A diamond in the rough, the Kootenai Lodge is a precious part of local history.

During their ownership from 1990 to 2005, owners Mark and Debi Rolfing completed numerous restoration, preservation, and remodeling projects that enhanced this magical place as seen in this section of the website.

More recent restorations and new construction under the Milhous Group can be viewed at:

One of their first projects was the remodel of the Hepburn Cabin, selected in part because each of the four rooms has a handsome rock fireplace.

Replacement of the Hepburn Cabin's wrap-around deck was only one of many improvements made to the lakeside cabin.

The two-bedroom, two-bath duplex was converted to include a living area, kitchen, master bedroom and sitting area, master bath with Jacuzzi, and laundry facility. For many years the Hepburn Cabin was used as Debi and Mark's residence, while staying at Kootenai Lodge. 

The remodel included re-wiring, re-chinking logs, re-insulating the cabin, and the installation of new windows to make it suitable for year-round use. Wall paneling was removed to showcase the stately larch logs used to construct the cabin and all new Kohler plumbing and appliances were installed throughout the cabin. Fabrics, furniture and accessories reflect a Montana flavor with an elegant finish. 

Hepburn Cabin - Before and After

The Hepburn Cabin was remodeled in 1991 to serve as a year-round residence for owners Mark and Debi Rolfing with the addition of a kitchen, laundry room and master bath and bedroom.

Another focus in the first year was to power-wash, sand and oil all the log buildings to bring out the beauty of the wood's rich golden cambium. 

Local artisan Jeffery Funk created custom fire screens for the numerous fireplaces in the Kootenai Lodge cabins.

The lodge entrance was bestowed with the grand treatment it deserved with the addition of stone pillars by craftsmen Denny and Kitty Kellogg, gate lights and decorative gate work fashioned by Jeffery Funk, and $10,000 in electrics installed for an automatic gate opener and lighting. 

A number of improvements were made in the Florman Cabin including re-wiring, re-chinking logs, re-plumbing, and re-insulating the cabin. Fascia board and doors were sanded and re-stained, new screens and storm windows were constructed, and floors were restored and oiled. Two showers were added to the bathrooms but the claw foot tubs and original sinks were retained to preserve the grace and charm of the spacious rooms.

Interior decorating in the Florman Cabin was fashioned by Mary Margaret Interiors to capture the grand days of the 1920s. 

The Keresey Cabin was also remodeled and restored for use as a year-round residence. This remodel took over a year and included the addition of a kitchen, laundry room and pantry. 

A single bedroom in the Keresey Cabin was transformed into a heavenly nursery complete with clouds, cherubs and angel wings.

When Debi and Mark became foster parents in 1999, a back room without a floor was magically transformed to a nursery for newborn babies received in Cradle Care. Artist Margarit Suter created an angelic scene that included blue skies, clouds and angel cherubs. A display case built in the 1920s was converted to a cabinet for baby clothes. 

Many of the original furniture pieces built on the property were used to decorate the Keresey Cabin. Much of the furniture at Kootenai Lodge was built in the 1920s from native wood in a carpenter's shop located near the barn. 

In the Doubleday Cabin, which was constructed in the 1980s, new feather beds, comforters and bedspreads were added and custom made fire screens replaced the old ones. 

The Office Cabin was furnished with new carpet, desks, office equipment and supplies. 

Up lighting was installed throughout the grounds creating a soft, warm lighting during evening hours that increases safety and security in a subtle manner. 

The Main Lodge continues to possess a feeling that it was frozen in time with much of the original furniture and décor kept intact. One of the bedrooms was made into a library with books from a personal collection of the Kelley and Evans families dating back as early as 1890.

Shower stalls and new mattresses for the beds were the only changes made to this charming building. 

The dining area's natural warmth created by the golden cambium of the logs was enhanced by the addition of hand painted rawhide sconces.

Rolfie's, once known as the Kelley Dining Room and Bar, has been the hub of property activities with its commercial kitchen and inviting gathering spots in the dining room and entertainment room. 

A patio area was added at the entrance and local stonemasons Denny and Kitty Kellogg built a fire pit for evening bonfires. 

Debi redecorated the interior with a fishing theme in the entertainment room and a Native American wildlife theme in the dining room. Chairs and valances were upholstered with theme fabrics and new antiques, such as a sleigh table and rocking chair, were added.

Hand painted rawhide chandeliers, sconces, and valances were custom made for the dining room. 


Roger Wade photo

Rolfie's Cabin - Before and After

After pieces from a 1903 pool table were discovered in storage, they were restored and assembled. This magnificent pool table is the centerpiece of the Recreation area in Rolfie's Cabin.

A 1903 pool table discovered in storage was restored piece by piece and serves as a centerpiece for Rolfie's. Pinball machines and a Wurlitzer jukebox add to the recreational atmosphere of this room. 

The wine room was converted to a video and photograph library while a back room now serves as a fishing gear room. 

The Recreation Center, which was unfinished, was completed under the Rolfing's ownership. Roofing was completed and the hole excavated for a pool was covered with a gym floor creating a full size indoor basketball court. The ceiling was finished with rich colored cedar strips. An exercise and Yoga area, balcony, and lighting were added. Insulating, electrical wiring, and chinking were completed. The area adjacent to the gym provided space for a workshop and storage areas for equipment and canoes. 

The Recreation Center was completed in the 1990s, carefully duplicating the original architecture of the Kootenai Lodge cabins.

The Evans Lodge was also restored. Logs were power-washed, sanded, re-chinked and oiled and insulation was added. 

Evans Lodge - Before and After

A new roof, skylights, foundation, rock patio, and log work brought the Evans Lodge to a new level of splendor.

A grand entrance and patio on the lakeside of the building was created for this well designed home. This structure has great "bones" inviting the imaginative to create their own dream home. 

The building was re-roofed and skylights were added in the attic. 

The Fish Cabin was given a new foundation and the floors were refinished. The interior was recently cleaned, painted, and furnished with furniture from the early 1900s. 

Fish Cabin - Before and After

The lakeside Fish Cabin restoration work included a new foundation and roof. Logs were pressure washed and oiled to bring out the lovely warm tones of native wood.

Roofs were replaced on outbuildings by the barn. 

Old wiring in the polo field was taken down so that the Secret Service could use the field as a landing spot for an Army helicopter transporting the Vice President of the United States, during his frequent visits. Today this field is used as a driving range. 

With 20 buildings, approximately 40 acres and 2400 feet of waterfront, and a richly woven history - an exciting venture is promised to someone who treasures the legacy of this grand property enough to transport it into the next era.






Native Americans




About Us  
Visit the
New Kootenai




Cradle Care

Photo Album

Charles M. "Charlie" Russell, western artist at Kootenai Lodge
Charlie Russell