So far as anyone can remember, The Big Yellow House has always been painted yellow, and situated at the start of Absarokee’s main street, it has been a local landmark for decades. It was referred to so often as the big yellow house that it simply became its name.
Listed on the National Register of Historic places, The Big Yellow House is lovingly furnished with period antiques, and includes many original touches, including rich oak trim and maple flooring. The elegantly carved doors at the front entry are original to the house, as well as many interior fixtures. Great care has been taken to preserve the historical integrity of the house while meeting or exceeding modern standards for safety and comfort.
Many touches, such as push-button light switches, original door knobs, and authentic furnishings remain. The kitchen is almost all original, as is the dining room. The tool shed in the garden was the original outhouse, which was relocated from behind the house. There is ample on and off-street parking.
Absarokee is a small Montana town with strong agrarian roots. It was named after the Crow Indians and means, “children of the big-beaked birds.” The community is nestled in the Stillwater Valley in the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains, the tallest range in Montana. The Beartooths offer numerous opportunities to get out and enjoy the beauty of Montana. Absarokee and The Big Yellow House are your base camp for everything from fly fishing to skiing and whitewater rafting to scenic hiking.
jane and nancy
Jane and Nancy have brought their unique experiences and tastes together to revive the historic house and make it a bed and breakfast while still remaining true to its original character. When the time was right, they purchased the house together with the intent of making it into a bed and breakfast and a place for events, retreats, and intimate gatherings.
Jane is a native Montanan who taught at the elementary school in Absarokee. She and her husband, a third generation Absarokee resident, raised two children in the small, welcoming community. She developed an interest in bed and breakfasts after traveling extensively in Europe, Morocco, and Russia. Jane enjoys frequent adventures in the nearby Beartooth Mountains.
Nancy is a retired flight attendant who thought she was ready to retire but found out after retirement she still had the energy and desire for another venture. While working for the airlines, she sampled many cuisines and loved recreating those meals at home. Warm hospitality and serving meals that she and Jane prepare are her passion. When she is not at The Big Yellow house, she can be found at the quilt shop down the street, which she owns with another friend, or practicing agility with her border collie, Daisy.
Jane and Nancy enlisted the help of their husbands, David and Mark, who provided much-needed help restoring the home’s interior, reclaiming the overgrown yard, and scouting antiques. The two women were also assisted by Dan Poling, a specialist in restoring historic houses, who advised them on several construction projects and assisted them with issues such as safety and building codes.
After countless hours of work, Jane and Nancy opened The Big Yellow House as a bed and breakfast in the late Summer of 2016. They look forward to meeting guests from near and far and hosting your next event.
Local accounts of the house’s history vary, but according to information on the National Registry of Historic Places, The Big Yellow House was built in 1904 for Oliver H. Hovda, a young businessman and one of Absarokee’s first postmasters. Hovda left the community in 1910, and since then it’s been home to numerous families.
The Big Yellow House is an example of Classical Revival architecture, but throughout the years, each resident has made changes, added on, and given the old house its unique character.