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Jenny Price
07/10/2014 11:57 AM
The historic Kirkwood Inn

Nestled at the foot of the Kirkwood Meadow, off Highway 88, the historic Kirkwood Inn will host its 150th Anniversary Celebration on August 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Etched with history, the story of the Kirkwood Inn stretches far back to 1864, when Zachariah S. Kirkwood founded the inn that originally served as a service station providing a hostelry, depot and post office for travelers of the West.

In 1936, ten-year-old June Somerville saw the inn on her way to Twin Lakes with her Girl Scout troop, and peaked inside to take a look. “There wasn’t much of a floor,” Somerville said. “I saw a bar stretching across the room, and I took a picture of the inside. That was 78 years ago.”

Her involvement with the inn resurfaced years later when Somerville and her husband worked there during their honeymoon. She familiarized herself with the area, making friends with locals, and building the Kirkwood Meadow Lodge down the road.

Now, in her late 80s, Somerville has a wealth of knowledge that traces back to the early 1900s and her adventures through the rolling mountains of the Sierra Nevadas. Somerville’s personal history with the inn led to the writing of her first book, “Legend of a Road: A Witness to the Exploration and Immigration on the Road Above Silver Lake and Beyond.” Readers are transcended into a journey through the mountains as she tells the story of the Emigrant Trail.

Her second book, which she is currently writing, will take the reader back in time to 1823, where cattle and sheep drives, fur traders and the Mexican War were the prevailing issues of the time.

Somerville will be honored at the anniversary celebration, and will be signing books and storytelling of a time long ago. All are encouraged to attend and listen to tales of bygone days. “I’m so happy to be able to share old stories I have, besides putting them in a book,” she said.

The 150th Anniversary Celebration is expected to take place all day, with Somerville’s storytelling and book signing at 3 p.m. There will be a celebration barbecue, drink specials, a horseshoe tournament, corn hole game and 1800s period costumes. For more information, visit

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