Twisp Ranger Station

Twisp Ranger Station
This 6.4 acre campus, now known as TwispWorks, was purchased by the U.S. Forest Service in 1929.
What started as a complex of a few buildings grew into an economic and community hub of the Methow Valley.

The hundreds of people who worked here the next 80 years had a hand in the preservation and management of thousands of acres of forest and wildlife.

1932-1939 During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established several camps in the Methow Valley. Hundreds of unemployed, unmarried men in the CCC fought fires and built campgrounds, bridges and roads in the forests. At the Twisp complex, the CCC built the residences on Lincoln Street, the Bunkhouse, the Gray Shed, the Shop and the North and South Warehouses.

1939 The Twisp Complex was the base for the first “live jump” firefighting experiments, marking the birth of smokejumping. The operation moved to the North Cascades Smokejumper base in 1940, where you can visit today.

1941 The Wagner Mill opened in Twisp in 1941. At its peak, the mill employed around 400 people. The mill closed in 1985, after changing hands twice since the Wagner family owned it.

1950’s Employees working from the Twisp Complex built trails and lookouts, watched for fires, monitored timber sales and grazing on the Twisp Ranger District, and maintained roads in the Forest.

1980’s The Youth Conservation Corps brought young people from around the country to fight fires and work on projects around the Methow Valley. Forest Service employees helped educate local children about wildfires with the Smokey the Bear program.

1994 The Twisp and Winthrop Ranger Districts were combined to become the Methow Valley Ranger District. In 2002, the main office for Methow Valley Ranger District moved to Winthrop. The Twisp Site became a work center.

2008 The Twisp Public Development Authority was chartered by the Town of Twisp to redevelop the Twisp Complex. The property was purchased thanks to an anonymous community member, and TwispWorks was created.