Tree House Throwback

In honor of Throwback Thursday today, I want to write about one of the most unique places that my wanderings have taken me… In 2012 I took my mom on a road trip through Tennessee and Mississippi to celebrate her 50th birthday. As this meant LOTs of time in the car, I researched attractions that we might be interested along the way. I had hoped to find quick and interesting places to stretch our legs, but I struck obscure attraction gold. The world’s largest tree house, located just outside Crossville, TN!


A view of a portion of the tree house

My research taught me that Minister Horace Burgess started to build the tree house in 1993. He got the idea through prayer and was inspired by what he calls a vision of God. In this vision, God told the minister that if he “built a tree house, I’ll see that you never run out of material”. Thirty years later, the tree house stands over 90 feet tall with five stories and 80 rooms.

A view looking down from one of the middle levels

A view looking down from one of the middle levels

It is hard to tell, but there are indeed trees under all of the construction. At the base is a 80 foot tall white oak with a 12 foot diameter. Six other trees are used for support of the structure. As you wander through the tree house, you’ll find a chapel complete with a basketball hoop and class room like areas. Throughout the building there are religious wood carvings mixed with graffiti and people leaving their marks.

Chapel/Basketball court

Chapel/Basketball court


Classroom like area

For many years, there were very few rules to the tree house, but as time went on kids started to use the tree house for purposes contrary to the Minister’s vision. Signs on the property suggest that at one time, everything was tolerated, but liability issues made the owner stiffen the rules.

New rules

New rules

For those that work their up way through the house to the top bell tower, they are rewarded with a view of Minister Horace Burgess’s garden in tribute to his inspiration for the tree house. Its no small trek to see the house in its entirety but if your ever in the area I would definitely recommend a visit.

Minister Horace Burgess's garden view

Minister Horace Burgess’s garden view

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