Sentinel Pine- Grand Estate of the Old West For Sale

The Sentinel Pine is one of the last remaining grand estates of the “old west.” It boasts a long and rich history, dating back to its purchase by the current owner’s family in 1944.

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JL McLaughlin of Great Falls was one of the West’s most prominent general contractors between 1925 and 1960. He named this spectacular Swan Lake property for its landmark Ponderosa pine, believed to be one of the oldest in the country, which overlooks the lake. For more than 70 years, McLaughlin and his descendants have continuously used the property as a summer home. Its capacious and comfortable accommodations have made it a gathering place for both business associates and personal friends, hosting many major renowned politicians, industrialists, military figures, artists, educators, and even sports figures. In 2015 the Montana Board of Tourism used the Sentinel Pine, with its majestic vistas, for a photography shoot.

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McLaughlin was perhaps best known as one of the Primary Contractors for the famous Going-To-The-Sun Highway in Glacier Park. He also built numerous dams throughout the West including the Hungry Horse and Libby dams. Other construction projects included several hundred miles of the Trans-Canadian and Alaskan Highways and partial construction of several airports, such as Boeing Field and Sea-Tac in Seattle. Additionally, he was involved in the manufacture of military tanks and armored vehicles for the federal government. McLaughlin was active in civic affairs in Great Falls and the state of Montana. As a philanthropist he contributed significantly to numerous colleges and hospitals and was a major benefactor of Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. The McLaughlin Research Institute, a major independent US biotechnology laboratory, still bears his name.

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As his business interests and networks grew, McLaughlin used the property’s spacious and comfortable accommodations to host numerous prominent individuals, many of them on an annually recurring basis. Among politicians, one regular guest for two decades was Burton K. Wheeler, perhaps Montana’s most famous senator. Mike Mansfield, who served for 34 years in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate before becoming US Ambassador to Japan, was also a guest. John Hoeven, former Governor and current U.S. Senator from North Dakota, frequented the property in his youth. Business partners and associates included the heads of Kaiser – Permanente, Genstar, and other co-venture partners with Mr. McLaughlin. Reginald Jennings, one of Calgary’s most prominent business leaders and owner of the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League visited annually for many years. Cornelius Kelley, who made the Anaconda Copper Company the third largest corporation in the world, regularly dropped in by boat, from next-door Kootenai Lodge, which is now registered as a federal national historical site. Because of McLaughlin’s involvement in the defense industry, generals and other military figures were also guests. Among them was General Charles Sweeney, the only man who flew on both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing missions in 1945.

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Not all of the visitors have been business associates. Sentinel Pine has also hosted several renowned western artists who have found inspiration from its mountain vistas. These have included Nicholas de Grandmaison of Canada, Branson Stevenson of Great Falls, Elmer Sprunger of nearby Bigfork, and more recently, well-known bronze sculptor Eric Thorsen. Others who have enjoyed the estate’s hospitality include NHL Hall of Fame hockey player Red Dutton, bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church, and Prof. Dudley Herschbeck, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. Additionally, Harry Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College and chair of its computer science department, has been a partial owner of Sentinel Pine where he has summered every year for more than half a century, often accompanied by other leaders of Harvard College.

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The Sentinel Pine is a grand legacy estate set on 30 acres with 2100 feet of Swan Lake frontage. This timeless and one-of-a-kind property, with a rich history and owned by one family for 72 years, now presents a once- in-a- lifetime ownership opportunity. Its manicured lawns feature 4 separate homes and 3 cabins. The property can comfortably accommodate 20 people. The central Main Lodge features a stunning old-world living room with a Montana rock fireplace. Its spacious dining room and wraparound cocktail area feature great mountain and lake vistas. Its large, covered, three-slip dock and beach create an unsurpassed watersport heaven. With a tennis court, ball field, and more you have the perfect place to build lifelong family memories for generations to come!This unique property can be purchased as a single 30 acre estate or it can be separated into a 21 acre and a 9 acre parcel. The 21 acre parcel would include the historic log residences, guest cabins, boat dock, beach area, tennis court, caretakers home and maintenance buildings. The 9 acre parcel would include the more contemporary “Point House” along with a very private entry and possible additional building site. This unique parcel has apx. 700 feet of Swan Lake frontage.

