God tells guy to build really, really, really large treehouse

Boing Boing reader John Hudgens says,

Years ago, Horage Burgess prayed and received divine inspiration. He says that God told him "If you build be a treehouse, I'll see that you never run out of material."

And so Horace started building... and building... and 15 years later, he's still going.

The tree house is now 97 feet tall, supported by a living 80-foor tall white oak, with six other oaks for support. It currently has ten floors, and a belltower.

My girlfriend and I went there this weekend, and I've posted photos to Flickr.

View the entire Flickr set.

(via BB Submitterator)



  1. He says that God told him “If you build be a treehouse, I’ll see that you never run out of material.”

    Does the lumber magically appear in his tool shed? That would be convenient.

  2. If Elvis tells a guy to build a tower, they put him in a mental institution. If god tells a guy to do the same thing, they call him a prophet.

    Still the treehouse is pretty neat.

  3. I’m pretty sure “God told me to” is just a way to get away with something you know will piss off the wife.

  4. This would be really cool if not for the god part. If it was just some father/son project that was way too far, I’d cheer that. As it is, I’m hoping for a lightning strike.

    1. What difference does it make if he thinks God told him to build it? At least he’s doing something peaceful and neat with his hands instead of something violent and stupid. I wish more “God told me to” people were building outlandish things rather than running for office.

  5. I’m trying to figure out how the local municipality hasn’t raised a stink over this. I highly doubt it passes code. And obviously there are visitors galore in it.

    Frankly I think it’s pretty sweet and his carpentry skills certainly seem to improve as you move up the house.

    (It’s gonna be a bitch when that tree dies.)

  6. why doesn’t god tell people to, you know, care for the sick or the poor anymore? what’s his/her fascination with crazy building projects?

    1. Gee, I think God just told me to tell you to go volunteer at your local hospital or chronic care facility.
      Now I think He just told me to tell everybody reading these words to go volunteer at your local hospital or chronic-care facility.
      Oh wait…no. No, that was just my clock-radio in the next room running an ad from a local church, mosque or synagogue. I’m not sure which.
      But even so, I do think it is good advice.

    1. When he says “God” he really means a shiny gold metallic being that can float whilst seated in a wooden throne. He’s also fluent in 6 million forms of communication.

  7. If God told Noah to build an ark because there was a flood coming, should I be preparing for a plague of ground squirrels?

  8. Inside city limits and subject to building code: Dangerous lunatic.
    Outside city limits and beyond the reach of building code: Inspired visionary.
    It is all about location.

  9. This is just like the time God told that other dude, “If you cover this island with creepy dolls, you will have a really creepy island.”

  10. Say what you will about religion, but it has been the inspiration for some beautiful, beautiful art and buildings.

  11. I wish God could tell more people to make amazing arts & crafts projects instead of just “kill the guys on the other side of the river”

  12. Worthy of Lothlorien. A life well lived.

    I was in Murfreesboro for a full year recently. Wish I’d known…. Sending Mom a link.

  13. Too bad God didn’t send him an architectural/engineering education. DIY only goes so far before something is just plain-ass ugly and/or dangerous as hell.

  14. This guy is crazy. I am concerned about the health of the tree but more about the safety of visitors. Other than that, that’s a pretty amazing piece of work.

  15. It’s not a proper tree house. It should be supported by a tree, not built around a tree. Anyone can have a house with a tree in it.

  16. And after he dies… the treehouse will continue to build itself, complete with ghostly sounds of hammer and saw!

  17. This is not far from where I live. It’s simultaneously awesome and whimper-inducing at the same time. I spent a good deal of time tightly grasping anything that looked sturdy. Fun as hell, though. My boyfriend and I went during the fall when the trees were bare. You really get an idea of how much time and resources went into this without all the leaves in the way. A lot of people don’t realize that he offers the space to the homeless. An old man lived in the “creepee-teepee” in the back for years before he passed.

  18. I don’t care about the technicalities: God, treehouse or housetree, mental health issues… This is brilliant!

  19. I love how God just randomly chooses to assign some guy a life mission as ridiculous as building a giant treehouse. Think he keeps a list until he finds the right guy, or just says the first thing that pops into his head?

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