The River Junction Ranch provides an idyllic woodland and riverside setting for five structures: the Main House, Clubhouse, River Pavilion, Stables and the Historic Barn. Each of the improvements has been painstakingly planned to provide the highest quality construction and a luxurious feel, while masterfully capturing the rustic ambiance of classic western architecture. Featured in Architectural Digest (Rooted in the West, June 2003), the property consistently blends the old and the new, the classic and the innovative. From in-floor radiant heat coupled with old-fashioned steam radiators to the use of massive timbers and stone juxtaposed against stainless steel chairlift cable for handrails at the Clubhouse, the architectural firm headed by Nick Fullerton, Fullerton Architects, PC, created a true western masterpiece worthy of the location on the banks of one of the West’s most iconic rivers. Interior design work was provided by Kari Demond of KLM Interiors in Austin, Texas.
Main House (4,860± square feet, approximately)
The main house provides four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms plus a powder room situated in an intimate forested setting overlooking open meadows and small seasonal ponds. Views of the rolling Garnet Mountain range grace the southern exposures while to the north, the snowcapped peaks on the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness areas compete for attention. At capacity, the main house will sleep up to 12 guests with the capacity for two additional people staying in the comfortable studio above the garage.
Built in 2003 and designed to imitate a rustic log home with additions, the architects skillfully blended rough-hewn logs, dry-stack stonework and a variety of other finishes to create a work of art that appears for all the world to have been in place for over 100 years. A classic screened-porch gives an Adirondack feel, while a variety of floor materials gives each section of the house a different, unique ambiance. Among the home’s many special features are wood floors with a distressed blue paint finish in the guest rooms, flagstone floors, copper fixtures, barn-wood and tin roof wainscoting and a hidden media center. These design features sustain a rustic feel that was purposefully engineered to create an add-on feel that accurately reflects the ambiance of 19th century homestead while still retaining all the conveniences of 21st century construction. A separate mudroom entrance, towering stone chimney, built-in barbeque, hot tub and separate cooks quarters over the detached three-car garage are additional features that round out this home. The master suite offers several additional innovations, including a corrugated tin shower stall and dual copper sinks and a private entrance onto the hot tub equipped patio. The innovative floor plan combines the kitchen, dining and living areas into an open area like the most modern of designs, while segmenting the bedrooms to create maximum privacy under one roof. Professional-grade appliances and custom cabinetry round out the kitchen. A bunkroom on the lower level ensures plenty of space for children or grandchildren.
Clubhouse (4,306± square feet, approximately)
The Clubhouse is the crowning achievement of this property and immediately makes one feel that one is the sole resident of your own private national park. Built from massive stone blocks and pillars of old-growth western larch, this timber frame masterpiece boasts floor-to-ceiling windows high on a bluff over the river with grand views of the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat wilderness areas to the north. The artful blending of stone, massive timbers, glass and steel perfectly captures today’s haute western architecture by blending traditional and new materials. The dry-stack rock indoor/outdoor fireplace lets one enjoy the setting in any weather and the ample square footage provides all the gaming area one could want while still maintaining an intimate feel. A classic hand-carved bar salvaged from a historic saloon provides just the right accent to create an old-time feel and the perfect backdrop for any of life’s celebrations. Even the his and hers washrooms have been carefully planned to recreate a classic 1930s Chicago feel, with real steam radiators, marble tiling and historic porcelain fixtures.
The Clubhouse is also set up for entertaining and large professionally staffed events. A full professional kitchen ensconced behind the bar equipped with stainless steel counters, a Wolfe range, Subzero refrigeration and an overflow pantry, ensure that the Clubhouse can accommodate a large catering staff and provide the ideal facility for large family events, charitable events, fundraisers or corporate functions. Overflow parking is readily available a short stroll down the ranch road. Downstairs, behind a secret stairwell there is an exercise area with dual showers and a secure wine cellar that walks out to a lower patio area below the main deck level.
Historic Barn (2,460± square feet, approximately)
The Historic Barn was located by the current owners from a nearby homestead and painstakingly reconstructed on-site. Resting on a base of native Chief Cliff stone with a cobblestone approach, plank fencing and a spacious circular drive, this structure blends seamlessly with the landscape yet manages an understated elegance. Inside, the lower level hosts a dining/dancing area with full kitchen that hides artfully behind sliding barn wood doors. A stage has been installed at the rear of the main level, offering a venue for the talents of children or hired entertainment, as desired. This addition makes the old barn an ideal place to host evening social events such as a chuck wagon dinner or an old-style barn dance.
Upstairs, the Fullerton/Demond Team created a vignette of the old west that is unparalleled by other offerings currently on the market in Montana. This upper-level common area provides a comfortable hideaway while being situated at the heart of the recreational smorgasbord offered at the River Junction. One delightful surprise after another is discovered as one takes in the astonishing attention to detail. Period lighting and cleverly disguised utilities provide the final touches to this remarkable re-make of an historic structure.
Stable (3,840± square feet, approximately)
Located approximately 100-yards from the Historic Barn, the River Junction’s stable facility offers a six-stall, true timber frame structure complete with everything one would expect from a state-of-the-art equestrian facility. An equine shower, heated tack room, hay storage, extra equipment storage, a laundry facility, half bath, and small convenience kitchen are all just as one would expect: perfectly designed and executed and creating the ideal facility for integrating equestrian activity with the rest of the ranch’s recreational amenities.
Upstairs, wrangler’s quarters and a large common room that could be used either as an additional indoor recreation area or as a conference/meeting facility further expand the utility of the ranch’s improvements.
River Pavilion (1,230± square feet, approximately)
The River Pavilion provides an ideal riverside luxury venue for starting or ending a float. Situated on a low bluff just steps away from a sandy beach and across the river from one of the best fishing holes on the river, this open air structure features native cedar construction with large, bark-on flared cedar logs for pillars and beams. A massive arched river rock fireplace, catering kitchen, restrooms and an outdoor shower round out this simple but elegant addition to River Junction’s amazing improvements. While the ranch’s private put-in/take-out spot is a short distance upstream, one can readily launch canoes or kayaks from the River Pavilion. Perhaps its ideal use is for mid-float stopovers as its location is conveniently about halfway between two of the river’s more famous points of embarkation. Alternatively, the facility lends itself to mellow evenings with a fly rod and a cocktail as one plies the deep hole and upstream riffles for large trout.
Master Residence Building Site
No description of the improvements would be complete without mention of the bankside building site that has been reserved in the conservation easement with power and phone already stubbed in. This masterpiece location was selected to provide the ultimate in privacy and proximity to the river and was originally planned for a master residence (blueprints available).