The original farmhouse was built in 1916 as the homestead for the Peterson family. Many of the family still live locally and farm the land that surrounds the Inn. The second owner was Doc Leibold – the town’s only physician for a long time and, by all accounts, a very colorful character. The Leibolds sold the house on to the Chamberlain family, who in turn sold it to Ted and Prue Miller in 1984. It was the Millers who turned the house into a B&B.
In 2021, Trent and Mary Beth Thurman purchased the Inn from Bill and Susan Brager.
The house is a little corner of Fork’s history and is always evolving and transforming.
“. . . . the deep porch that wrapped around the first story. I don’t know what I had expected, but it definitely wasn’t this. The house was timeless, graceful, and probably a hundred years old. It was painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned. The windows and doors were either part of the original structure or a perfect restoration. . . . .”
Excerpt from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, Chapter 15: The Cullens
And that was the beginning of how the Miller Tree Inn came to be known as the “Cullen House.”
Just after the book, Twilight, was released, we started noticing a small trickle of guests talking about a book they had read and asking us where the high school and hospital were located. Soon, we started noticing groups of mostly young girls, having their pictures taken in front of the Forks High School and Forks Outfitters signs. Then the Chamber of Commerce Director and Visitor’s Center Manager told the Chamber Board that they needed to develop a “Twilight Map” because there were so many people coming in and asking where different things were. Finally, in about 2008, the Chamber Board asked the Director and Manager to come up with a “Twilight Tour” utilizing the Logging Tour Van. When they put the tour together, they needed a house for the Cullen family. Since ours matched the book description, we became the “Cullen House.” To help the fans’ imaginations, we put the Cullen name on our mailbox and Esme used to leave messages on a whiteboard on the front porch. Once the movies came out, things really took off, and two different tour companies took over the Twilight tours from the Chamber of Commerce.
Guests at the Inn can see our replica of the graduation cap artwork (from the movie) and our tables are occasionally set with some “Cullen House” pottery mugs, made especially for us.
In the summer of 2011, Carlisle’s Office was added on the second floor. Carlisle’s Office has some old medical equipment and books and some reproductions of pictures and paintings described in the Twilight book.