There are two primary structures, a main home and a guest villa, located on the island supported by a mountain of infrastructure. The current owner and her late husband began construction in the 1990s following their acquisition of the island. The effort continued for roughly a decade before construction was halted when the owners decided to relocate their future to Lake Tahoe.
“The Villa”, as it is called, was designed to resemble a 16th-century French architectural masterpiece. Though unfinished, this 45,000+ square foot structure is extraordinary in stature and style. It was originally designed to have 3-4 bedrooms with 9 bathrooms, but the free span nature of the construction would allow for a complete redesign of the interior floor plan to accommodate many uses ranging from a primary residence to a clubhouse for a luxury boutique resort.
The concrete shell was cast in place and reinforced with epoxy coated rebar. From the ground up, every component of construction was employed with the idea that it should last over a thousand years. The color of the masonry on the walls is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for good reason. This “Montana Travertine” comes from near Gardiner, Montana, just outside the north gate of Yellowstone National Park. It is a “Battered Masonry” installation with 4’ x 2.5’ stones for corners. All cut stone is Dolomitic Limestone with a “tapestry finish” and was sourced from Vetter Stone in Minnesota. It is very hard (Class 2 psi) and handles freeze thaw cycles exceptionally well.
The terracotta tile roof is from Ludowici, an Italian manufacturer. It is grouted in at the face on a seismic chain. The windows, doors, fascia boards, soffits, and freeze boards are Swietenia Mahogany, a dense rainforest wood that came out of a Caribbean plantation. The windows have tilt-turn hardware and the doors have custom manufactured solid brass olive knuckle hinges. The tile on the decks is Hautville that has been cut in 24-inch squares that are 1.25 inches thick. They are set flat in sand allowing proper drainage without the need for any pitch.
The twin symmetrical and suspended staircases inside the main entrance are inspired by the hanging staircase in the Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, South Carolina, which was constructed in 1908. There is also an impressive helical staircase in the north tower.
Three-phase electrical service to the island is provided via a submerged cable. It is sized to handle everything previously contemplated to be built by the current owner, with plenty of headroom if other structures are desired.
All utilities are housed remotely between The Villa and The Guest Villa so as to minimize any noise interference with the quiet enjoyment of The Villa. There are redundant boilers and pumps built to serve the radiant floor heat that is installed throughout.
With three 8,000 gallon diesel fuel tanks, the 750 kW Caterpillar backup generator is capable of generating off-grid power for 8-12 weeks.
There are five fire vaults, each with a two-inch line capacity: three at the Villa, one at The Guest Villa, and the other near the dock. There is also 30-40k gallons of water storage buried under The Villa.
The Guest Villa
A short distance away, the Guest Villa is, in essence, finished. Though it is livable today and ready for occupancy, there are a few finishing touches that a new owner can style to their preference. It would be equally suitable for use as a caretaker’s residence or a guest home. All utilities for the Guest Villa are delivered through a distribution network in underground tunnels from The Villa.
The boat dock has five slips varying in size. Originally built for a 65 foot yacht, the largest slip is believed to be capable of handling a yacht up to 70 feet. There is an underground shooting range located in the area of the main villa that accommodates targets up to a 100 yard distance. The only other structures on the island are temporary. For deeply sentimental reasons, the “hospitality” home currently located along the island’s east shoreline next to the dock area, is scheduled to be moved to the mainland in the spring of 2022, where ownership will be retained by Mrs. Lee.
The island has two functioning wells. One well, servicing the Villa and Guest Villa, is documented to pump at a rate of 30 gallons per minute from a depth of 290 feet, and the other, servicing the dock area, is documented to pump at a rate of 24 gallons per minute from a depth of 340 feet.
There is also a Permit to Appropriate Water pumped directly from Flathead Lake for 399.66 acres at a flow rate of 1,316 gallons per minute for irrigation, lawn and garden, recreation, and stock.