14833 Sunburst Dr , Bigfork, MT – Exclusively offered by Patrick Hanes, Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Tallest Single-Family Home in the U.S. for Sale

This Prescott, Arizona home offers an unparalleled bird’s eye view. Known as the Falcon Nest, the 124-foot-tall residence is on the market for $1.5 million and includes three bedrooms, four baths, and uninhibited views of the surrounding valley. Designed by Phoenix architect Sukumar Pal in 1994, the 6,200-square foot property utilizes many forms of alternative power to limit the energy consumption of its luxurious amenities, including a hydraulic elevator to transport guests from the garage to the living area.


Though the home is ten stories high, the sixth floor—known as the solarium—is the main attraction, consisting of 2,000 square feet of glass-paneled living space, comprising two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, and a common room.


Guests can enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding scenery, including the San Francisco Peaks 120 miles in the distance, through the solarium’s windowed walls and ceilings. The listing provides some unconventional ideas for the uniquely-shaped pad, including transforming the nest into a luxury bed and breakfast radio tower, or observatory. (Source: Architectural Digest)


**Falcon Nest Can be repurposed as: 

1. The home could be used as an educational institution for geology, sustainability, and other topics, with informal classrooms and lecture halls. Here, the state university board as well as the local colleges such as Yavapai and Prescott College could be solicited.

2. This could be a ranger station/trailhead/museum for the Thumb Butte area, offering guidance, artifacts and tour information for the area. Here the state parks department would be contacted.

3. The home could become a bed and breakfast, offering unique view opportunities, spa amenities and onsite chef preparation.

4. The home could become multi-purpose, with offices and spaces to rent/lease.

5. The home could become multi-tenant, for high-end prospects.

6. The home could be used as an event venue, for weddings, special events, etc.


Property Marketed By – Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Click here to view extraordinary Montana real estate!

Sotheby’s International Realty® Brand and New Story Partnership (Video)

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand is proud to announce that it has partnered with New Story, a non-profit organization that puts 100% of donations toward transforming dangerous living environments into communities of safe, sustainable homes, for $6,000 a home.

Why did we choose New Story as a partner?

100% of donations go directly to the field. They operate with completely separate overhead cost so every dollar donated goes straight to building homes. Donors have the ability to see the exact family they’re sponsoring, along with the supplies and costs their donation is covering. In the beginning, the donor receives a photo of the family and their story. When the home is completed, they are delivered a move-in video to share in the excitement of this incredible effort.
They hire local labor and buy domestic materials to boost the country’s economy. New Story does more than build houses – they provide jobs and economic stability for the communities they service.

Meet the Guillaume Family from Haiti, the recipients of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand donation.

FamilyWith four young kids, dirt floors, and barely-there walls, it is difficult for Yphonise to keep her family healthy. She told us how both she and her children have been getting ill. “The house leaks, the wood is rotting. I do not feel safe.”

Shortly before a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Yphonise optimistically moved to the seaside town of Bercy. “I wanted to be closer to my family”, she said. The home she moved into would be destroyed soon thereafter, along with almost every other home in her new community. To aid in short-term suffering, NGOs came to her town to distribute tarp tents. These tents were intended to last for a few weeks or months but temporary tent settlements have now turned into nightmarish slum villages in various parts of Haiti. Families like Yphonise’s have been living like this for nearly 7 years.

See the full story here.

Watch this video to get a closer look at New Story, who was just named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” for 2017 in their not-for-profit sector.


Women In Real Estate – Making A Difference

Making a positive difference in our communities is the foundation of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty. Last week several of our Real Estate Professionals volunteered their time and construction skills to help Habitat For Humanity of Flathead Valley.

Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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Did you know? Historically, women have been involved in real estate almost since its inception in 1794 and its establishment as a legitimate business in the 1840s. 58 percent of all REALTORS® are female. In 1996, women represented the majority of broker licensees for the first time. Source (

Here is what our Real Estate Professionals had to say:


“I’ve always enjoyed volunteering, I believe we all must give back to the community we are a part of. What I really enjoy about Habitat for Humanity is that everyone starts out with a small task and through teamwork a much larger task is accomplished. It was great to experience  the first walls of a house go up at the end of the day, walls that took 20 volunteers nailing various boards together to complete. It was a very rewarding experience and I will definitely do it again.” – Maggie Lee

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“I’ve always been a hands on person who loves giving back to my community. I grew up in Montana so it’s important for me to share the gift of living here with others. Prior to working at this build site I had bought from the Habitat For Humanity store to help support their awesome cause. One of my favorite moments was when one of the guys running the program told us about a kid who came up to him and was so excited that he was finally getting a home so he wouldn’t have to move anymore and he could play sports and be a part of a team. It made me realize what we are doing is not just providing a house for a family but also stability. I definitely look forward to volunteering with them again.” – Ashley Brunette 

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Sonja“Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity was a truly heartwarming experience. The most rewarding part was working as a team towards the goal of helping a local family realize the dream of homeownership. Giving back in this way, knowing that we helped a family build a better life felt pretty amazing. I will definitely take part in this rewarding opportunity again.” – Sonja Burgard

Habitat 6Cynthia“Even though it was 45 degrees and rained pretty much non-stop, I had a great time building with Habitat.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment by being a small part of something so big as building a home for a young family.  We were able to meet the mom and kids which made it that much more special.  As I drove away from the build site and saw the first wall standing that we helped to erect, I felt that not only were we helping to build their home but we were helping to strengthen the community by giving them a safe, comfortable place to live.” – Cynthia Dearing

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Elegant Commercial Space In Whitefish

This former residence in the commercial district of Baker Ave, Whitefish is now transformed into a functional and elegant small office–a perfect office for a builder, interior designer, perhaps an architect or lawyer.

2What the current owner has to say:

North Country Builders, Inc. of Whitefish has operated successfully out of this Baker Ave. office for the past eight years, after buying the residence and performing the remodeling in 2008.  The 865 square foot space now contains two individual office spaces with built-in desks, good storage and up-to-date wiring.  Additionally, the office contains a fully functional kitchen and ADA compliant bathroom.  One section of the office serves well as a conference room with a large, custom built conference table and convenient book shelves.  Nearby, a gas fireplace lends warm ambiance.  The office entry area offers two south facing banks of bright windows and can serve as a sunroom, display area or additional work space.  The office also has a full basement functioning as storage area and a small shop.

Structurally, the office is very sound.  The original wall construction is comprised of three horizontal courses of brick enclosed inside and out with plaster and stucco.  Remodeling included a complete new roof frame, architectural asphalt shingles and R-49 fiberglass insulation.  The original windows, though beautiful, were inefficient.  They too have all been replaced with historically accurate and super-efficient, Sierra Pacific, wood-clad, casements.


From the street side, curb appeal is extraordinary with the clean lines of a well-designed, craftsman style home, and the added amenity of a lovely stone and stucco chimney.  Enhancing the visual appeal of the office itself, professional landscaping includes a pleasant variety of trees, shrubs and two or three small flower gardens.  All the original old-growth trees have been carefully retained, which offer added depth to the lawn and gardens.  The paved driveway and parking area are bordered by an interesting stone wall, enhanced with a radius entry of cultured stone.  A “dry creek bed” composed of all the native stones unearthed during construction is another focal point from the street or sidewalk.


The office is located at the south end of Baker Avenue, in the transition area from residential zoning to commercial, and this office is an appropriate commercial use within this zoning district.  Baker Avenue is one of two main thoroughfares entering Whitefish.  While heavy, commercial truck traffic is not allowed, there is a steady stream of personal vehicles on the street and a well-used sidewalk that maintains the office in the public eye.  In fact, this little office has become a very pleasant transitional landmark from the commercial end of Baker Ave to the more relaxed residential end.

