The man spent 14 years building the largest treehouse in the world, but wait until you see inside.


The owner, Horace Burgess, claims he was instructed by God to build the house. Another nickname for it is « The Minister’s Tree House. »

Since 1993, nearly 250,000 nails have been used for the construction of the ten-story house, which stands on a foundation of six oak trees. The total « living area » is over 3,000 square feet, including all the floors.

The house took 14 years to build and was estimated to cost around $12,000 despite its exclusively wooden construction.

What kind of person would build such a thing? You might think he’s crazy. Horace Burgess claimed that God informed him in 1993 to build the treehouse and assured him that he would never run out of wood.

So far, it seems God has kept his promise. The structure features a large central area that can be used for prayers as well as basketball games, along with a penthouse floor on the tenth story.

A half-ton church bell is also included. The many wooden planks that make up the building now bear the markings of visitors who have toured it.

The house, which was operational for some time, had to be closed in 2012 due to violations of local fire safety regulations. The local fire department feared a large fire could break out, which would be devastating for the entirely wooden structure.

Finally, it happened… The world’s largest treehouse, a 97-foot-tall wooden structure in Crossville, Tennessee, burned to the ground in less than half an hour.

In the early 1990s, architect Harold Burgess said in an interview, « When you build a treehouse, you will never run out of material. » And he didn’t. The Minister’s Treehouse was built over two decades with raw wood donated by locals.

The villa comprised 80 rooms, including classrooms, bedrooms, and a kitchen, spread over five floors and held together by an 80-foot-tall white oak.

A large porch connected the levels via a winding staircase. The interior design, which included a hand-carved Bible, a tall cross, and wooden church pews, successfully blended humorous and spiritual elements.

The word « JESUS » was visible in the carefully tended grass below the structure. The treehouse attracted tourists seeking a unique experience as it was used for religious services.

State fire marshals banned tourism at the treehouse in 2012 due to multiple violations, including the lack of a load distribution system, uneven floors and fall hazards, exceeding occupancy limits, and the absence of a licensed design professional.

When ordered to close the building by the State Fire Marshal, Burgess put up a sign that read, « Closed by the State Fire Marshal. File your complaints with them. »

Captain Derek Carter of the Cumberland County Fire Department was already on site when local police were contacted to report the fire.

« When we arrived, it was basically a pile of debris. » « The fire was so intense that we had to park 500 meters away, » said Carter. When firefighters arrived on the scene, it took almost 15 minutes to extinguish the fire.

Macy Leatherwood, a resident of Pigeon Forge, spent Christmas 2018 with her family at Cumberland Mountain State Park. According to Leatherwood, the Minister’s Treehouse was « the highlight of the trip » due to its size and originality.

Although she could only see the house through the fence, she had a beautiful view. She was devastated when she learned that the house had been destroyed.

« It will undoubtedly be a cherished memory of a family vacation, and I will never forget this treehouse. »

Captain Carter, who visited the treehouse as a tourist before it was closed to the public, described it as a « death trap. » He summed up the experience by adding, « It was very cool, but also very dangerous. »

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