Horace Burgess inspired by his love of God and a rather large tree, set out to build the world’s largest treehouse in Crossville, TN, and he did. Spiraling about 100 feet up there were twisty windy hallways and passages everywhere. About 2/3 up lived a chapel with a high ceiling and pews. From the various balconies, you could peer down and see “Jesus” written largely in the parking lot. On days with lots of people, I could hear distance voices and footsteps as everyone navigated their own way through the maze. On days with no one else visible, it felt like someone was constantly watching and waiting around the corner.
A note carved in the wall by Horace said, “Enter at your own risk.” Everyone was technically trespassing, though he didn’t mind the visitors, just the vandalism. Many were able to make the pilgrimage when it was open. The state fire marshal started closing it to visitors and then in 2019 a fire got started and burned the treehouse to the ground. What had taken twelve years to build was gone in 15 minutes. Horace took the fire in stride waiting for God to tell him what to do next.