Upper Tract, West Virginia

The Shack at Hinkle Farm represents a first for record—a residence without electricity. The single-room house is simplicity embodied. Architect Jeffery Broadhurst, AIA, designed the diminutive abode as a retreat for his family. A few hours from their home in suburban Washington, D.C., the shack perches on a 27-acre mountaintop property in West Virginia.

The Shack at Hinkle Farm
Photo ' Anice Hoachlander/HDPhoto

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Although Broadhurst thinks of the shack as a place for family and friends, it exhibits an undeniably monastic dimension. Exceedingly remote, it is inaccessible without an off-road vehicle. A long, winding drive over stones and grasses along the ridge of South Fork Mountain leads to a steep clearing where the bucolic box hovers at 3,600 feet above sea level. It’s an ideal hermitage, but on weekends in the warmer seasons, Broadhurst packs up to a half-dozen people in the 140-square-foot room.

The convivial occupation of the shack echoes the nature of its construction. Broadhurst’s friends and neighbors helped him assemble it, using products pulled from the shelves of a home-improvement retailer. Simple board-and-batten siding and a standing-seam, terne-coated steel roof sits atop a wood platform supported by four pressure-treated pine posts. Inside the shack, you can see between the floor planks to the ground below. Rodent barriers, like those used to protect local corn cribs, arm the platform’s underside.

A ladder unhitches from the southwest side of the building and swings down to the ground, providing access to the entry door. Inside, oil lamps provide light and a woodstove heats the space. Lifting a small trap door in the floor reveals the lid of a water tank beneath the platform. A gravitational system delivers water from the tank to a faucet in the miniscule “kitchen.” A hand-powered bilge pump, designed for removing water from the bottom of a boat’s hull, draws water from below the platform to a smaller tank suspended from the ceiling, so it can fall into the shack’s descending plumbing. The pump can also be hooked up to a water-storage compartment on the woodstove, sending hot water to the faucet.



Broadhurst Architects, Inc.
306 First Street
Rockville, Maryland 20851

Jeffery S. Broadhurst, AIA


Structron Engineering


General contractor
Owner, with assistance by Clagett Construction.


Anice Hoachlander/HDPhoto


Structural system:
Wood frame, post and beam

Exterior cladding
Locally milled pine board & batten

Follansbee “Klassic Kolors” Prepainted Terne II, Stone Gray

Custom wood casement windows by Clagett Construction

Metal Garage door:
Overhead Door Company of Washington, DC, Series 511, anodized aluminum with 1/8” glass.

Wood doors:
Custom site-built entry door

Locksets/Security devices:
Master Locks



Cabinet hardware:

Deck Railing:
Fence wire and ratchet tensioners, Southern States Supply

Interior finishes
The underside of the Follansbee Terne roof

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork
Clagett Construction

Paints and stains: 
Behr Solid Latex Stain

The back side of the pine board & batten siding

Special surfacing: 
Corrugated galvanized steel behind wood stove.

Gray Limestone, Fernando’s Marble Shop

Wood flooring: 
Pressure treated 1 x 6 wood screwed to wood frame.

Folding Camp Chairs, Gallyans

Costco card table

Plow & Hearth

Antique ¾ “cottage furniture” found at yard sale

Antique trunk, family heirloom

Metal Tray Table
Ranger Surplus

Aluminum Milk Can: 
Ranger Surplus

Miscellaneous Metal Fabrications by ABC Welding, Inc.

Wood Stove
Cylinder Stoves

Custom Sunbrella Awning by Canvas Creations, Inc.

Interior lighting
Dietz Lanterns, Air Pilot model, Lehman’s Non-Electric Catalog

Accessibility provision: 
Custom fold-up entry stairs

Rain Barrel: 
Aaron’s Rain Barrels

Milk Can Shower/Water Heater: 
Ranger Surplus

Water Pump: 
Little Urchin Bilge Pump, Boats USA

Water Storage Tanks: 
Diverse Plastics Group, Inc.