If you were a musician in the ’70s and ’80s, you probably heard of Eric T. Schabacker. Well known in the recording industry and Orlando music scene as founder of Bee Jay Recording Studios, Schabacker was the first person to use computers in the recording business and worked with noted bands and artists from Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Emmylou Harris, to Joey Dee & The Starliters, Rossington Collins Band, Gary Wright, Backstreet Boys, Jimmy Page, and Lynard Skynard, to name a few. You can read all about Schabacker’s illustrious music career here, but today’s story is about the house that Schabacker built.
Years in the making with meticulous attention to detail – I am told the owner planned and supervised construction daily – Schabacker retreated to the Ozark Mountains in 1994 to build a beautifully secluded and dreamlike musician’s compound complete with 88 acres overlooking Beaver Lake and the heavily wooded mountain landscape of Northwest Arkansas.
“He designed the home himself,” says listing agent, John Whiteside of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “To say he is detail oriented would be an understatement.”
The stunning lakefront property includes a main house, guest cottage, and multiple outbuildings perched on the side of a mountain with breathtaking Beaver Lake views. The 5,885-square-foot main residence is masterfully designed and backs up to gigantic Ozark limestone bluffs offering protection from the weather as well as picture-perfect views of a seasonal waterfall.
“I have been selling a long time and have never seen a home built as well,” adds Whiteside. “Since I listed it, I have come to know recording engineers pay unbelievable attention to the smallest details, and the big ones fall into place. I have never seen a home built with such quality. The estate reflects his care.” In fact, Schabacker used 2- by 12-inch solid oak slabs for the exterior framing, which was so thick they had to be screwed in.
Originally born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., Schabacker drew inspiration from the iconic summer homes in the Adirondack, located in Upstate New York where his family would vacation during childhood.
Schabacker made a point to integrate the area’s mountainous beauty into the overall construction of the estate. Each of its buildings and recreation areas are part of the landscape.
The result is a one-of-a-kind, rustic luxury retreat, great for anyone seeking an end-of-the-road paradise, and perfect for entertainers looking for a state-of-the-art recording studio in a private, secluded location.
Here you’ll find 2,128 square feet of outdoor decks and porches offering an incredible environment to live, work, and play. Each structure comes well-appointed with natural wood and stone finishes and pristine views, striking the perfect balance between natural beauty and contemporary comforts.
Local attractions include the Folk Music Hall of Fame in nearby Mountain View, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – endowed by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder, Sam Walton, whose headquarters is centered in Bentonville. The property is also close to the University of Arkansas, and “Christ of the Ozarks,” a monumental sculpture and life-sized reproduction of the City of Bethlehem where the local Easter Pageant is performed. Northwest Regional Airport (XNA) serves as a major transportation hub with one hour shuttles direct to Eureka Springs.
Simply known as Winterwood, this three-bedroom, three-full-bath estate is unlike any other, tucked away in a picturesque forest, and offering a spectacular setting for artistic expression. The 2,300-square-foot guest cottage is located approximately 250 feet from the main house, and features a covered 618-square-foot deck, inviting reading room and den, exercise room, laundry, and garage, plus walls of windows and glass doors with equally impressive views.
The estate grounds are loaded with amenities, like a sleeping lean-to, a picnic and camping area with a two-slip boat dock, tranquil swimming area, and additional outbuildings — perfect for grilling out with family and friends, dining al fresco, or simply stargazing beneath the night sky.
Shabacker currently operates Winterwood Recording Studios LLC from the home. “His client list is unbelievable,” says Whiteside.
Now is your chance! Write your own chapter in history, and own a piece of the legend that is Winterwood.