Looking Back: A Roaring Twenties playground for the well off

Looking Back: A Roaring Twenties playground for the well off

The Big Four Inn drew the famous and wealthy.

Its doors opened at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties and the Big Four Inn soon became a popular rustic haven for the well to do.

Visitors arrived at the 50-room resort by rail, on single gas-powered cars, the only means then available. Roads wouldn’t be built in the area for nearly two decades.

By 1924, 6,000 guests a year checked in to ski, toboggan, play tennis, ride horses, hit the nine-hole golf course or just lounge in front of the giant lobby fireplace and take in the scenic alpine views.

There were day trips and evening dances, mountain hikes and meadow picnics.

Above it all loomed the majestic Big Four Mountain towering 6,161 feet.

“It was a vacationer’s paradise in a day and age that was mostly unprepared for the new era of mobility and exuberance that followed World War I,” Dorothy Schroeder, wrote in the “Journal of Everett and Snohomish County History,” published by the Everett Public Library. Schroeder, a Snohomish County native, visited the inn several times as a child. Her father’s father-in-law worked there as a caretaker. Her father had told her that anyone could stay, “but it wasn’t everybody that could afford it.”

At its height, a room for two at the lavish inn cost $6, including meals, according to Schroeder’s history.

The revelry lasted only a short time. The Great Depression ended the frolicking and business declined. The difficulty of operating in such rugged country eventually led to the rail line being abandoned making the property difficult to reach.

In World War II, the Coast Guard took over the resort for use as a rest center for service members.

The inn was unoccupied on Sept. 7, 1949 when it burned to the ground. The federal government eventually purchased the land and it became part of what’s now the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The old fireplace survived, and still stands next to a parking lot for a popular trailhead on the Mountain Loop Road.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Providence nurse’s tearful plea shines light on short-staffed ER

The nurse described an overwhelmed emergency department, as staff have pleaded with the Everett City Council for hazard pay.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Snohomish Health District hiring full-time monkeypox task force

The county is gearing up for more cases. The outbreak will be evaluated weekly to decide if a four-person team is merited.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Body found in impounded car in Lake Stevens

In June, Bothell police impounded the vehicle. Last week, a Lake Stevens business found a body inside.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
California woman dies after motorcycle crash west of Lake Stevens

Kimberly Moore was the passenger on a motorcycle Friday morning. She died the next night. She was 53.

A view of the proposed alternative station location to Everett Station located east of the current BNSF rail tracks in downtown. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea.

State Representative Robert Sutherland, left, gives a thumbs-up to passing drivers as he and a few volunteers wave flags and campaign signs along the side of State Route 9 on July 22, in Lake Stevens. Sam Low, right, talks with seniors on July 20 in Lake Stevens. (Sutherland photo by Ryan Berry / The Herald, Low photo by Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In GOP battle of Sutherland vs. Low, Democrats may tip the scale

The state lawmaker and Snohomish County council member are vying for a House seat. Democrats make up roughly 40% of the vote.

Food forum
Chocolate peanut butter Incredibles

These chocolate peanut butter bars are, as the name suggests, incredible.

SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval in 2019. (Aaron Swaney)
SnoTown Brewery owner charged with child molestation

Frank Sandoval conceded his conduct with a girl at his brewery was inappropriate, but he denied touching her sexually, charges say.

Everett
Head-on crash in Everett leaves man with life-threatening injuries

A two-vehicle collision in the 11600 block of Evergreen Way shut down southbound traffic Monday morning.

Most Read