top of page

The Story of St. Marie



It may seem like the title of this section is a bit over the top, "One of the greatest stories ever told, St. Marie Mt," well this is the start of telling the story, please come back again and again and see if I am right or not.

Well over 27 years ago Judy and I made a commitment to spend two years to make sure that the people who invested with our brothers, in salvaging the homes at the former Glasgow AFB, got paid, our brothers had given up and were going to do a Chapter 7, they felt they had no options after the credit was pulled by GSA. Commitments are a wonderful thing, and sometimes, if they are the right kind of commitment, they create coincidences (some people call them miracles). Well this is also a Christian story and what a wonderful journey that is. This story will even have a section on the beauty of the feminine. It will also have a ton of items on the good, the bad and the ugly of the deeds and actions of people.

OK, 27 years ago when we made the commitment to build a Military retirement community here at the former Glasgow AFB I worked with different sections of government in the Capital of Helena. When I told them what my plans were I got a lot of laughs, not only because the federal government had spent tens of millions of dollars and failed, but because they said that the leadership in Valley County was different, way different. Those who have watched the great Christmas story staring Jimmy Stewart, "It is a Wonderful World" will understand what it is all about.

Short history on Valley County Commissioners, after they fought Judy and I for many years and we had built a beautiful community against all odds, they finally got involved - they raised our taxes a thousand percent, yes 1000%, I had a heart attack and Judy died of an aneurysm shortly after that. I needed to sell the successful project.  We had sold over 220 homes to super quality people and had creating hundreds of jobs for Valley County; and a tax base that would be over a 100 million dollars today if it had not been stopped by that increase in taxes; this figure is enormous and would be over a thousand jobs today and make Valley County one of the most prosperous rural communities with a Class A school system. 

Although Mr. Pippen was not a Commissioner at that time, this is the start of the Pippenville/Potterville era, Why?

Well, I came back to St. Marie to try to fix it, I could not let a community that is named "St. Marie" be a dump and that is what it is today with no hope; well almost no hope - again caused by the self-serving leadership of Glasgow. It makes no sense, their actions must be self-serving they have no rhyme nor reason - greed, jealousy, envy, ego, hate, etc. etc. - no rhyme nor reason to what they have done, but it does show the town fathers have their own agenda.  Is this what the people in Helena were talking about?

One of the local ministers told me when I came to Glasgow that there was a black cloud over this city. Do not get me wrong, or the minister, we have great people here in Valley County and you need to know what is happening.  There is something wrong when you see what has developed here at St. Marie and the causes for the current situation there is an agenda by the leadership and it is not a successful St. Marie if they do not profit from it personally.

Real short summary: I sold God's Mountain property in Helena Mt at a reduced price (listed at $525,000 sold for $340,000, a $450,000 painting for $150,000, 2 acres overlooking Fort Peck Lake, my condo studio in Helena the top of the Placer Hotel plus much more and I was able to consolidate the inventory of the housing units so it could be marketed and brought back. I waited to go to the Commissioners until it was a sure thing; the properties were consolidated and ready for the quiet title action. I laid out the plan of fully developing St. Marie that I was successful in doing those many years back.  I needed them to look for options on the taxes, which were filled with bogus water liens, they refused. I asked them to work with me and the St. Marie condo on a quiet title, Mr. Pippen, "Pat the people of St. Marie do not want a quiet title". I asked him to check with the County Attorney if a quiet title was needed, although I am sure he knew that it was needed the banks would not finance homes at St. Marie.

Some of this will not make a lot of sense to you, but the county took 44 units that were severed from the land making them personal property under the real estate tax procedure. They had all the properties under one tax code so refused to let anyone pay for individual units, even though they had already set a precedence of allowing one unit out but the person taking the property for taxes to take a unit of his out. Whoa

I will quickly tell the worst, I hope to highlight this and get the state involved. The county themselves went after my properties. At the time I had purchase over 400 homes to consolidate the inventory to move forward. They came after 13 units of mine, I asked the county treasurer about why those 13 units and she told me they were randomly picked out of the 400 units, I am assuming by the County Commissioners, but someone in the County offices. Those 13 units were my only income properties whatever the reason, it was for a sell agenda. I am sure that is not legal just as the 44 severed units, but they are taking properties by tax assignments and I have no means to fight; but somehow I will.

Does the situation sound bleak, Yes, but guess what I know St. Marie will be a beautiful place and I ask all out there to say a prayer for St. Marie, and if you are in a position to speak up or take action please do.

Sincerely, Pat

Picture of a single story home
bottom of page