Once Will and Peggy Line started on their "fort," they never stopped until it was a 420-square-foot residence.
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS SEPT. 24-25 - In this Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011 photo, Will and Peggy Line walk up the steps to their treehouse on their property in Wadena, Minn. The 420-square- foot tree house is winterized and features all the comforts of home in the branches of the trees.
WADENA, MINN. - When retired couple Will and Peggy Line walk up the steps into their treehouse on their property in southeast Wadena, they feel like they're 12 again.
The treehouse that's nearly 15 feet up in the air entangled with several large trees is not your typical treehouse that usually consists of a few old boards nailed to the tree for a fort and steps.
The Lines' treehouse is a rustic cabin with a loft, up in the trees. The cabin is winterized and has plumbing and electricity. The 420-square-feet house has a kitchen, bathroom, a sitting area on the main floor and a loft with sleeping quarters. A deck surrounds the treehouse for access around it and includes a hot tub for enjoyment. Union Creek and wetlands can be seen from behind the treehouse.
The treehouse is supported by logs buried 6 feet and surrounded by concrete. Steel beams were added after the June 17, 2010, tornado -- just in case.
The Lines, who lived in the treehouse for three years, but do not at this time, said it was never meant to be so large.
"It kind of got out of hand," they said, but they wouldn't change a thing on the treehouse, as it is their "heaven."
The Lines built the treehouse themselves in 2000 using materials from the sawmill they owned. The Lines were living in an apartment at the sawmill and purchased five acres of property at the edge of Wadena. They had three big white oak trees that were in a triangular position and they thought about building a "nice size" treehouse for their grandchildren when they come to visit.
"The treehouse slowly began turning into a guest cottage and we added a kitchen and bathroom," said Will Line. "It took us almost two years to build; we became obsessed with it."
Peggy Line said: "We felt like we were 12 again. We thought, well, if you can dream it, you can do it. I guess we watched Swiss Family Robinson a little too much."
The Lines had to move out of the treehouse when Peggy's daughter, Lori, moved to their home. They built an apartment on the upper level of the workshop for Lori, and they built a house next to the workshop for themselves.
The Lines hope to move back into the treehouse someday, but in the meantime they rent out what they call the "treehouse getaway." Since July, they have rented out the treehouse for $150 a night, with the second night at half-price. They also offer free tours, with advance notice. Rental or tour information is at 218-639-8017.
"It's good for the soul for people to see it," said Peggy Line. "There's a peace to it and it's fun."