By Bill Pumford, Image from the Russ Keller Collection
TITLE: SQUIRREL INN – THE STORY CONTINUES: As the 1900s began, construction of cabins at the Squirrel Inn continued unabated from the previous century. Much of the construction, renovations, and repairs of the structures was done by the Dexter brothers: George, John, and Greg. This week’s image from 1905 shows some men enjoying a leisurely game of cards at the lodge. Although the Squirrel Inn belonged to the wealthy and prominent people on the mountain it did not make the buildings immune to fire. In 1911 the facility was severely threatened but through the coordinated efforts of volunteers the buildings were saved. They were not so lucky in 1922 when fire destroyed the lodge and three nearby cabins. The lodge was rebuilt the next year although the structure was a bit more modest. The Arrowhead Mountain Club began experiencing financial difficulties during the late 1920s which finally resulted in a Sheriff’s Sale of the property in 1939. Fortunately, all was not lost – the Squirrel Inn Holding Company (comprised of several officers from the Arrowhead Mountain Club) acquired the property. As part of the sale previous cabin owners (or their descendants) were compensated for their property. The new owners rented out cabins and provided services like dining to a new group of users. In 1980 Carson and Margaret Grant, along with some other investors, acquired the 54 acres of the Squirrel Inn property. A year was spent renovating the lodge and other buildings after which the Grants submitted a request to divide the property into 1-acre parcels for residential use. The project was never started although the Squirrel Inn did become a retreat for church groups where kids could enjoy the mountain air and all the experiences that went with it. In 1985 the Grants sold the property to the Church of Scientology in whose hands the property has remained since then.