This mountaintop tiny cabin sits on 99 acres of woodland just 2.5 hours outside of New York City. It’s been in Ken Phillips’ family for more than 70 years, but as things go, his family has little time to enjoy the property anymore, and it’s now for sale.
While the cabin itself is off-grid and a bit rustic, totaling just 350 square feet, the property it sits on is absolutely breathtaking and worth the $3.25 million price tag. What would you do with a property like this? Ken tells his story below…
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350 Square Foot Cabin on 99 Acres of Woodlands
Ken and Pauleitta Phillips built their simple 320 square foot off-grid cabin in the 1990’s on their 99 acre mountaintop above Grahamsville, New York just 2 ½ hours northwest of New York City.
Originally, their cabin was called the “Tool Shed” because they preferred camping and simply used the building to store tents, supplies and tools between visits.
The cabin is located on roughly 4 level acres at the absolute top of the mountain. A geodetic marker placed on the hill in 1942 confirms South Hill’s elevation as 1,970 feet, the 11th highest point in Sullivan County, New York. According to legend an aircraft spotting station was located on the mountaintop during World War II.
The Cabin is located in a clearing only 50 feet away from the Geodetic Marker.
From inside, the view extends to the horizon more than 50 miles away. Working at the kitchen table has never been this pleasant!
The view to the north is pretty nice too…
Gradually The Cabin morphed into a pleasant summer retreat as recycled glass doors became windows, Hunt Country furniture was rescued from storage and a barrel wood stove made autumn evenings cozy and warm. Note the frosted plexiglass windows just under the loft that illuminate the interior even when the shutters are closed.
A “corner office” and a great cell signal made it possible to connect with their business while off-the-grid. 1,000 watts of solar panels, Trojan batteries, an inverter and charge controller coupled with three assorted gas generators provide plenty of power. Open shutters on the east and west sides of the cabin keep it cool in summer – the elevation of 1970 feet helps too!
Each spring, Ken and Pauleitta would open the cabin for summer. The scent of fresh cut spring grass was always a treat as was gathering family and friends “on The Hill” for The Fourth of July and later for an autumn weekend when the colors peaked.
Autumn is always a special time! The quiet seems so intense… only rustling leaves and falling acorns. It is hard to believe that only two hours away there is no silence! Add the smell of wood smoke and hot, mulled cider and life is truly full.
Walks about the property are pleasant in any season and at any time. Imagine this early morning scene with your second cup of coffee. Take your dog…
However, as time passed, a problem arose: Ken and Pauleitta moved to Florida – 1,000 road miles away.
Further, family scattered to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Georgia – which meant visits were less frequent and a lot of maintenance, mowing and wood cutting was crammed into a short amount of time.
“It is such a beautiful place,” comments Pauleitta, “and we only get to enjoy it for a few days each year.”
Sitting by the fire Ken and Pauleitta came to recognize that it was time let South Hill go.
“I’ll miss the distant views and the sound of the wind,” says Ken. “South Hill is the only mountaintop this close to New York City that is still in private hands and, frankly, it deserves to be a day-to-day refuge for another family that appreciates the privacy, quiet and natural beauty. “We always wanted to build a home here, or perhaps a winery, horse- farm or executive retreat…”
With a new owner and so many possible uses for the property, it is hard to say how long The Cabin will stay on the top of South Hill. But quite frankly it has already done more than enough to remain in the hearts and memories of family and friends.
And perhaps creating memories is all that a cabin is supposed to do…
- FIRST South Hill Brochure August 2021
- 34 Image Virtual Tour of South Hill
- MLS Listing
- Contact Ken Phillips: [email protected]
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Our big thanks to Ken for sharing! 🙏
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Natalie C. McKee
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Beautiful pictures and what a great place to live. I’d move there in a heartbeat 🙂