Nestled in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana, a five-bedroom mansion built for a man who came west with his brother, intending to prospect for gold, sits ready for its next owner, the one that will update it to marry the history behind the home with more recent creature comforts.
William and Dudley Bass left Missouri in 1864 intending to dig for gold. But when prospecting didn’t yield the riches they thought it would, they instead homesteaded near what would become Stevensville, Montana, pioneering the fruit industry in the state. By the 1900s, the two had grown their Pine Grove Farm was so well known it produced 10,000 boxes of apples shipped all over the country. By 1901, Dudley bought William’s interest in the orchard and sold it in 1907, commissioning A.J. Gibson to design a mansion in Stevensville for him and his wife, Etta.
According to an article about the mansion in the Rivalli Republic, the home was built for $10,000, after the Pine Grove Farm sold for $50,000. The home belonged to the Bass family until 1959.
“Its grand entry with full-height porch and classical order columns bears a striking similarity to the entrances of the Missoula County Courthouse and the Daly Mansion in Hamilton, buildings designed by Gibson and also under construction at that time,” said Craig Siphers of Exit Realty Bitterroot. “The style required such strict symmetry that a false chimney was added to balance the composition.”
“The interior features a regal U-shaped staircase, dining room with decorative beamed ceiling and pocket doors, and fine hardwood finishings throughout,” Siphers said. “A second-floor sitting room, entered through an archway off the hall, accesses the upstairs bedrooms.”
The home has wide windows with beveled and leaded glass transoms to provide maximum light. And just out those windows are views of the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges.
The five-bedroom, two-bathroom, 4,792 square foot home also has an unfinished attic that could be renovated to make an apartment. “The property has been used as a bed and breakfast in the past and could have commercial potential for B&B and/or event location with ample ground around the home,” Siphers added.
The home is listed for $429,000. With a few updates and the addition of an attic apartment, it would make a great mountain retreat and income property.