A visit to the Johnny Sack Cabin in Big Springs, ID. Located in eastern Idaho, it makes for a great side stop on your Yellowstone National Park vacation!
I posted about one of our stops already – Mesa Falls – but I’m going to be spending the next few weeks talking about the rest of our trip. It will be great if you are planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer!!
We rented a cabin in Island Park, Idaho, which is just about 30 minutes from West Yellowstone. Not far from where we were staying is the Johnny Sack Cabin.
Johnny Sack was born in 1884 in Germany. When he was 6 years old, he and his family emigrated to the United States. His family settled in Indiana, but in his early 20s, he and his brother headed west and ended up in Idaho.
Johnny Sack originally leased the land where his cabin is located for $4.15 a year. He started building the cabin in 1932, and finished it 3 years later. One of the main reasons it took so long was because he pretty much did everything by hand – cutting, sawing, nailing. He was a skilled woodworker, and the cabin definitely illustrates this. Most everything in the cabin is original. Tables, beds, desks, and even lamps were all meticulously built by Johnny Sack. He even built a water wheel on the spring’s edge to harness it’s power and create electricity for his cabin.
Johnny Sack was a lifelong bachelor, but had many friends and often welcomed in travelers that would be going through the area. Because of the weather and the snow, the other cabins in the area were just summer homes or vacation homes. Johnny Sack was the lone winter resident, and would travel on snow shoes or cross country skis to get his mail or to socialize with people at Mack’s Inn or Pond Lodge.
He lived in this cabin for over 20 years. After his death in 1957, the cabin went to his sisters, who eventually sold it to Elberta and Rudy Kipp. While all of the other cabins in the area were torn down, the Johnny Sack Cabin was saved and became part of the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the cabin is open for tours Mid-June to Mid-September.
This is definitely a great place to stop if you are going through the area, or if you are looking for something to do outside of Yellowstone. Make it a day and visit Mesa Falls after visiting the Johnny Sack Cabin – it would be a day full of history and natural beauty!!