In 1972, Deb Williams took a train from her native Minnesota to Montana, intending to take just a couple of months off from college. “I came out for winter quarter—and I stayed for five years!” she recalls with a laugh.

Deb never forgot her love of Montana. It was a passion her entire family came to share as they vacationed each summer in a rented log cabin in Glacier National Park, hiking, kayaking and picking huckleberries for homemade jam. The prospect of owning their own piece of paradise eluded the family, however, until one winter day in 1995, when they heard about a 40-acre plot for sale at the foot of Strawberry Mountain.

“[My husband] called me from the cell phone and said, ‘Honey, you won’t believe the view. We look right into Glacier,’” Deb recalls. “I said, ‘Buy it! If you like it, I know I’ll love it.’”

Building a Legacy
The home’s design was a collaborative effort between the Williams and Wisconsin-based architect Marv Woodworth, who drafted blueprints for many of the homes Deb’s husband, David, built in Minnesota. “The mountains are the focus here, so it was important for our home to blend in—especially with its green roof and dark brown logs,” Deb says.

The decor was just as important to Deb, who handled her own interior design. She evoked a comfortable lodge atmosphere by incorporating casual leather furnishings, Native American artifacts, sturdy Douglas fir hardwood floors and wool rugs that can stand up to snow-covered boots. A fireplace, crafted from stones the family gathered from riverbeds around Montana, warms the great room.

“I always knew I’d be back here some day,” Deb says. Although she and David still have a residence in Minnesota, they escape to their mountain home as often as they can to hike, ski, snowshoe or simply watch sunsets over the Belton Hills. “It’s more than just a getaway house,” she insists. “It’s about the passion that we have for the park.”

Read the full story in the January 2007 issue of Log Home Living.