Squirrels, and Dirndls, and Bears- Oh My!

I apologize for the sudden absence! Midterms have finally passed, and I’m happy to be back and present you with a 1960s view of The Squirrel Tree Restaurant and Motel!

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Stay the night Squirrel-Style!

This lovely Alpine oasis may very well have been the birthplace of modern-day Leavenworth.

Bob Rodgers and Ted Price, two World War II friends, were looking for a way to escape their lives in Seattle and retreat to someplace near the beautiful Cascade Mountains. In 1960, they purchased Cole’s Corner Cafe and renamed it The Squirrel Tree. Bob had fallen in love with Bavarian style and culture while serving in the army and pushed for a Bavarian theme  for the soon-to-be-renovated restaurant.

He got his wish, and traditional Bavarian styles, costumes, music, and Christmas lighting all became part of the Squirrel Tree experience. The restaurant was so popular that Bob and Ted decided to build a six-room motel next to the restaurant in 1961.

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“It’s Swiss” See the wild bears. Located on U.S. Hwy 2, 14 miles west of Leavenworth, Wash., near Lake Wenatchee. Deluxe accommodations at Thrifty Prices. Phone Area Code 509 KImbal 8-2720.

Besides the Bavarian theme, The Squirrel Tree had unique visitors that set it apart from other restaurants. Wild black bears would come to the restaurant for food scraps, taking them from the hands and even mouths of workers!

Ted and Bob planned to build an entire Bavarian village near the restaurant and lodge, but it was just not possible. This spurred the pair to turn their attention to the neighboring town of Leavenworth. At the time, Leavenworth was struggling to survive, but in just a few years, it would be a bustling tourist destination…

Located along Highway 2, The Squirrel Tree Restaurant and Motel are still in business! You can check out their website here.


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