Mark and Debi Rolfing owned
the Kootenai Lodge from 1990 until 2005 when they handed the restoration of this
historic lake retreat over to the Milhous Group.
The Kootenai Lodge has been a shining star in the history of the Swan Lake area and the focus of dozens of articles over the years in local, state and national
publications. Here are excerpts from some of these stories that help paint a picture of this lovely place.
By JOHN STROMNES
Sacred ground: Proposed condo development threatens historic Kootenai Lodge
at Swan Lake, a treasured retreat for more than a century
"Sacred Ground" Kootenai Lodge- Missoulian May 22, 2005
by Kay Bjork, Fall 2004
The Storybook Place
Place" - Flathead Living magazine cover story Fall 2004 (PDF)
By Kay Bjork, Autumn 2000
"From Copper Kings to Cradles" -Montana
Living magazine Autumn 2000 cover story (PDF)
"She knows now that there is something profound here, something that drew in the Native Americans, the early
homesteaders and Montana's copper kings.
Debi thinks it is the land's healing touch - something about the warm embrace of golden sunlight; a full moon spilling
its light over a glossy Swan Lake; and the lullaby of the gentle waves; which soothe newborn babies beginning their lives in this spirit place known as Kootenai
The Daily Inter Lake
By Jo Ann Speelman, November 21, 1999
Back to its Old Self
"Once again celebrities from vice presidents to sports figures are coming to Kootenai Lodge, walking in the footsteps of artist Charles Russell, John D.
Rockefeller, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, pilot Charles Lindbergh and others. The historic 47 acres and 24 buildings at the north end of Swan Lake have returned
to family ownership. Mark and Debi Rolfing rescued the property from a bankruptcy sale 10 years ago and have the means and commitment to restore and rejuvenate it."
… "We didn't count on falling in love with the Kootenai Lodge," Debi said. "But we have, and we so appreciate the solitude, the peace, the
healing we and others experience here. It's a great retreat, a getaway," she said.
Kootenai Lodge a first home for newborns
"Mark and Debi Rolfing have made Kootenai Lodge on Swan Lake a "cradle care" home for newborn babies awaiting adoption...
...one symbol of the foster-care work is a beaded leather cradle board from Kootenai elder Agnes
The Pablo woman, whose Native American name is
Oshanee, blessed the lodge compound seven years ago, and the gift of her handmade cradle board was a prophecy for the
future of Kootenai Lodge."
Cowboys and Indians
By Elizabeth Clair Flood, Winter 1995
Living out West
"As others had done in the past, we dressed for dinner and enjoyed a gourmet meal on a long, grand rustic table in the main lodge. We lit a fire in the
fireplace and played the old Steinway piano underneath the animal heads. We toasted the copper kings with champagne and made the traditional toast to "sunny
skies." For a moment, we lost ourselves in Kelley and Evans' elegant wilderness."
By Lew Bain, June 2, 1995
The Way We Were
"Hardworking folks who cherish dreams of enjoying carefree summers in a beautifully forested lakeshore hideaway, complete with the luxuries of maids, servants,
chauffeurs, guides and taste thrills of magnificent dinners would find the gala Kelly and Evans Kootenai Lodge a paradise."