The Tree that was Lonely

There once was a high and mighty tree who lived just north of Magnolia. It had five main trunks and lived an easy life near the end of a long farm terrace but it wanted more. When John and Martha would go by in the golf cart many times the tree would say, “You have a house and are so comfortable in the winter; I might be big but I get so cold in the wind. Please help me.”

This begging went on for about three years. In September of 2013, John met Ben King at the second annual hot dog roast. Ben was the champion quoit thrower of the evening. He also is a renowned builder whose company sports the name of BK Construction. He is the president of the Company who built the beautiful barn at the Buck in 2012. I told him about the tree in the woods that has the unusual problem and he consented to help grant the tree its’ wishes. He was so busy that his company could only work a half day here and there but that was just fine because the plans were made on a carpe diem basis to give the tree its happiness. This gave John time to gather the materials needed for each step of the way.

Things began with some poles from Ag Fence

John found a spiral stairway at Seven Valleys. Elwood brought the first load from Carter Lumber.

With Gideon’s help the fellows made a good team. Meanwhile, Ben, the bossman, cut out the stair horses.

Now, there was a little time to relax…

And then it was time to get serious…


It was a happy time!

The scene was changing

A hip roof requires some exact fits.

Time for windows and door…

Lookin’ pretty good!

…and then it needed some finishing touches.

The Tree was not happy with the word “house”; it liked “outdoor equipment storage” better

Text and photos by John Bucher Herr

There were many folks whose expertise and kindness enabled this project to evolve to reality. Many thanks to:
Ben King, Rubin Beiler, Gideon Beiler, Gene Maurer, Ag Fence, Mark McWilliams, Anthony Herr, Hans Herr, Carter Lumber, Home Depot, Quality Roofing, UAB Martin Roofing, Beiler Roofing, Lowe’s, The Barnyard Boys, Holtwood Hardware,Yale Electric, Beilers Saw Mill, D&J Hardware, Martha Herr, John Caldwell, Elizabeth Herr, Jerry Brooks, Daniel Shirk, Tracy Smith, Elwood(Woody) Barnes III, GR Mitchel, Penn Stone & Cement, Dennis Ellsworth, Marty Johnson, Duron, Sherwin Williams, Mussers Supermarket BK Construction, and Turkey Hill Ice Tea.

Photos by Anthony Miller Herr


Martha J. Herr was able to enjoy the tree house for three months before her death on Thanksgiving day of 2014. She was able to visit the tree house many times while it was being built. We have now dedicated the tree house to memory of what she meant to her husband, children and grandchildren.

The Herr Family

John Bucher Herr
Anthony M. Herr, Andrew Israel, Dr. Ellen M. Israel, Elizabeth R. Herr, Hans M. Herr, Dr. Hugh M. Herr

Miles Gallagher, Sara Gallagher Michael Gallagher, John Gallagher, Dara Israel, Erica Israel, Alexandra Herr, Sage Herr