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Rockwood Cabins are tucked away in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest in the small town of Twin Peaks (pop. 1501), between Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory, in Southern California.

Built in 1915 by Arthur E. Scoles (A.E.), using large rocks, boulders, and logs from local trees. A.E. had each log boiled in oil, twice, for preservation. A.E. was a civil engineer and an employee of John D. Rockefeller.


In 2017, Rockwood Lodge were was purchased and opened to the public as part of Rockwood Cabins.

Historical Plaque

The historical plaque was handed down to Kelly Flint on January 6, 2017, from the Barbanell Family who were the previous owners of Rockwood Cabins from 1999-2017.  The Barbanell’s received the plaque from C.W. “Bill” Stark who was the owner from 1975-1999, and he received the plaque from Josephine and Fred Ortman.  The Ortmans received the plaque from Florence and Keith Cordrey in June of 1940.


Historical Plaque Transcription:

“Rockwood is entirely the craftsmanship of Arthur E Scoles, a civil engineer who was formerly employed by John D. Rockefeller. After retirement he began construction of the lodge in the fall of 1915, finally completing it in the fall of 1920.  He spent nine months three days and eight hours in actual construction during this five-year period. He was inspired by memories of an old Norse hunting lodge where he spent many happy hours. Logs every kind of tree found in the San Bernardino Mountains including Sugar Pine, Yellow Pine, Jeffrey Pine, Cedar, Fir and Oak were used in its construction. Vermiculation of on the logs was intentionally produced by the propagation of worms.

Later the bark was removed and all the logs were twice boiled in oil as a preservative. During the course of construction and for many years after its completion, Rockwood has been the subject of stories in outdoor periodicals.  The United States Forestry Department wrote Mr. Scoles complementing him upon the design of the lodge, stating that it was the most unique and artistic one known to them in the entire United States.  They further estimated that over 65,000 people visited the lodge during its building period.

The above facts were given to Mr. and Mrs. Fred B. Ortman in a conversation with the builder on August 20, 1937, Mr. Scoles being at the time 76 years old.  During the winter of 1938, Mrs. Ortman again visited Mr. Scoles to confirm the mystery that shrouded Rockwood for many many years.  Was it true, that a small chest containing a book of over 8,000 signatures of visitors, together with the sum of gold was secreted in the masonry of Rockwood?  Mr. Scoles simply smiled and nodded.  Its hiding place, known only to himself, is his cherished memory of happier days.  It is the secret of Rockwood.”

VIDEO: history of Rockwood Cabins
created by Diane Wilk, AIA
California's Other Tradition: The Anglo/Norman Architecture of Hollywood's Secret Hideaways

Hamiinat Magazine Photo Shoot, Photography by Robert John Kley

Historic Homes Magazine

Below is a three-page article in Historical Homes Magazine, year unknown, written by Pam Jones.
(This article is a prized gift from Bill Stark, former owner of  Rockwood Lodge).

Long Beach independent press telegram

Sunday, August 24, 1952 – Long Beach Independent Press Telegram (from

newspaper 1.webp

Photos from previous owner, Bill Stark (1980s)

Bill Stark (far left), Patricia Stark, and a few friends at Rockwood Lodge.  Bill said these were his Elementary School friends. 

(You can see that Rockwood Lodge hasn’t changed much since then!)

Photo of Kelly Flint, owner & C.W. “Bill” Stark, the two times previous owner of Rockwood Lodge.

(Much thanks to Mr. C.W. “Bill” Stark for sharing many documents, stories, and his precious time!  And for treating me to sushi dinner at the Antler’s Inn  AND… for fixing my sliding glass door handle while he visited!).

When Bill Stark put Rockwood Lodge up for sale,
below is the ad he ran in the Mountain Shopper in 1996:
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