photo credit: Lajos Geenen

* “How to Build a Backyard Treehouse,” Popular Mechanics, March 2010


19 responses to “

  1. Greg.Hawley

    Hello Logan,

    For the past five years, I’ve enjoyed your writing and adventures, specifically in PM and PS. My family and I just relocated to Appomattox, Virginia and we have some great Oak and Walnut trees on our small farm. I conducted an engine search on tree houses and your 2010 article was one of the first that surfaced.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I’ll benefit over the next year as we build our own tiny “above ground fortress” to protect and nurture the imaginations of our family. Thanks!

    Greg Hawley

  2. Hi, Greg. Sounds like you’re in for some fun! I’d love to know how the project turns out. Best of luck. Logan

  3. Sally Skeeters Koch

    I am almost done with your book, See you in a Hundred Years. What a great book. My husband and I live in Swoope and bought a small 1816 farm about the time you did. We are not originally from this area, and I found the book humerous and interesting. I must say, I am not thrilled how the roosters were killed..ugh. Also, we love our post lady Jeanie and cannot wait to hear her reaction about her in the book!! Any new books coming out?
    Sally and Bill Koch
    Lambsgate Farm (connected to Middle River as well)

    • Hi Sally! It’s nice to know you’re enjoying the book. Being a Swoopian (Swooper? Swoopester?), you’ve got an interesting perspective. If you see Jeannie, please give her my best!

  4. Barbara

    I just finished your book, having waited years for it to be available on my Kindle – finally breaking down and reading it the old fashioned way! I have to say I envy you the experience, although not the backbreaking work. I am surprised you gave up gardening so easily, but am glad you are doing it on a smaller scale once again. I grew up, and lived only in big cities, but have always been nostalgic for self-reliance of the ‘old’ ways. Any time I can participate in any way I feel so fulfilled. My tiny community garden plot isn’t as successful as I’d hoped, but I totally love every aspect of the seed to table activities.

  5. Your tree house design has totally inspired me. I have been sketching out a bunch of ideas for one for my kids and you have totally solved my undercarriage issues. In my case, the tree is in bad shape, so I was going to top it, leave an 8′ stump, and just plop the house on top.
    Looking a few years down the road, has it been plenty stiff enough in the wind? Do you feel like you overbuilt the walls? I was planning on 24″ studs just to reduce weight aloft. As your kids have gotten older, is it still big enough, or would you bump it a bit bigger?

    • Looks like you have a good plan. Because I used rough-cut oak, my walls are definitely overbuilt. I think studs on 24″ centers should be fine as long as your siding and roofing materials aren’t too heavy. I used very light pine siding and a cedar shake roof. I noticed one comment suggesting you allow the tree to push through to the roof for support, but you don’t need it. In fact, my ceiling rafters are not anchored to the tree. Good luck! Logan

  6. Burke Staunton

    Hi Mr. Ward, I just finished reading your book “See You in a Hundred Years” and I can’t tell you how much I loved it!!! I’ve stayed up late and read at work the past week in order to finish it as quickly as possible. I’ve never had an assignment (I’m reading it for my Radford core 201 class) that I’ve enjoyed so much! I live in Virginia, about an hour and twenty minutes away from Swoope, and this area’s history is just so interesting to me. I’m going to take an Appalachian studies class this semester as well, and I’m interested to see if it has any correlation to your book’s content. I think we get to meet with you sometime during the first few weeks of class, and if that’s true, I can’t wait! You’re stories of your son’s playful two year old nature cracked me up throughout the book, and those of your hardships were very concerning and touching. I was also very happy to read at the end of your book that you and Heather were able to conceive your daughter (and that she’s so interested in nature! ) Thank you for a fun, interesting, and inspiring novel, and I can’t wait to read more of your work.

    Best regards, a new fan, Burke

    P.S. I know its random but I love making jewelry, and the bracelet you made your wife was probably one of my favorite little things that you did…so creative, resourceful, and sweet!

  7. Kirsten Turner

    Hi Logan! Just wanted to tell you that after really enjoying your book (Hundred Years) a few years ago I have given it to quite a few friends and relatives as gifts and they have also gotten much joy out of it. I have some good friends who live in Staunton who were actually mentioned in your book who recommended it to me. Like so many others I really want you to write another book and come to Roanoke for a book signing. That’s where I live and I would be happy to be your Roanoke publicist. 🙂 I hope all is well with you and your family! Fondly, Kirsten

  8. April Odom

    Hi Logan, I have just read your book : 100 yrs, for the second time. I got lost in your words on describing the ways of life. My husband and I have a small place outside of Nashville Tn. and we love the country life as well as keeping our lives as simple as we can. Reading your book for the second time was so refreshing. Many blessings to you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Andrea Holloway

    Dear Mr Logan,

    I am writing to tell you that I want be reading your book. I started to read
    ” see you in a hundred years ” but I cant understand why you would put
    so much profanity in your book. I do not think this is necessary even if
    you choose to speak this way. A good story don’t need these words to tell the story. Just some honesty to you
    Thank you for your time
    Renee Holloway

    • Hi, Renee. I’m sorry the language offended you. You’re right that there are good stories that don’t include profanity, but they’re good because they’re emotionally honest. I felt it would have been less honest to scrub those words from my story.

      Thanks for letting me know your thoughts. I hope you can read the book anyway. Maybe my choices will make more sense once you reach the end.


  10. knittingma

    Logan, just finished See You In A Hundred years. Couldn’t put it down, how incredibly talented you are to relay the experience into words. Loved it!

  11. Sharon Sandridge

    Hi Logan!
    I just finished your book See You In A Hundred Years. I have a Staunton address and live in the county near Swoope. I happened upon your book and it looked interesting. I had no idea until I read a little that you and your family chose Swoope for your 1900 experience. I was ecstatic when I found out!
    I read it enthusiastically, and could hardly wait to find out “what happens next!” Turns out my husband knows some of the Swoopians in your book. It has been pure delight to read your book. I admire you and your wife for what you did.
    My husband and I raise a lot of what we eat as well as hunting deer for our freezer. I guess we’ll “stay on the grid” unless this world gets much worse. But your book… your experience has definitely inspired me to carefully consider how much (and I’m not near the computer or phone freak as some I know) time I spend or depend on these things and the possibility of the fulfilling life that can be had without so much technology and the possible need of “that kind of life someday.”
    I feel in a small way I got to know you and your wife because of the honesty in which you tell the story. You and your wife are somethin’ else!!!
    I pray God’s continued blessing on you and your family. May He continue to show Himself to you in mighty ways. For His love for you is great. (John 3:16)
    Blessed by your book,

  12. Jenni

    Mr. Ward,

    I recently read your tree house article in Popular Mechanics. I would like to build one similar for my son. Would by chance have the dimensions you used? If you’re willing to share, of course. Thank you in advance!


    • Hi Jenni,

      I don’t have any dimensions or plans to send, but you can find a similar design in a guidebook, Black and Decker’s Complete Guide… I’m including the link below. Good luck!

  13. John McCosby

    Enjoyed the paperback “See You in A Hundred Years”, much like I had enjoyed Laura Ingall’s semi-fiction stories of a similar life. It has only strengthened my belief that we would be happier & more content learning to live with less but like you I wouldn’t give up all advances.
    P.S. I am curious why some of those who helped you weren’t mentioned in the Thanks at the end of the book.

    • Glad you enjoyed the book, John. I changed a few names in the book but thanked them in the acknowledgements using their real names. I should have made that clear–you’re not the first person to ask!

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