Buddy Melvin’s Treehouse - Carolina Country

Buddy Melvin’s Treehouse

17 years, 16 rooms, 12,000 square feet “for the fellas to hang out.”

By Michael E.C. Gery

Buddy Melvin’s Treehouse

In 1997, Willie "Buddy" Melvin wanted to build a treehouse on family land outside of Roseboro. "Only, I didn't want a little boy's treehouse." He was 42 years old. With recycled lumber he built a room that wrapped around the base of a water oak. His friends came by to admire it, so he added to it. "Tearing down old houses and tobacco barns, cleaning up the wood, hauling it back here." He expanded it every year "except '02."

Click on the photo to view slideshow.

By 2014, Buddy Melvin's Treehouse had 16 rooms covering about 12,000 square feet. "Two bathrooms, four bars, two bedrooms, a dance floor, a kitchen. I had a four-hole putt-putt in here at one time." Inside the VIP Bar and Lounge on the second floor you'll see polished wood surfaces, sofas, TVs, twinkling lights, music, easy chairs, a mural, sculptures. From a balcony seat perch "like the Apollo," you look down onto a large dance floor that can accommodate a band or a DJ. You can wander up to the Pool Room to play a round, walls adorned with art and posters (many showing off Livingstone College, Willie's school). You can kick back on the open-air deck. "It's a place for the fellas to hang out."

Or for a birthday party, wedding reception, a family reunion. