Scenic lake view of Cody/Yellowstone Country with rolling hills and mountains in the distance
ripple background

Smith Mansion

Address: 2902 N Fork Hwy
Over 40 years ago Lee Smith began building a multi-story log house in wildlife-rich Wapiti Valley by hand, a process that lasted until he fell to his death from the roof in 1992 at the age of 48. We locals have many names for that lonely, decrepit house – the Smith Mansion and Pagoda House are the kindest references. Some people just call it the Crazy House. Anyone who drives through Wapiti Valley has seen this structure perched on a hill on the south side of the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway. It’s rambling five stories are accented – seemingly randomly — with protruding staircases, precarious balconies and shattered windows. Even though it never had electricity, it was the home where Smith lived with his wife and two children. In the early 1992 Smith stepped up work on the structure, creating additional meandering rooms that featured architectural accents like elk antlers and random containers made from metal scraps. His projects often took him to the roof and upper floors where he worked without safety tethers. On a windy April day in 1992, he fell and died.