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I grew up on a little farm in Williamstown, Mass. It’s the oldest operating organic farm in New England, and I was able to roam wild and free in the woods, in the garden and among the animals. I usually left the house in the morning with my pocketknife and a bottlecap to skin carrots. I’d go down into the fields, pick vegetables, play in the river, go fishing, chase the animals and disappear into the hay loft. We had this massive 60 by 60 by 30 space that was stacked to the brim with hay. At that age, it felt like it was the size of a city. I started every season climbing all the way to the top and slowly burrowing my way down, making all these caves in different rooms and hiding jars of honey and magazines in there.
Working for Suffolk was what brought me to the city in Boston. I was on a project right downtown and found out from my best friend Harry that he was heading to Montana to work on this dream project on the side of a mountain at Big Sky. I afforded myself maybe a minute to daydream about what that would be like, but I immediately pushed that thought deep under the rug as a pipe dream. But lo and behold, I had the opportunity to visit the project, and I knew I needed to find a way to get here. It’s a Western mountain town that was unlike anything I had really experienced, but it felt very similar to what home was like. They presented us with the org chart of the team and there was a question mark around the superintendent for the hotel project. I said, “Where do I sign?”
Fast forward a few months, after I finished my responsibilities in Boston, and I landed at the Bozeman airport. I called my parents and said, “I'm never coming back.” Well, for holidays and maybe their birthdays. But besides that, I felt like this is where I wanted to be forever.
I called my parents and said, “I'm never coming back.”
From the day that I got out here, every single move has felt right. I've just been trusting my instincts in these experiences, and to date they haven’t proven me wrong. Two months into moving out here, I got set up at a bar with this incredible woman from Bozeman. Fast forward a year, Katie and I get engaged on the side of a mountain in the Paradise Valley, and three months later we’re getting married on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a ranch next to a river with just a few close friends. We’ve got a little baby on the way this August.
Katie bought this house back in 2015, and we moved in at the end of 2020 and decided we wanted to do some renovations. I’ve always had the dream of completely building my own home and outfitting it with the furniture and art I’ve been creating for the last 10 years. We had some simple plans of repainting the walls and redoing some finishes; that led to moving some walls, which turned into gutting the entire house. Two and a half years in, it’s still not done — much to my wife’s chagrin. But since our timeline has been expedited with the baby, I’ll come back in the evening from the jobsite, put my tool belt on and get to work. It’s been a huge sacrifice, but it’s incredibly rewarding to return home every night and think about raising a family in this house where we’ve touched every square inch and made it our own.
I’m just so grateful to make this big leap into an area that I had never been to before, but at the same time felt like home. I’m more comfortable here. My soul rests in the woods and the wilderness.
Dylan Schultz spent the first 22 years of his life in the one-stoplight town of Williamstown before joining Suffolk in 2012. By day, he is the Senior Superintendent at our Inn at Spanish Peaks project in Big Sky. By night, he lives his dream as an artist, continuing the furniture-building craft he began 10 years ago.
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