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The Smith Mansion: True Craftsman House on the Prairie

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According to a piece just out in the New York Times, stories swirl in Wapiti Valley, Wyo. about who built this handmade mansion and why. The tall tales range from "built by a madman" to lookout tower in case of volcanic eruption, but the real story is that one man, Francis Lee Smith, sought to build himself a family home and spent more than a decade assembling the place by hand. Construction halted abruptly in 1992, when Smith fell to his death while working to repair the roof. Today, the house stands in a ramshackle state of disrepair, as his family, unable to maintain the property, have all moved on to more conventional homes. Now Smith's daughter is looking to raise money to save the aging structure on her website,
· Smith Mansion [official site]
· Gone with the Whimsy [NYT]