Big Four Inn

Big Four Inn, A Wilderness Playground For The Wealthy
Big Four Inn and Gas Car, photo from USFS

Big Four's Grand Opening was July 2, 1921. The Hartford-Eastern Gas Car, the "Galloping Goose" and trailer transported the lodgers of Big Four  from Hartford which was a little north of Lake Stevens to their Wilderness Paradise. 

The main lobby at Big Four Inn, photo USFS

Money seemed to be no obstacle in the creation of the lavish Inn at Big Four MountainBethel and Wyatt Rucker, the creators of Big Four Inn brought all the lumber from their sawmill at Hartford.  There seemed no end in sight of the flood of celebrities and wealthy willing to pay the price for this grand wilderness experience.

The cabins behind Big Four Inn, photo USFS

Perry Creek was dammed to create a large lake and to provide electricity for the Lodge.  All of the rooms in the inn, cottages and cabins had hot and cold running water.

Looking at the golf course with cabins and Big Four Mountain in the background, photo USFS

The ice caves were a popular attraction for the Big Four Inn.  The grounds around the inn had tennis courts and a nine hole golf course.

Military occupation at the Big Four Inn, photo USFS

When the stock market crashed in 1929 the wealthy no longer traveled to the wilderness paradise of Big Four Inn.  In September of 1942 the U.S. Coast Guard occupied the inn as a "Duty Station" to train enlistees and would continue occupation until June of 1943.  The inn changed hands several times throughout it's history.  At one point it looked like it would again reopen but damaged roads and poor transportation to the inn kept it from reopening.

Big Four In in the aftermath of fire, photo USFS

On Wednesday at 6:30 am, September 7th, 1949 Big Four Inn quickly burned to the ground the fire narrowly missing the fuel tanks for the Hartford-Eastern Gas Car.  Today you can go to the Big Four Picnic Area and see what little remains of the big dream of the Big Four Inn, sidewalks to nowhere and the large fireplace.

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Sources: "Fire destroys the Big Four Inn
Dave Cammeron
Nels Bruseth
Harold Engles
Darrington Ranger Station