It’s been said that “Great things happen when men and mountains meet.” Though penned by 18th-century poet William Blake, this phrase applies still to Terry Burton and his excursions into New Hampshire’s White Mountains over the past three decades.
As a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Terry traveled across 48 states and 24 countries, always returning to the towering natural formations of his home state, drawn by the challenge, the solitude and, of course, the scenery.
Turns out, that trifecta was what enticed him to put down roots in the area once and for all. Upon retirement, he left behind a 6,500-square-foot Colonial in a “keeping up with the Joneses” type of community and found solitude on a serene piece of land without a neighbor in sight. The scenery comes from the 300-degree views from his mountain-side perch. And the challenge? Well, that came in the form of a 3,600-square-foot log home.
During the two-year planning and building process, aided by locally headquartered Coventry Log Homes, Terry fine-tuned the plan again and again, eventually hitting the sweet spot with a three-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath floor plan with an open loft and separate wine and music room in the lower level. The chalet-style home, built with 6-by-8-inch eastern white pine D-style logs with butt-and-pass corners, features Craftsman details, exposed beams and drywall accents painted to pay homage to the area’s vibrant natural landscape.
Though it was the sixth custom home Terry had built over the years, he says this one was by far “the most difficult but the most rewarding.” (Apparently, that complication-to-thrill-ratio applies as much to homebuilding as it does to hiking. Terry’s favorite climb is nearby Mount Washington, which is the tallest peak in the northeastern United States and holds the record for the highest surface wind speed ever observed by man.) The challenges that presented themselves during the building process ranged from hitting granite during groundbreaking to discovering an active bear’s den adjacent to the home site.
In both cases, he made the most of each situation. In the former, raising the house to create a lower level — which incidentally resulted in better views and additional room for hobby spaces — and in the latter, establishing a mutually respectful relationship with his furry neighbors.
Surprisingly, Terry says he’s ventured upon far more animals since moving into the home than he ever did during his 30 years of hiking the trails. “I’ve seen moose, deer, coyotes, wolves, bobcats — even three mountain lions,” he says. “As you sit and watch, they just wander by.”
Of course, having walls of glass from nearly every vantage point helps. While designing the house, oversized windows were at the top of Terry’s must-have list and are now one of his favorite features. “In the family room, I can see Cannon Mountain. In the master bedroom, it’s Mount Lafayette, from another bedroom Franconia Heights and in another area the views are to the hills of Easton and Sugar Hill,” he shares.
Like any onlooker, Terry marvels at the beauty of the peaks as they rise into the deep blue sky, but he also stirs with a sense of accomplishment and well-earned pride — first, for having scaled the heights once upon a time and now for having created the perfect home from which to sit back and enjoy the views. “It wasn’t easy,” he says. “But it was well worth the effort.”
Square Footage: 3,600 including lower level, not shown
Baths: 4 full, 1 half
Log Provider/Designer: Coventry Log Homes