Friday, July 2, 2010

The Squirrel Tree in Leavenworth

Leavenworth is easily my favorite of the Washington tourist theme towns.

Leavenworth was a dying logging town, back in the 1960s, when the townspeople knew something had to be done.

Someone came up with the idea to turn Leavenworth into a Bavarian themed town. The Cascade Mountains Alpine-like setting was perfect.

It was not long before the main street of Leavenworth was transformed.

A drive across Stevens Pass, on Highyway 2, from Western Washington, heading to Wenatchee, Sun Lakes, Soap Lake or anywhere else in Eastern Washington, you were now drawn to stop in Leavenworth.

I think it is likely the success of Leavenworth surprised all involved. The little dying town quickly became a thriving, growing town, with new buildings added, all Bavarian themed.

Leavenworth's Oktoberfest is now the biggest outside Germany. Nephew Joey and I happened upon Leavenworth's Oktoberfest on the way home from an apple picking expedition to Yakima, back on an October evening in the 1990s. It was an eye-popping spectacle.

I have never not had a good time in Leavenworth, no matter what time of the year. During summer when it can be quite hot. Or during winter, with snow on the ground. It's always fun.

I've not been to Leavenworth since August of 2001. I remember we had burgers from an outdoor grill place I'd gone to many a time, the name of which I can't remember. Spent a little time in the, then new, brew pub. And sat outside at Starbucks for awhile getting perked up by coffee before heading east to Wenatchee and the Columbia Valley to find fresh fruit.

I remember this day as the last day I have had a good apricot.

I forgot to mention, the old postcard of Leavenworth at the top. The Chalet is called The Squirrel Tree Chalet-Motel-Restaurant.

The Squirrel Tree appears to be somewhat Bavarian themed. The postcard obviously pre-dates the 1960s, which tells me something I did not know, in that there was some Bavarian theming going on in Leavenworth prior to the massive transformation that turned it into one of America's most successful tourist towns.


Steve A said...

Our car club had a regional meet in Leavenworth in 2000. It was very memorable and I still have a pair of Lederhosen as a result.

So, are you going to tell us about Aplets and Cotlets in Cashmere, or the Windmill Restaurant in Wenatchee?

Durango Northwest said...

Yikes, don't be wearing those lederhosen in Texas. It'd likely get you in some sorta trouble.

Aplets & Cotlets. Years ago I made an e-commerce website that sold Pacific Northwest products. I made a separate page for Aplets & Cotlets with lottsa info so it'd Google well.

This history of Tiny's in Cashmere and Aplets & Cotlets sounds like good WA Blog material.

I am drawing a blank on the Windmill Restaurant in Wenatchee. Must Google it.