People come to the Sawtooths for the Mountains and the River. The Sawtooths give birth to the Salmon River. The river flows through and creates a corridor for fish and adventure. Bob and Marcia came to be a part of that adventure. They fell in love with the river, Stanley and the Sawtooths while guiding for Sevy Guide Service. Land was available. A lot was picked and purchased in the Gateway Subdivision in 1977. 300 trees were purchased in the summer of 1979. With help from friends the logs were cut and peeled, stacked to dry while we waited the birth of baby #1. The foundation was poured in late fall (a challenge since the weather was very cold; hot springs water had to be used to mix the concrete so it wouldn't freeze too fast). Construction began in earnest in June of 1983. Kate was almost 4, Jesse 1 and we lived in a tiny log house with rest of the building crew in downtown Stanley.
With the help of Cousin Don, family and friends (John drove halfway across the country), and some creative engineering, the walls went up, the roof went on, the windows in, and we had ourselves a shell!
The next several years were devoted to creating interior walls, the stairway, and the 4 bedroom two bath pattern was set. We had many adventures camping out in the cabin - cooking in a toaster oven plugged in to what would become a bedroom wall. We had winter fun where the "running water" wasn't in the pipes, but along the hall floor. Many beautiful days were spent cross country skiing, then hurrying back to the cabin for a nice warm fire.
The living room/dining area with large wood stove (a Marcia yard sale find) became a comfortable gathering place. Over the years many yard sale couches, chairs, lamps have rotated through the cabin, including some from the estate of Bill Harrah.
The dining table and interior doors were built by Bob with the help of Marcia's father, Jesse Graham. Jesse and Maggie also located the large iron light fixtures in an old hotel in Montana. They seemed to fit right in.
The first kitchen cabinets were from a yard sale (remember, Bob and Marcia are teachers) and they were "made to fit" as well as could be expected.
In 2012 Bob completely redid the floors and kitchen, adding custom designed and built cabinetry and new countertop. The old original tongue and groove wood floor cleaned up nicely; brand new furniture and lamps graced the living room. The cabin has never looked better!
The Lodge has been available for rental since 1988 and has been the site of many family celebrations, weddings and memorials. It is also the focal point for lots of "family tradition" gatherings where children who were brought to the lodge are now bringing their children. Holiday gatherings - for Presidents' Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas - all take place at the lodge. The annual Stanley Community Christmas Reading has taken place at the Lodge for over 15 years.
We started with a vision and some logs, brought our children to help build the place and enjoy all the area offers. Now they bring their children and the celebrations continue. We all still stare in wonder at the Sawtooths, the Whiteclouds, the Salmon River. Many hundreds of guests through several generations, have returned to the lodge.
Things We Are Often Asked
- The Lodge was not constructed from a kit. Bob with help from many cut, peeled and racked the logs and had the vision of what they would become.
- Yes, getting the large trusses and roof supports up was a feat! We couldn't afford a crane so Bob and cousin Don rigged up a system of pulleys using boat winches (very creative those cousins).
- There is a telephone. We started out not able to get a phone. After several years we were lucky to get on a party line for local calls. After years of that we got a dedicated line and long distance service. In about 2011 cell phones began to work in Stanley! Ah, progress!
- The photographic art throughout the cabin is Bob's.
- The wildlife mounts come from a variety of places - most are the harvests Bob and Jesse have made over the years. A few have been donated by friends.
- You only need to bring your food & toys. All else is provided.
- Cell service is available. Guests use cell service connections for the internet.
- There is a hot tub.