Big Butte Mountain Retreat
Big Butte's History
Early History of Big Butte’s Development
(Notes transcribed from Big Butte log book)
Entry Date - Easter Monday 4/20/1992
Meeting Glen Parker:
A van pulled up in driving rain this morning. Out hopped Glen Parker, a spry 83+ year old. Glen quickly identified himself as the builder of Big Butte and as the owner before Logan Robertson & Baxter Taylor.
Glen had bought a friend and prospective log cabin customer from North Georgia with him. Glen is there turkey hunting and this fellow decided he wanted Glen to build him a cabin – Big Butte is to serve as the model.
Glen worked timber supervision for Champion her until becoming ‘disabled’. He moved here (to site of Big Butte) with his wife and remodeled an old cabin (know called Rusty Butt and the home of Bob & Mary Lee Paxton). The old barn by the river is the only other building from this period. There was a low water bridge when he arrived just about where the garage is now. He replaced that with a higher bridge made out of metal, attached to the big rock in the river (one with twisted steel rebar, which was moved upstream during some stream remodeling). One night, 3 years after construction, there came a big rain. Glen heard rocks rolling in the river and became concerned. He and his wife were going to Wyoming the next day. At 2AM he decided to take his station wagon across the river to Hwy 276. Pulling onto the bridge, he noted water beginning to flow over its top. He retreated immediately. Thereafter a large tree washed down stream, fouling the bridge and thence twisting its girders and snapping them from their moorings.
(After this event, he began looking for a purchaser)
He reports that upon selling to Logan (seen to the right) and Baxter that he began building the cabins for Big Butte, The front cabin came from Big Sandy Mush; the rear (with the kitchen) came from Max Patch up in Madison with parts of other cabins that were purchased to complete the job. The breeze-way (now enclosed) between the two cabins was originally a shuffle board court built for Logan’s father’s (Reuben Robertson – founder of Champion Plant in Canton) enjoyment.
A champion field man working out of New Bern (NC) found the small cabin (called Marty Butte) as part of his work. He purchased it for Logan and Glen moved it here. It is made of heart pine logs. Its name, Marty Butte honors Martin Cavanaugh, the man who located it.
Glen continued telling Logan tales. Seems he had sold the place to Logan and Baxter on credit (total sale @ $25,000), and still held a $12,000 note. He’d kept title during the financing and Logan had acquired a new partner (?), a lawyer from NYC. After a period Logan and this new partner had a falling-out. This fellow got to wanting to squeeze Logan out and approached Glen about purchasing the balance of the note and deed of trust. Glen, favoring Logan, contacted him with news of the impending deal. Logan, as usual, was broke. Glen reports having so much respect for Logan that he loaned the purchase price to him so Logan was able to secure the deed. This must have ultimately led to Logan becoming the sole owner of Big Butte.
Glen is represented in this area by a son, Tom Parker of Canton, who lives on Newfound Rd. Glen said he was willing to come up for a spell & work on the place. His prescription for longevity is ‘work of the morning and golf until dark.
Wednsday October 5, 1983
"...Visitors and patients reacht Robertson's secluded clinic and home by crossing the bridge leading to Camp Hope (named for Robertson's mother, Hope) and traveling about two miles on a winding, steep gravvel road..." It is a much easier drive these days "...The rock building that serves as the clinic faces the East For of the Pigeon River..."
Click for the rest of the clippings about Big Butte
In the concrete below one of the doors at big butte it reads.
"This door was built in 1867 by
Tommy Gaddy & hung here by his
great grandson Charles Gaddy, 1979."