu and I think his name was Rex. My family had a summer place at Boundary Bay. What sweet memories! Point Roberts is actually less changed than anywhere else around Vancouver. But the border sure has changed since 2001.
I hope you get this post, as it's 9 years since you sent yours! Thanks for the flashback :-)
Cheers,
Linda Hammond
Tibby

Vancouver, Canada

#6 Nov 20, 2016
David Hay wrote:
I used to visit point Roberts nearly every day from Boundary Bay when I lived in BC. One of my best pals was the nephew of Paul Nielsen who ran the Roof House Gallery, famous for its delicious home-made Danish pastries.(Yum Yum!)

I have lived back here in England for the past 30 years and lost touch but would love to know if anyone out there knows what happened to the Roof House as I have never seen a reference to it since I left.

I also had a good mate, Ray, who used to run the airstrip --- he had a lovely old antique British pick up truck which went like the clappers!

I remember Point Roberts with fond memories. In those days you could walk over the border, often the customs kiosk would be empty!

I even lived in a mobile down there for a few months
--- I just drove in and out --- looking back, I'm sure it was all highly illegal. But in those days, everything was less sanitised by political correctness, beaurocracy and health & safety regs.
It was a more dangerous & exiting time. Well, after all, we'd just come out of the 60's man!

I hope Point Robert hasn't been spoiled too much in the intervening years --- to me, even then, it was a haven from the craziness of the modern world.

Kind Regards,

David Hay
Hi there,
Not sure what made me think of the roof house tonight but I decided to google it and this site came up. ITs so nice to see that others shared fond memories of the RH. I worked there for Paul and his wife for a few years back in the early 1990ís. I was the chef, dishwasher, waitress, horse feeder, and overall helped to manage their restaurant. I vacuumed and cleaned toilets, dusted all the paintings, opened and closed the restaurant. I lived in tsawwassen and it was easy to cross the border to come to work.
I loved working at the roof house and had come as a patron with my mother on bike every week from the age of five. I think it helped me get hired by Paul when I told him in my interview that I always remember him giving me a little doll after having a pit stop with my mom there for carrot cake and juice.
Paul and his wife worked me hard. On weekends I ran my feet off sometimes, being the sole 20 year old multitasking cook, waitress and dishwasher. I remember asking one of the tables I was serving if I could have just two minutes to sit down as I was alone in the restaurant and just needed a breather. It often works 10 hour shifts with no set break. I often felt we were understaffed.
They did expect a lot from me and at the busiest of times, Pauls wife would come in and take over the front so I could focus on making the meals. I was paid $7 Canadian an hour but usually got tips in USD.
I learned a lot from my time working at the roof house and feel grateful that Paul has so much trust in me and pushed me to do my best. I learned efficiency, multitasking, interpersonal skills, and pride in myself. Paul was such a charming and kind man whom felt much like another father to me.
So, thank you for brining me back to the roof house......and now to update and finally answer your query...... About five years ago I drove by in point Roberts. There was no roof house any more, just an empty lot of land. My best guess is that Paul Neilson may have now passed away? His wife was quite a bit younger and she may still live across the road overlooking the ocean. I have photos of me working there and will always carry the lovely memories of my times spent there. Long after I left the roof house, I would periodically pop in to visit. I miss those days.
Frikadella anyone?
C
Tara

