In 1916, Montana Senator Burton Wheeler and his wife Lulu purchased a cabin on the eastern shore of Lake McDonald, where they and their family spent their summers until last year, when the property was returned to Glacier National Park. The original cabin burned down in 1941 and was rebuilt shortly thereafter, along with four other buildings on the property.
In 2016 the park will be undertaking a number of tasks associated with the rehabilitation of the Wheeler Cabin site for adaptive reuse in partnership with the University of Montana, and the Glacier Institute. Through the reuse of this historic and inspirational property, Glacier National Park seeks to provide unique youth experiences for students and tribal members while demonstrating excellence in historic preservation.
Additionally, this property will provide a venue for the park to demonstrate its leadership at the world’s first International Peace Park. Through a partnership with the University of Montana and nonprofit government organizations from around the world, the park will host both visiting international delegations aspiring to engage in trans-boundary conservation and hold workshops promoting conservation through the use of the environmental peacebuilding framework.
The property will require significant rehabilitation to meet the needs for both the National Park Service and non-profit partner use including upgrades to the septic systems as well as fire, health, life and safety.