By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Have you ever thought about building a treehouse and then living in it? A northern Minnesota couple did exactly that and then took it to another level.

This house in the trees is the pride of Will and Peggy Line, built right on their Wadena property. In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen shows us how this dream house has become a destination for people across the state.

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“We had a pure obsession in order to get it done,” Will said. “It was a fun obsession. It was a challenge. A fun challenge.”

Challenge. Obsession. Call it whatever you want. When the root of this idea took hold, Will and Peggy Line were determined to make it happen.

“We ended up 12 years old because at 12 you know you could have built this. You could have done it but folks tell you it’s the worst idea you’ve ever had,” Peggy said.

Luckily in this case there was no parental supervision. The couple wrote the plan for their dream on a piece of paper and then began construction in the early 2000’s.

“We could have built a three bedroom home on the ground a lot easier,” Will said.

One big advantage — they owned a sawmill at the time so they had unlimited access to wood. They’d spend all day at their business but couldn’t wait to get home to work.

“The interior framing is pine. And the walls because that was light,” Will said. “The other parts are oak, ash, all species of hardwood.”

There’s air-conditioning, heat, cable tv — everything including the kitchen sink. A ship’s ladder leads up to the loft where a maple plank connects the bedrooms.

“It’s almost like a treehouse inside of a treehouse,” Will said.

The wraparound deck is another cool feature. It’s 14-feet off the ground. And in a true case of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure the Lines have used their share of repurposed wood, especially for the railings.

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“We made several trips to Lake Superior and brought back driftwood,” Will said.

“Lake Superior just happened to be interesting and free,” Peggy said.

The couple actually lived in their Swiss Family Robinson-style house for 3 1/2 years. When their daughter moved back home, they needed more space so they made it available to others.

“There’s a ‘peace’ about it. I hear that all the time,” Peggy said.

After Wadena was hit by a devastating tornado in 2010, Will and Peggy decided to build a shelter nearby to keep visitors safe. Once again, there’s a signature plank that connects rooms.

“It’s something that got way out of hand like the treehouse. It was meant to be a storm shelter and then it just began to grow,” Peggy said.

Much like their dream of a treehouse for adults. There’s a joy in creating. There’s a bigger joy in watching others take delight in what you’ve created.

“I absolutely love everybody that’s come. By the time they leave they feel like family,” Peggy said. “It comes from a time when anything is possible before you have to grow up.”

Because COVID-19 has forced them to space out reservations, the Lines are actually booked until November.

But they are currently taking reservations for next year.

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For more information on how the house was made and how to visit, click here.

John Lauritsen