The Upper Twin Lakes School is significant for its association with early community development in the Upper Twin Lakes district and for its representation of a type of rural schoolhouse architecture that incorporated a greater number of expressive design elements than did the more funtionally designed school buildings. In this regard, Upper Twin Lakes School, like several other examples in the county-wide survey, adds to our understanding of the variety of architectural forms that the more expressively designed schoolhouses utilized in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Of the ten schoolhouses that have been identified in the Central Prairie study group, only this and Prairie School have retained sufficient architectural integrity to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Upper Twin Lakes School was placed on the Register in 1985.
Twin Lakes was apparently among the first areas in the county to be commercially logged when, in about 1882, a sawmill and sash and door outfit were established at the foot of Lower Twin Lake. Shortly thereafter logging operations and later a sawmill were established in the Upper Twin Lake district. Following these developments came an influx of mixed farm and timber homestead settlement. After the Idaho and Washington Northern Railroad was built adjacent to Lower Twin Lake in 1908, a logging spur was extended along the northern shore of Upper Twin Lake. The railroad combined freight service to the timber country with passenger service to the lake. Although the Idaho and Washington Northern mainline greatly expanded the seasonal recreation and excursion activity that had begun to develop around the lake at the turn of the century, the community served by the Upper Twin Lake School remained largely oriented toward the mixed farm and timber economy.
The first school to operate in the Upper Twin Lakes district was the Shove School, situated about a mile above the head of Upper Twin Lake. It continued to serve the logging community in the Upper Twin Lake drainage on an intermittent basis for about the first third of the twentieth century.