Big Twin Lake Resort

LOCATION HISTORY

Big Twin Lake Resort land has been in the Johnson family since June 6,1914.  

Today

1910 Baines Map

1934 Metsker Map

1959 Metsker Map

Patent* for William Easton

Baines map from 1910 shows that William Easton owned a portion of  what later became the Big Twin Property

Patent for William Johnson

This patent in 1914 gives ownership to the Johnson family that has lasted for 110 years! 

*Patent was the term for the ownership document (like a deed) for Homesteaders

OWNERSHIP PASSED DOWN THROUGH THE GENERATIONS

William (Bill) and Anna Maria (sometimes referred to as "Mary") Johnson

Frank and Dorothy Johnson

Ben and Loree Johnson

William (Bill) Johnson was the son of Christian (Chris) and Helen Johnson.  Christian was born in Norway in 1834 and Helen Christenson was born in 1844 in Wisconsin.   Their children were Jessie, Carl, Clara, Bill, and Ida. 

Here is the story taken from "Pioneer Families" about how they got to the Methow Valley:


"In 1902-3, glowing accounts of the “new country” written to the elder Johnsons at Spring Valley, Wisconsin, succeeded in getting the elder Chris and his wife, Helen, and their son, Bill and his wife Mary, to come West. Chris was 70 and Helen was 60 at the time when they came West after living on the home ranch for 35 years in Wisconsin. Their neighbors said they would be back, but they didn’t. In the eyes of their neighbors, the Johnson family was going to the wild West. The elder Johnsons bought a homestead from a bachelor, Walter Frisbee across the river from Winthrop where he had a blacksmith shop. Bill and Mary Johnson were to live with the elder Johnsons and run the place. Mary didn’t get along with her in-laws, so Bill and Mary Johnson homesteaded out at Twin Lakes down by the lakeside.

Christian Johnson first came to America from Oslo Norway as a single man. His first trip to California was made by way of the Isthmus of Panama on foot. He with fifty other men decided they didn’t want to take the long voyage around Cape Horn, so chose the jungle trail. It took them ten days to hack their way across the fifty miles through the fever infested area. Many died on the way. From there they caught a steamer to San Francisco. He went to the gold mines in California soon after the big gold strike after the 1849 days. At one time he carried gold dust out from the mines in Grass Valley CA to Yuba City and Marysville. Two men made the trip together. So many carriers had been waylaid, robbed and killed. It was hard to get men to replace them. It was really dangerous work covering the 72 miles on foot. He was attacked one time, but he slugged the fellow with a bag of gold and felled him, but never learned if he lived to try it again"



Also from "Pioneer Families":

"Frank Johnson was born July 25, 1920 at Brewster to William “Bill” and Anna Marie (Cassien) Johnson. He was raised at Big Twin Lake near Winthrop. Frank graduated from Winthrop High School in 1939, then earned an engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1942-1945, Mr. Johnson served as a merchant marine in the South Pacific. Frank married Dorothy Paulson on July 10, 1946, at Missoula, Montana. Frank worked in construction, then went to work for Chemithon Corp. in Seattle as maintenance supervisor for 15 years. He, then worked for Red Dot Corp. in Seattle for 10 years as maintenance supervisor until retiring. After retirement he returned to the Winthrop area where he operated the Big Twin Lake Campground. Throughout his life he enjoyed the outdoors. He was a member of the Mountaineers and climbed Mount Rainier and Mount Baker. He was a member of the Twisp American Legion. He and Dorothy raised two sons, Lynn and Ben, of Seattle and three daughters, Kathy Carrigan, Jeanne Hutchison, and Joanne Johnson all of Winthrop. MCLEAN , FLOYD PERRINE, C. B. FAIHST, JOHN JONES, VAN REYNOLDS, Frank passed away June 15, 1995. He has one living brother, Pat Johnson of Bellingham, and nine grandchildren."


More about Frank....

"Climbing Mt. Gardner by Howard Brewer :  One day in late spring Frank Johnson, Loyd Woodward and I decided to climb Mt. Gardner by way of Wolf Creek to Gardner Meadows. Frank claimed he knew where there was a cabin where we could spend the night. We took off early Saturday morning, hoping to be home Sunday evening. About half way up Wolf Creek I tried to cross a windfall. The old ski br4oke at the center. Frank was prepared. He had some nails, hammer and a small piece of sheet metal. We were at an intersection of another trail, so we ripped off the sign and repaired the skis. We managed to reach the Meadow in late evening. We found a large spruce tree to with a large overhang. We elected to spend the night here as we were almost exhausted. We started a fire and bedded down for the night. About midnite we heard a god awful scream! Loyd said” Did you hear a cougar”? Frank crawled out of his and bare foot started breaking off branches to deed the fire. Sunday morning we started at the backside of Mt. Gardner. We managed to get high enough to look over the into the Methow Valley. We ran into rocks, so decided to head back. We were really tired so decided to spend another night here. We took off Monday morning. Got back to Patterson Lake about 1:00 P.M. Mr. Wehmhoff was really ticked because we missed a day of school! Where was the search and rescue people?!. I guess they knew we would come home"



 FISHING AND FUN!

1946 write up in "Fishing and Hunting News" editor was Fred Peterson and Charles Whalley of Pateros shown with his catch.  This was during the time that Frank Johnson ran the resort.

The lake....

Methow Geology by Vernon LaMotte, former mining engineer and geologist

"Twin Lakes were the result of large blocks of ice acres, each which was covered up by sand and gravel as the glacial ice melted out from the rest of the valley floor at a lower elevation. When these large blocks of ice melted out, this left a depression which is called a kettle. A small one can be seen 200 feet in from the county road off on the right side of the road going into Twin Lakes."


Fishing on Big Twin from the Haase Family Collection

Etta Richter, Ethyl, Ferd, Lydia and Al Haase ice skating on what appears to be Big Twin Lake.