May 9, 2019
By Ken Brafman, Image from Pine Rose archive
TITLE: TWIN PEAKS – A BERRY GOOD PAST: This week’s image depicts the general store and post office near what is now the Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins. Twin Peaks made its mark as a strawberry growing mecca dating back to 1865. The area had an abundance of flat terrain which was perfect for growing berries. The topography also suited the U.S. Forest Service which built its headquarters as well as housing for rangers and summer staff. By the early 1900’s Strawberry, as it was called, was starting to take root. Renamed Strawberry Flats, by 1916 the population had grown large enough to warrant its own post office. But there was already a community called Strawberry. Strawberry Flats was rejected as well. So Twin Peaks became the accepted name for the town, celebrating its two distinctive peaks. But the name Strawberry Flats has lived on. Built in 1924 the original fire lookout tower bears the name and is the most visited tower in our mountains. Already a prized camping area, in 1914 forest ranger O.A. Chandler offered 25 lots for lease to build summer homes. The cost of each lease was $25 per year and by the early 1920’s there were 62 cabins, a business center and tennis courts. More and more lots were sold, and homes built. In time several inns sprang up. Dr. John Baylis, a pioneer and champion in our early mountain history, purchased 160 acres of land in 1887. In 1892 the Squirrel Inn was built. It was opened to the public in 1896 and was touted as an upscale resort for mountain visitors, with luxury accommodations as well as amenities including tennis courts and a swimming pool. It was eventually repurposed and stands today. Pine Rose has continued to thrive since the late 1940’s. Pinecrest has grown into an expansive Christian Conference Center and the Antlers Inn remains a very popular restaurant with cabins. The strawberries have disappeared but Twin Peaks remains a welcoming, charming mountain town.