Founders: Paul & Sunny Larsen
My name is Sunny Smith Larsen; Daughter of Architect,
Francis Lee Smith, Creator and Builder of the Smith Mansion.
It will take sweat, man power, fundraising and time to preserve this amazing structure; its a massive undertaking. It may take a lifetime to save my father's legacy; however, I'm determined to keep the structure standing for future generations to enjoy. The Smith Mansion is worth saving, not only to me, but to the hundreds of thousands of others who have a real love for the structure. It's a true piece of art.
My older brother, Bucky Smith
Bucky and I were raised in the mansion; it was our childhood home. We had a very unique upbringing; one that I wouldn't change for anything. Life was a lot more wild back then and I always felt free. That kind of lifestyle we lived was normal to us.
Wild animals also made the mansion their home. We grew up with raccoons, skunks, wild cats, owls and many other creatures who'd take refuge in the structure or below the flooring.
We didn't have the running water, plumbing or traditional electricity in the mansion. Several extension cords were used, connected from end to end. They were ran from the bottom of the hill, up to the mansion. Other electrical cords would branch from that main power supply. It was enough power to run small hand tools and a light for building at night. We also had an electric lamp and a old television with four channels.
Our only source of heat was a small wood burning stove on the bottom floor and the many windows facing South. Amazingly, it was efficient enough to keep the place warm during the winter. And all of our meals were cooked on the stove.
During the summer months, it seemed like thousands of people would stop along the highway. They would line up to photopragh the mansion; it seemed like an endless line of cars. And as kids, it was so neat for us to watch this happen. We would glass them with our binoculars, sometimes we'd watch them for hours.
A few would even wander up to the end of Paintbrush Drive and display their curiosities' about the mansion. Lee would always invite them in and was honored to share his masterpiece with others. The Smith Mansion is truly a captivating piece of artwork.