Bellingham, WA

#7 Mar 27, 2017
Tibby wrote:
<quoted text>

Hi there,
Not sure what made me think of the roof house tonight but I decided to google it and this site came up. ITs so nice to see that others shared fond memories of the RH. I worked there for Paul and his wife for a few years back in the early 1990ís. I was the chef, dishwasher, waitress, horse feeder, and overall helped to manage their restaurant. I vacuumed and cleaned toilets, dusted all the paintings, opened and closed the restaurant. I lived in tsawwassen and it was easy to cross the border to come to work.
I loved working at the roof house and had come as a patron with my mother on bike every week from the age of five. I think it helped me get hired by Paul when I told him in my interview that I always remember him giving me a little doll after having a pit stop with my mom there for carrot cake and juice.
Paul and his wife worked me hard. On weekends I ran my feet off sometimes, being the sole 20 year old multitasking cook, waitress and dishwasher. I remember asking one of the tables I was serving if I could have just two minutes to sit down as I was alone in the restaurant and just needed a breather. It often works 10 hour shifts with no set break. I often felt we were understaffed.
They did expect a lot from me and at the busiest of times, Pauls wife would come in and take over the front so I could focus on making the meals. I was paid $7 Canadian an hour but usually got tips in USD.
I learned a lot from my time working at the roof house and feel grateful that Paul has so much trust in me and pushed me to do my best. I learned efficiency, multitasking, interpersonal skills, and pride in myself. Paul was such a charming and kind man whom felt much like another father to me.
So, thank you for brining me back to the roof house......and now to update and finally answer your query...... About five years ago I drove by in point Roberts. There was no roof house any more, just an empty lot of land. My best guess is that Paul Neilson may have now passed away? His wife was quite a bit younger and she may still live across the road overlooking the ocean. I have photos of me working there and will always carry the lovely memories of my times spent there. Long after I left the roof house, I would periodically pop in to visit. I miss those days.
Frikadella anyone?
C
Dear C, Oh my goodness your post could have been written by me!! I worked at the Roof house all through highschool & left in 1989 when I moved to UBC for school. You replaced me! Hardest job, long hours you described so perfectly. I learned a hell of a lot from Paul, Bridget & Tove. If I close my eyes I can still smell the bleach from that horrible dishwasher! lol
I got a job at Earls while at UBC and couldn't believe how easy it was... "you mean ALL I have to do is SERVE the food?"... no horses to wrangle, no bathrooms to clean, no dishes snd no Frigadella to make (I do make it occasionally when I find Maggi sauce at the grocery store though).
I have a painting of the The house that Paul gave me when I left and I remember him fondly. Apparently we are members of a sweet club andif we gathered all the girls together from over the years I bet we would find we are are very similar.... Hardworking & outgoing, thanks to the Neilsen's training.
&#128591;&#127995;Tara
frank petersen

Richmond, Canada

#8 Nov 9, 2017
i'm a close friend of the family, Frank Petersen, we called him uncle Paul, he passed away just this last Saturday i am told from colon cancer. not sure his exact age, waiting to call Bridget back again, she left me a message. I think he is easily into his nineties. that's a very long life. My parents were danish and knew him form the old country. there will be a service for him at the danish Lutheran church in Burnaby Nov, 25 11 am Bridget lives just a couple houses south on the other side of the road. Usually a Cadillac in the driveway, If you knew them, i'm sure she would love some visitors
Darlene

United States

#9 Nov 15, 2017
frank petersen wrote:
i'm a close friend of the family, Frank Petersen, we called him uncle Paul, he passed away just this last Saturday i am told from colon cancer. not sure his exact age, waiting to call Bridget back again, she left me a message. I think he is easily into his nineties. that's a very long life. My parents were danish and knew him form the old country. there will be a service for him at the danish Lutheran church in Burnaby Nov, 25 11 am Bridget lives just a couple houses south on the other side of the road. Usually a Cadillac in the driveway, If you knew them, i'm sure she would love some visitors
My daughters Dina and I worked for Poul and his sister Tove in 1979-81.good people.
Tibby

Canada

#12 Sep 11, 2018
frank petersen wrote:
i'm a close friend of the family, Frank Petersen, we called him uncle Paul, he passed away just this last Saturday i am told from colon cancer. not sure his exact age, waiting to call Bridget back again, she left me a message. I think he is easily into his nineties. that's a very long life. My parents were danish and knew him form the old country. there will be a service for him at the danish Lutheran church in Burnaby Nov, 25 11 am Bridget lives just a couple houses south on the other side of the road. Usually a Cadillac in the driveway, If you knew them, i'm sure she would love some visitors
Hi frank,
If you are in touch with Bridget, please tell her Claire Greig who used to work with her at the roof house sends a big hug hello and remembers her and Paul so well! I'm sad to learn of his passing last year but he lived a great and long life! I can still recall so many details from my days working there for Paul back in the early 90ís

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