Tree Houses

Tree Houses

From a very young age, most kids have this insatiable desire to build small dwellings for themselves, a place to hide and imagine, and in some cases, just escape that annoying younger sibling. Couch forts were fine during cold winters, but as we headed into the summer months of our collective youth, we ventured outdoors to build our shelters. And if you really wanted to stretch your independent wings, you looked skyward, for a tall and sturdy tree to call your home away from home. This is for all of you who built a tree house or two in your day.

As the experienced among us can attest, a tree house could be constructed from as little as a few sheets of plywood and some 2x4s, held together haphazardly by a mere box of nails. Thankfully though, someone’s dad was usually a decent handyman and could help ensure that your tree house was structurally sound, and therefore wouldn’t someday teach you a painful lesson in the laws of gravity. Here’s a pretty good example of a properly built tree dwelling (and a pretty nifty one at that):

Of course, one of the more posh tree houses from our retro past is the one occupied by The Brady Kids in their animated Saturday morning cartoon series from the 70s. Complete with the comforts of color television (and therefore, electricity), this multi-leveled structure, was big enough to hold half a dozen Brady tykes, two pandas, a pet dog, and a talking bird, and served as headquarters for their many wacky adventures. You can see their impressive treetop townhouse in this clip from a very special Brady Kids episode, where the whole gang surprisingly teams up with Wonder Woman. Let’s take a look:

Now, in some cases, the passion for tree houses lingers well into adulthood. Here are a few astounding adult-sized versions that, in some cases, are full-times structures for entire families:

And of course, we couldn’t forget the most famous tree house of all, the aviary abode of the Swiss Family Robinson:

We figure that chances are good that we have a few fellow treetop dwellers amongst our readers. Tell us about the tree houses of your youth (unless, of course, you still live in one – in which case, we would love to hear about that as well). In hindsight, were they architectural works of art, or rickety death traps worthy of condemnation? Did that tall ladder nailed into the tree trunk sufficiently deter your younger siblings from joining you or were you forced to admit the little rugrats to your sanctuary per your parent’s demands. Share all your tree house memories with us in our comments section, as we look back on this timeless childhood ritual that helped us achieve the privacy we desired, years before we would ever search for our first apartment.

2 Responses to “Tree Houses”

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  1. HardyGirl66 says:

    Ah, yet another experience I won’t ever know anything about. Being a city kid, I never had a treehouse, but I always wanted one for my dolls, so it was made out of an old wooden stool. However, when I was a teenager here in CA, I once ran away from home, (when I lived w/ my dad), and hid in my friend’s treehouse. Her parents made her tell my dad where I was. I got the whipping of my life, and my friend got her treehouse torn down.

  2. Lynn says:

    My cousins had a little treehouse in their back yard. I always wanted to build a big one for us and my sister and I remember making so many fancy plans. Sadly, they never happened. Mainly because none of us knew a thing about carpentry and Dad worked late hours.

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