The most unusual and whimsical home in Wyoming is known as the Smith Mansion. It is located on a hill overlooking the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway in the Wapiti Valley. The house was built by Francis Lee Smith, who was an engineer, and started construction on the house in 1980. Smith spent 12 years building this one-of-a-kind house from logs gathered from Rattle Snake Mountain. He created five stories of winding staircases, scenic terraces, and unfinished rooms.
Smith built this dream home for his wife and three children. The building of this home became his obsession, which eventually lead to a divorce from his wife and ultimately his death. Unfortunately, he fell to his death while working on one of the balconies during strong winds.
There were never any blue prints or house plans, therefore, the house lacked many essential features. The house had no electricity, and the only heat source was a wood stove. Interestingly enough, there were also no designated bedrooms for him or his children.
The landmark Smith Mansion on the highway from Cody to Yellowstone sat empty for years, but in 2019 it was sold to Mountain Lodging, a nearby tourism and lodging company. The Smith Mansion is on private property and can only be viewed from the road. It sits on the left side of the hill as you drive from Cody to the eastern entrance of Yellowstone.