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Big Treehouse Result of 20-year Hobby

Anyone who is able to remember the excitement of climbing a tree as a kid will understand the attraction of the "Big Treehouse" near Marshalltown, Iowa.
  Built over the past 20 years by school principal Mick Jurgensen, the treehouse reaches some 50 ft. up into the trees around Shady Oaks Campground, operated by Jurgensen's family. It has 12 levels and more than 6,000 sq. ft. of deck space. More than 500 ft. of walkways link the top level of the treehouse with the ground.
  The Big Treehouse began with six pallets of lumber in the summer of 1983, after Jurgensen completed his junior year in college. He started with a ladder and a deck on the west side of a tall maple tree. Railings, furniture, and lighting came later.
  Jurgensen spends much of his free time on his hobby, adding to the tree house every year.
  Some levels feature picnic tables. Others provide great views of the surrounding countryside. Some promise bird watching and others are just right for quiet meditation. One has cabinets, a refrigerator and a microwave.
  This year, for example, he added another level at the top, accessible only by ladder.
  As the treehouse grew, so did the interest of travelers staying at the campground. Regular tours are conducted through the tree house and people from every state in the country and more than 50 other countries have signed the guest book. "I'm not finished with it yet," says Jurgensen. "I have a lot more ideas on how to make it bigger and better."
  If you'd like to see the Big Treehouse, you'll need an appointment for a guided tour - and tennis shoes. Tours are $2 per person. Call Mary Gift at the Shady Oaks RV Campground to make a reservation.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Shady Oaks RV Campground, 2730 Shady Oaks Road, Marshalltown, Iowa 50158
(ph 641 752-2946; E-mail: bigtreehouse@mchsi.com; Website: www.marshallnet.com/mcbigg/treehouse.html).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #5