A visit to Twain Harte is a chance to experience life in a very different environment than in the city. It’s a town with a difference, you will find tall pine and cedar trees and a beautiful mountain lake.
For centuries before whites appeared in California the MiWok Indians lived, in season, next to what is now Twain Harte Lake.
During the Gold Rush, Twain Harte was the site of flume-and-ditch building to supply water needed to wash the dirt and gravel to yield gold. This system still exists and supplies the county from Lyons Reservoir.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Sugar Pine Railway was built through Twain Harte. This railway carried logs from the high country to the sawmill in Standard.
In the 1920s and 30s, the Twain Harte area was developed as a resort and as what is believed to be the first private housing subdivision in the Sierra. It was named Twain Harte Lodge in the 1920s after the famous authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte, who had lived in the general area. The first version of the well-known Twain Harte “Arch” was built in 1933. The golf course was built in the 1930s. Over the years Twain Harte has developed into a community with several thousand permanent residents.
We’re at the entrance to the forest. It’s the last town with lots of restaurants, shopping, and services before you travel further up highway 108.
Twain Harte is close to both the high country forest and the historic Gold Country towns in the foothills such as Sonora and Columbia.