In short, the office that is now the home of North Country Builders, Inc. is perfectly located, beautifully transformed and fully functional as a small office—the sale of which is now a golden opportunity  for the next small-business owner.

Contact Hunter Homes 406.314.1417 or Cynthia Dearing 406.260.1201 for more details or a showing.


The Art Of Real Estate With Tracy Rossi

Though she grew up in Seattle, Real Estate Professional, Tracy Rossi finished high school in Seeley Lake – Montana, and quickly decided she wanted to be an influential part of her community.  At 18, she would go to her local real estate office daily asking if they needed any help.

“After weeks of stopping in they finally said, here is a stack of magazines, envelopes and stamps. Within two days I had everything mailed out, and asked, what’s next?”

It wasn’t long before Tracy became a licensed assistant and was on her way to writing contracts, creating marketing strategies and learning every aspect of the real estate industry.

In 2005, the desire to travel and explore inspired Tracy to move out to California to go to school for interior design. She would still come home to the pristine landscape of Montana every summer and though California proved to be a valuable experience Tracy moved back 3 years later.

“It was the time away that made me truly appreciate the beauty of Montana.” Tracy says.

Why is Montana Real Estate your calling?

“I wanted to be a part of people’s biggest financial decision. I love gaining the trust of a homebuyer & seller so they know I have their best interests in mind and I get to provide them with the best information, and walk them through the entire process. Recently, I worked with a couple who had a bad experience. They had been searching for a house for 18 months, worked through Zillow and other platforms, lost all their earnest money, upwards of $17,000 and then didn’t even get the house! Fortunately, a friend of mine referred them to me and I could tell they needed representation. With today’s technology, we are competing with computers, and I was thrilled to show them the power of having an agent.  Ultimately, I saved them time & money and they ended up closing on a house they love.”

Why did you choose to work with Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty?

“The team here felt more intimate and diverse, with a real emphasis on service. There are so many qualified realtors with this company who love their communities. We also have incredible opportunities with Sotheby’s International Realty to showcase Montana real estate all over the world.”

Tracy Listing

Featured Listing – 1290-1292 Birch Point Dr. Whitefish

Arguably one of the best views of Whitefish Lake and Whitefish Mountain Resort through floor to ceiling windows from this Birch Point Drive home, with guest house. Open floor plan with room to entertain, large decks, outdoor fireplace and boat dock.

Tracy exterior

What do you love about the Flathead Valley?

“The beauty and closeness of the communities. Each town is so different and there isn’t anywhere else that has this much to offer. We have so many lakes, Glacier National Park, two ski hills and diversity, all in close proximity.

If you could tell a homebuyer or seller one thing what would it be?

“To the seller – trust your agent when they provide you with your comparative market analysis (CMA). We truly do have your best interest at heart. To the homebuyer – be open with your agent about what you are looking for so they show you relevant properties and respect your time.”

Other than helping people achieve their real estate dreams, what are your interests?

I have a goal to get my passport stamped once a year. I’ve always loved traveling and seeing new places and learning about different cultures. I think these experiences help you grow as a person. This also allows me the ability to appreciate my own community and all it has to offer. “

What are words you live by?

“Give top service to everyone because they deserve it.”

Tracy has been involved in marketing and facilitating closings in over $200 million dollars in the Flathead Valley. She has worked every facet of resort real estate sales. She excels in marketing presentation, print, digital and verbal. Her technology skills are exceptional. She has been schooled in interior design and has an artist’s eye and attention to detail for staging and showing homes. She has written hundreds of contracts and knows the real estate document world intimately. There is a lot of detail involved from listing agreements to offers to executed Buy-Sells to inspections to title to closing. Tracy has significant experience at navigating the document world. She is an excellent communicator who understands the importance of how each client prefers to be communicated with. She has a very good sense of priority and expectations and is driven by her own pursuit of excellence. Tracy cares about and gives back to her community through volunteer work.

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Contact Tracy Rossi  at 406.763.6808 or

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