By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection

TITLE: DEXTER GROCERY STORE IN NORTH PINE CREST: This week’s image is a real photo of George Dexter’s store from 1908. The store was located on North Road just behind the Squirrel Inn, in an area referred to at the time as North Pine Crest. The grocery store did a good business from people traveling to the mountains to escape the heat. Many people are familiar with the legacy of the Dexter boys, John and Greg, and their many achievements in Twin Peaks. Not much is known about their older brother George, but he was very active in the San Bernardino Mountains during the early 1900’s. George was born in 1872 in Illinois. His family moved to California the next year. He was 20 years older than his brother John and more than 25 years older than Greg. George did some prospecting and mining in Southern California in the late 1800’s. During the early 1900’s George Dexter’s family came up to the mountains in late spring and returned to San Bernardino in early fall. George worked at a number of projects during his time in the mountains. In addition to opening the grocery store he built cabins at Squirrel Inn, repaired those damaged during the winters, and, with younger brother John, built the suspension bridge at Squirrel Inn. In 1915 George Dexter also headed up the construction crew that built the Hook Creek Tunnel for the Arrowhead Reservoir and Power Company. In 1916 George, along with brothers John and Greg, spent much of the summer in Big Bear building cabins for a variety of people including four for the Knickerbockers. In 1917 John Dexter dismantled George’s store and used the lumber to build a garage and repair shop in what was known at the time as Strawberry Flat (later Twin Peaks). George died in 1943.

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