Tiny House In a Landscape

Spartan Imperial Mansion

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape features a 1959 Spartan Imperial Mansion, located in one of my favorite states, Montana. Vintage trailers are an option for tiny house living and this one fits perfectly into that niche.

Russell Logan is the proud owner of this gorgeous 1959 Spartan Imperial Mansion. It sat at the same park for over 50 years, owned by a couple that only used it as a vacation home for 2 weeks each year.

You can view interior photos and learn more about it a a neat website I discovered recently called Mobile Home Living. http://mobilehomeliving.org/an-unbelievable-1959-spartan/

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Ralph Sly - November 9, 2013 Reply

You did a beautiful job. Too bad they have restrictions on age but having gone through it I can understand. All people are not as responsible as you to upgrade the way you did but downgrade and turn the park into a slum. Your home is beautiful and would be a great addition to any park. I ended up buying land with a building and am working on the building to house a small 250’ suite.

Beth - November 9, 2013 Reply

Boy, they sure used to design those things nice back in the day!

And what an attractive landscaping Mr. Logan has created around it.

Billy Maxwell - November 9, 2013 Reply

Grand example of trailer hip that snubs 70% of immobile homes as being inferior designs.

Greg Keiper - November 9, 2013 Reply

I just love this home. I especially like the lighting element over the front window. The restoration is beautiful. Do you have a washer & dryer?

I’d love to know more about the plumbing and electrical upgrades.

Take Care.

    Russell Logan - December 5, 2013 Reply

    Thank you all for the nice comments. Living in my Spartan has been a great adventure. Greg, you asked about plumbing and electrical upgrades. I have had the original galvanized plumbing replaced with PEX plumbing. This upgrade was a project that improved water flow, alleviated a small leak, and hopefully will survive if I loose heat on one of the cold Montana nights. As far as the electrical, I had an electrician look everything over. I was fortunate in that my home was originally built with three strand copper romex cabling and a circuit breaker panel. I had the original circuit breaker panel replaced, adding GFCI circuits for the bathroom and kitchen. All the switches and outlets were replaced, connecting the ground wires that were in the boxes, but had never been connected prior. I was also able to add two exterior circuits that allows for outdoor lighting as well as a convenience plug in the skirting.

    You also asked about a washer and dryer. I do have a combination washer/dryer in the bathroom. It is a one-piece unit that does both tasks. I would not suggest this type of unit if you do a lot of “heavy” items like coats or comforters, but for every day use it’s just perfect.

    Thank you again. I’m sorry for the late reply, but was not aware of this blog until I stumbled upon it in Facebook.


carrie - November 9, 2013 Reply

drooling! awesome! you are sooooooo lucky!

jipsi - November 9, 2013 Reply

LOVE this beauty of a ‘travel’ home – the ORIGINAL ‘tiny house on wheels’!

I lived for many years, when my son was a baby, toddler, etc., in a 10X45 New Moon, and it was sweet, cozy and never ‘felt’ small or cramped – in fact, it had large multi-crank-out windows on both sides of the living room that made it a joy to enjoy sunrises AND sunsets by, so I always felt the room was much bigger, encompassing so much of the outdoors as it did… the kitchen was original turquoise and my penchant for reds turned it out in wonderful retro charm (and I had pulled up the old orange carpet years before and put in grey and white ‘diner’ tiles, all by myself)… my little bedroom in the back was dressed to the 9’s in gypsy-style, and my baby’s room was an off-the-hallway ‘nook’, but worked perfectly for his needs, even up to when we traded his crib in for a toddler bed and a toychest…

FOr many purposes, I feel buying an older mobile home, especially these vintage gems-in-the-rough (the 8,9 & 10 footer-wides), can be easier on the pocketbook AND a joy to refurbish and craft into a ‘special place’ to accomodate a downsize or just change of scenery! Make sure you find a court that will allow an older,smaller one in, first, before purchasing, though – best is if you have a 3 to 4 acre COUNTRY lot to park it on, set it up yourself, because there are some nasty codes within city limits, when it comes to setting up ANY manufactured home or trailer, if you don’t want to settle in a MH court or park.

But if you want to go off the grid, go small, and have extra cash left over for fixing it up real nice, a ‘tiny trailer’ can do everything a tiny house can do… but with a little more room, a little more ‘experience’… and once repaired/restored, most will haul better, too (as they were designed to ‘travel’, back in the day, especially the pre-65’s!) than the more ‘structured’ wood-frame-built tiny houses of present…
Not knocking the array of ‘tinies’ and smalls available today – I do have my eye on a few plans in particular! – just applauding a very timely topic that serves as a great reminder not to forget these original ‘tiny’ – and travellable! – homes… 😉

william carlisle - November 9, 2013 Reply

My father was a designer for Spartan in the early 50’s They were the best.

Charlie - November 9, 2013 Reply

Great old trailer. Must get a little chilly in the winter with all that glass, however.

adam - November 9, 2013 Reply

aluminum is so pretty

alice h - November 10, 2013 Reply

Trailer envy!

Chrissy - November 10, 2013 Reply

I also love this home. It somehow manages to look sleek and yet so sweet at the same time. I’m a letter carrier. I used to deliver to an older trailer park just south of the city, a park that still boasts a few homes similar to this Spartan. Though the then new residents in the 1950’s couldn’t really call the vacation-filled Finger Lakes their true home, the Finger Lakes were close enough that many felt entitled to declare, in their modern window filled travel mansions, that they had indeed, “left it all.” Behind, away, whatever, it didn’t matter. And though wheels be under their feet, they had no intention of leaving anything ever again. Your trailer captures this spirit of coming really, really close to a dream, and deciding that this closeness is in itself pretty spectacular…I love the shot of your Spartan in the snow. Just lovely.

Lynne - November 11, 2013 Reply

This looks very similar to the mobile home my husband and I lived in for the first five years of our marriage, back in the early 1980s. We restored the real wood paneling and built-ins, adding light-colored wallpaper to the upper part to both hide many picture and curtain holes and to lighten up and open up the dark space (we live in south Puget Sound, where we have gray days for more than half the year). Our oldest two children were born while we lived there. In their bedroom, we pulled out the original built-in drawers and reconfigured the space to hold a closet, dresser, and small play area. I designed a bunk bed crib, with a sliding rail, to fit the space and let in light from the one tiny window; it had drawers for toys, and eventually ended up in a church nursery. We also added a removable greenhouse/laundry room off the back door. When we moved into our 1180 sq ft house, it seemed like a mansion, even later with four teenagers.

Seeing this brought back a lot of memories. Thanks for sharing it!

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