“Skyline” in the 1960s: Part VIII

(Recap: A number of seriously creative handmade houses dotted John Wickett’s scenic 4,400-acre Skyline property in the 1960s. They were tucked away, difficult to find, usually by invitation only– reached by hiking on crooked dirt paths, muddy in the spring– ducking under tangled tree limbs while pushing away dense leafy foliage… )

Predictably, none of the fantastic structures were designed to meet county building codes. After all they were built to challenge the imagination. One house featured a storybook “drawbridge with chains and platforms”.

But perhaps the most sensational creation was the fabulous treehouse built by Kendall Whiting.

“Kendall’s treehouse was five stories tall, 50 feet above the ground,” John Wickett told me. “He put in an elevator and a suspended sliding cable…”

Five stories tall? An elevator? 50 feet above ground?

No wonder Kendall Whiting’s magical treehouse was the talk of Skyline and Beyond. (And that’s what it was, truly magical– I know, I actually rode in the “elevator” to the top of the treehouse).

But Whiting’s treehouse became so famous that it also brought worries. “We were afraid of lawsuits,” John admitted. He had good reason to be concerned. By now word had spread fast about the flower children who lived in fantastic houses on an incredible mountain with huge redwoods and cool meadows.

“Too many people were getting up around there,” Wickett said, “and it was getting to be a problem. All the sightseers wanted to see the property and the treehouse.”

(Sadly, eventually Kendall Whiting would fall out of his treehouse–and the amazing structure he created was torn down.)

…To Be Continued…