Whitefish Montana Tears Down “The Little Cabin of Joy”


Once upon a time, when Whitefish, Montana, was coined “Stump Town to Ski Town,” the essence of charm and coziness was everywhere.

There were the tiny railroad houses on Lupfer Avenue (which housed the railroad workers) that are now boujee boutiques. There were and still are a few) tiny railroad houses off of 1st street and right by the tracks.

And for us locals, this little cabin that Whitefish just tore down is what I entitled “The Little Cabin of Joy.” This cabin has been (or rather was) an icon of days gone by of the hopeful yesteryear our delightful town afforded us, but with its destruction, it is indicative of the downfall of Whitefish itself.

For as long as I can remember, that little log cabin has graced the road leading up to “Big Mountain.” And for some time, a sweet and quiet tenant named Martha lived there (for what seemed like forever) and who was a teachers aide at the Junior High in Whitefish. She probably paid $50 a month to live there when I knew her in the mid-seventies.

Why was it the “Little Cabin of Joy?”

Well, for one, the rent was insanely inexpensive compared to the excessive prices that recent landlords imposed on Whitefish renter ‘wannabees.’ For another, it represented the hometown quaintness that Whitefish once was. The location represented the carefree life that skiing brought all of us. The house itself ( a log cabin) was simplistic in design, as were the people of those days, for it was not the tourist-laden town we now detest but merely a bunch of locals eating at “The Place” (home of the “Grinder” for those of you who remember). It was a reminder that Whitefish belonged to the simple folks, and it was a simple town back then.

So Whitefish, Montana, we bid you adieu. It’s the end of an era and the death of a “hometown.”

So when you look at this picture, remember it’s not just another “Whitefish Teardown.” It exuded hope.

Torn down just a few days ago. “The Little Cabin of Joy.”
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