Twisp is a mountain community of workers relying on their hands and the natural resources around them, and has been since it was founded in 1897. The entire Methow Valley is full of people creating new things, both out of necessity and inspiration. When the historic Forest Service headquarters was decommissioned in 2002, the Twisp neighborhood had strong ideas about what should be done with the building vacant. They wanted to honor the site’s past and its significance to local history and industry, but use the space for a new project that will help Twisp look forward.
“Mostly we wanted to make something that the public can benefit by, that is able to give back to the community,” says a former local Forest Ranger, “If it couldn’t be a ranger station, I think [TwispWorks] is the next best option.”
The town of Twisp is fewer than fifty miles south of the Canadian border. It spans an entire 1.18 square miles and has a population of 900 living in the surrounding National Forest area. Located in Washington’s Okanogan County, Twisp is surrounded by the Cascade Mountains, the joining of the Twisp and Methow rivers, and over a million acres of federally-protected forests. There is a history of hard-working people who respect the land, and respect the industries that thrive on it – particularly the Forest Service. Twisp is the original Old West town of Washington, and its past is paving the way for a future built on community and creativity.