The McParland Mountain Retreat

A lifetime of accumulated skill, a willingness to learn, and persistence enabled this elderly couple to build the mountain retreat that fulfilled their dream of getting back to the land.



McParland mountain retreat - exterior of McParland home
The semicircular configuration of the McParlands' mountain retreat takes full advantage of direct sunlight throughout the day.
Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
McParland mountain retreat - main living area
The main living area's quarry tile floor — which was hand-laid, piece by piece — serves as solar heat storage.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
McParland mountain retreat - Doris and Roger
Doris and Roger at home.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
McParland mountain retreat - homemade hydro power
The little hydroelectric site produces power from a spring that's located 1,200 feet away and over 200 feet uphill.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
McParland mountain retreat - homemade turbine
Roger's homemade turbine is mated to a rewound auto alternator.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
McParland mountain retreat - Roger with storage batteries
The storage batteries for the electric system.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
McParland mountain retreat - scale model
This detailed model of the house (with the roof removed) is actually a mirror image of the home that Doris and Roger McParland eventually built on their mountain property.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff











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