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Flathead Lake island, house on the market for $78 million

Flathead Lake island, house on the market for $78 million

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ROLLINS – In the market for a new home?

There’s a cute little bungalow up this way that can be yours for $77,695.

Of course, that’s just the taxes, and the $77,695 comes due every year.

To pay the taxes, you’ll have to come up with around $78 million, the asking price for Flathead Lake’s Shelter Island and the 44,000 square feet of structures that occupy it.

The 24-acre island, its 24,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, eight-bath main home and 5,289-square-foot guest house, are listed by the Hurwitz James Company of Beverly Hills, Calif.

The company’s website claims the main house is “currently the largest private home in Montana.”

Company representatives did not return phone messages left by the Missoulian over the past month.

Its website says Bob Hurwitz started the real estate firm in 1987, and that his clients “are diverse, ranging from entertainment personalities to foreign sellers and buyers from Asia, Canada, Latin America, India, Europe and the Middle East.”

A Polson Realtor, Ed McCurdy of Prudential Montana, helped the Missoulian determine the name of the current owner.

It’s listed as belonging to Abbey-Land LLC, of Long Beach, Calif. The street address corresponds with the location of the Abbey Company, a privately held commercial real estate and management firm founded by CEO Donald G. Abbey.

Donald G. Abbey was an All-America football player at Penn State University in the late 1960s who was part of Coach Joe Paterno’s first recruiting class. As a fullback, Abbey led the nation in scoring his junior year.

He founded the Abbey Company in California in 1990. Abbey reportedly has donated millions of dollars over the years to his alma mater, his old college fraternity, law enforcement efforts in California and Montana, youth sports initiatives in his native Massachusetts, and organizations that support Navy Seals (Abbey is a Navy veteran).

His company has an expansive website, although the telephone number listed for it has been disconnected.


So, what do you get for $78 million?

Well, an island, obviously, with 7,000 feet of Flathead Lake frontage.

The 24,000-square-foot, three-story main house comes with another 10,000 square feet of heated porticos and outdoor entertainment space. The house includes an indoor shooting range, a gym with lake views and a wine cellar.

“The ground floor also has a heated boat stall served by a dedicated rail system to access your boating craft with the greatest of ease,” according to the Hurwitz James Company website.

The great room has 45-foot-tall ceilings. At one end, there’s a limestone fireplace; at the other, a 120-inch television custom-built into “lustrous mahogany panels.”

“A gleaming, copper conservatory is the perfect place to watch Montana wildlife unfold before your eyes, in all seasons,” the website says. “It captures year-round natural light and illuminates the space between the grand hall and the mahogany-lined office.”

The office contains another limestone fireplace, and four-inch-thick doors that open onto the main portico.

“The master bedroom suite is the centerpiece of the main floor with wrap-around porticos and porches, a domed ceiling with delicate umber, coved lighting,” it goes on. “The mahogany closet, with refrigerator, leads to the expansive master bathroom with black and white Carrara marble.”

Want to whip up some macaroni and cheese for the kids? Do so in a kitchen that has two pantries, multiple dishwashers, glass-door refrigerator-freezers, several under-the-counter cooling boxes, food-warming drawers and stainless steel gas stoves.

They can chow down in either the dining room or breakfast room, both “with gorgeous views of the lake and vistas beyond.”

Anything else? Well, plenty, we’re guessing, including an elevator, and chandeliers “collected from around the world.”


Of course, many Montana families would be perfectly comfortable living in the guest house west of the main home.

It sits atop the boathouse, and its 5,289 square feet of living space includes two bedrooms, four baths, a steam room and two granite fireplaces.

Speaking of the boathouse, the website notes: “There are three docking systems for outside storage and landing of boats. Three computer-controlled tracks transport boats from water to dry dock, without riders ever leaving the craft, or handling a line.”

Both the main and guest homes are constructed of stone, copper and other materials. The website says exterior details include lichen-covered Montana Chief Cliff stone, trims of copper and Indiana limestone, and a blue-black Virginia slate roof.

An underground and underwater armored utility cable carries 12,000 amps to the island, along with computer and phone lines. There’s also an underground watering and hydrant system.

The price also apparently includes 8 acres on the mainland, since an island home does you little good if you don’t have a place nearby to park your pickup and launch your rowboat to get to it.

McCurdy said the public tax records he located indicate the property comes in two separate parcels, both owned by Abbey-Land LLC. Taxes on one, where the main house and guest house are obviously located, are $66,000 a year, while taxes are $11,695 a year on the other.

The Hurwitz James Company’s sales pitch for the island calls it “extremely unique,” an “incredible jewel” and a “rare offering.”

Shelter Island is located off the west shore of Flathead Lake, midway between Dayton and Rollins and northeast of Wild Horse Island. Directly to the east of it is Cedar Island, and it is not far from Indian Point and Painted Rocks on the mainland.

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