Famous log ‘mansion’ in Yellowstone area sold

By LEO WOLFSON Cody Enterprise

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — The famous Smith Mansion along US 14-16-20 West has a new owner.

In October, the structure and its surrounding 5.04 acres were sold to Zhiru Huang of Mountain Lodging.

Huang also owns the Holiday Lodge, as well as the Green Creek Inn and RV Park that borders the Smith Mansion property to the northeast in Wapiti. She said it was a video promoting the property that sparked her desire to purchase, thinking of what could be.

The deed was granted in October.

The purchase price is not publicly available but the property was listed at $500,000 as of June. That’s $250,000 less than when the mansion was first put on the market in August 2018. According to Realtor.com, a national listing site of for-sale properties, the property values at $414,300.

Huang said she is unsure of what the future will hold for the property as far as the mansion, but she does plan to add to her Green Creek business on the north portion of the property directly adjacent to US 14-16-20 West.

She said one of her first priorities will be to secure and close off the mansion, which has experienced trespassing and looting in the past.

“We’d prefer not so much traffic and want to make sure it’s safe,” she said.

Huang said there would be a possibility the mansion could be incorporated into lodging or as a tourist spot, but also wouldn’t rule out the chance it might be demolished.

“We’d like to think of something practical,” Huang said. “There is a lot of interest to see such a special building.”

The 75-foot-tall, five-story log cabin is an eclectic creation from the late engineer Francis Lee Smith. Each floor has a porch and deck, with a crow’s nest spire on the top, offering unobstructed 360-degree views of the Absaroka range, Shoshone National Forest and Cody.

Smith started building the home in 1971 as a family cabin, taking three years to build a foundation and hand-excavate the site. After hauling around 300 logs down from Rattlesnake Mountain by truck and horse, the unique creation started to take shape.

Smith died while working on the home in 1992.

His daughter Sunny Smith-Larsen was selling the property. Scott Richard of Richard Realty was the selling agent.

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