History and Development
Grandpa Barney South and his lovely wife Marj started their own sawmill and logging operation in the 1930’s in Island Park, Idaho. They located the sawmill very near the railroad tracks at the Island Park railroad siding, now four miles east of the Pond’s Lodge resort area. Approximately 1/8th of a mile from where the South Sawmill Lodge now stands. For many years, Barney, his family, and some extended family cut three sided house logs. Barney homesteaded 160 acres very near the sawmill. The South Sawmill Lodge now stands on part of that original homestead.
Barney’s youngest son and his wife, Randy and Karen South, with their nine children have built the South Sawmill Lodge. The reason; “We have twenty-three grandchildren already and we need a place big enough to hang out together. We have trouble finding a facility that will accommodate a nice sized family reunion.”
The South Sawmill Lodge is nested in the greatest snowmobile country of the world and is only accessible by snowmobile, snow shoes, cross country skis or snow cat during the few winter months. It is about four miles on a groomed trail to the Pond’s Lodge resort area.
The other months of the year, the lodge is accessed by car by driving through the Targhee National Forest on improved logging roads.
The South Sawmill Lodge
Since 2004, South Industries has focused about 80% of the company’s construction on structures like this one (and in most cases the buildings are larger than this one!) These structures are typically;
- And about a dozen or so houses each year
This particular structure is made to look like wood on the outside but is actually high density sprayed in place concrete (shotcrete).
About this Building
MAIN FLOOR: Ten bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two children’s play areas
SECOND STORY: One theater room, two game/party rooms, loft with 20 twin beds
- Diameter – 90 feet
- Height of wall – 20 feet
- Height of dome – 20 feet
- Total height – 40 feet
- Main floor sq. ft – 6,361
- Second story – 3,533
- Concrete in floor – 78.5 cubic yards
- Concrete in wall – 157 cubic yards
- Concrete in dome – 176 cubic yards
- Total concrete – 484 cubic yards
- Total weight – 1,841,100 pounds
- Total weight – 920.5 tons
- Equivalent of 46 semi-loads of concrete
- Insulation – 20,500 pounds of 2 pound density polyurethane
The walls are a sandwich of 5 inches of concrete then 3 inches of foam insulation and then 5 inches of concrete for a bullet proof 13 inches of exterior walls. The insulation is seamless throughout. The dome shell concrete averages 4 to 6 inches thick from top to bottom. The foam insulation in the dome shell averages three and a half inches. Foam insulation under the floor averages two inches. This dome shell and wall are fireproof, tornado proof and earthquake proof. The building is heated with in-floor hot water. Backup heat is from the propane fireplace.
Main Floor Layout