An Architectural Wonder on Montana’s Flathead Lake

The home that real estate tycoon Donald Abbey built on Montana’s Shelter Island on Flathead Lake is a storied place.

There are tales of lawsuits and unhappy neighbors, grandiose building materials and troubled contractors. (It was completed roughly five years ago and Mr. Abbey no longer owns the property.) But regardless of its past, there is one thing that remains: Shelter Island is an architecturally advanced home on an idyllic piece of land.
Looking past the island’s modern troubles, the story of its past reveals a uniquely special place, says listing agent Dawn Maddux of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty. “The island is named Shelter Island because it was known for providing good shelter to wait out storms in the early 1900s when logging and lake travel was big, and native tribes believed the land to have healing powers.”

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This, we know, translates back to today, as we’re sure watching a storm pass over the lake from the home’s copper observatory is a healing experience.

The stats

The 21,964-square-foot home sits on a private 22.31-acre island in the middle of Flathead Lake. Spread out among three levels, each serviced with an elevator, are five bedrooms and eight full bathrooms. Built in the same architectural style as the main home, a nearly 5,000-square-foot boathouse boasts two additional bedrooms and four full baths. Lastly, a 1,200-square-foot utility facility houses all the toys one would need to entertain both on land and in water.

Amenities

The list here is endless. Imagine a dedicated fish cleaning station for the day’s catch from Flathead Lake, a 45-foot-high great room in the main house, and an underground shooting range. There’s a fireplace large enough to park a motorcycle in and a shower lined completely with Carrara marble. Add in a heated boat slip and an additional covered, drive-in boat dock.

Talking point

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, running 28 miles long by 15 miles wide with 185 miles of shoreline. It’s also considered one of the cleanest lakes in the world. During the spring, cherry trees along its beautiful coast blossom with bright white flowers and the summer brings fresh cherries ripe for picking. In its waters, trout, yellow perch, and whitefish abound, as well as salmon and bass.

 

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