EUREKA SPRINGS (KATV) - A treehouse is a cherished memory of adventures as a kid and in Eureka Springs; Treehouse Cottages have become a popular hotel accommodation option.
In 1976, when Terry and Patsy Miller visited family in Arkansas, they decided to stay. She is an artist and he is a carpenter. In the 90's they decided to go into the cottage business but there was a problem. The land they purchased dropped off at a 45-degree angle and that is how Treehouse Cottages got off the round.
Building in the trees is hardly a new idea. Terry Miller jokes, "Everybody knows that we are not the original Treehouses because the Swiss Family Robinson and Tarzan had the first ones."
Terry miller is used to building homes in the Florida Keys and brought that system to Eureka Springs. "We build them up on 5 big wooden polls, which at one time where trees," he emphasizes.
They're designed to provide high-quality accommodation with little impact on the 33 acres of peaceful forest setting. "When we pick out a spot to put a tree house in, we will get up on a ladder as tall as we can where we think we want it. Then we start measuring to see how many trees we don't have to take down."
The 18 to 20 week process by Miller and his son is a labor of love. "The cedar post, all the railing and post we go out in the woods and get them. We cut them, drag them and strip them all and mill them out."
It is not just planks of wood nailed together, weather has been no match for the cottages. Terry says, "When we build a house in the Keys, my dad says it is designed to stand a 120 miles an hour breeze. He continues, "So this past Springs, we had an 86 mile an hour straight line breeze come though Eureka."
You are not camping, there are full amenities like a king size bed, bathroom, kitchenette, vaulted ceiling, wrap around patio and heart shape Jacuzzi surrounded by windows. Decorations are a mix of modern and antiques, like the 120 year old marble from the Queen Ann mansion.
Terry explains, "We get to put a lot of ourselves in it. This is a mom and pop deal. It is all hands on and it is a lot of fun." Terry's wife, Patsy makes all the tile, dishes and cups.
Each secluded cottage is suspended 22 to 26 feet above the ground with fantastic views that promote relaxation. It is a bird watchers paradise and a wildlife lovers dream.
On the walking trail you can spot squirrels, birds, deer, raccoons, red foxes and owls.
The windows are five feet wide, 11 feet high. Terry says a 70-year old guest who has stayed in every cottage had a problem with the curtains once and decided it wasn't a big deal. "She goes, 'honey, if they crawl up the tree and look in, they deserve to see what they see'. It was just a funny story and she put everything in perspective. You are up in the trees; you are out in the middle of nowhere."
Each guest reminds the Miller's why they do this. One in particular stands out, "They wrote in the book, 'we came here to divorce but we have changed our minds'. So my goodness, how cool is that It is because the people that makes it great because you meet so many different people."
You can make a reservation online 3 years in advance. There are 8 cottages and the Miller family has not decided if they will build more. You can also book your wedding or events there.