HOME OF THE YEAR HISTORY: Award-Winning Residence Reclaims Historic Materials
We weave history into each of the houses we build; the personal histories of our clients, the geographic history of the place, the American history of the reclaimed materials we source. Look closely and the historical narratives surface.
Take, for instance, the weathered log we used within the Home of the Year (as dubbed by Mountain Living magazine). The timbers were first square-cut to frame the historic Pipestone hotel, which sat alongside a set of thermal hot springs in southwestern Montana. All shared the same nomenclature: Pipestone refers to the mottled pink clay lining the Big Pipestone Creek, an argillaceous stone used by the American Indians to make carved objects like tobacco pipes.
As the hero of this sourcing story, the Pipestone resort began as a retreat for prospectors in the late 19th century, who sought refuge in the protected mineral pools. In 1870, a man by the name of John Paul bought the land and built accommodations. Ownership changed hands in 1912 when John Alley—an attorney with nearby Butte’s powerful Anaconda Copper Mining Company—purchased the property. The Alleys continue to operate Pipestone Hot Springs, though the hotel closed down in 1963.
In its heyday, the Pipestone resort featured a dancing lodge, drinking pavilion and a cluster of guest cabins. According to a WPA directory of Montana, Pipestone admission cost 25 cents for children and 35 cents for adults. A bargain. And a rich history now honored within the Home of the Year. The weathered logs frame the custom residence and thereby define the architectural signature of a JLF design. Then as now, the logs tell a quintessentially Western story of a dream manifested.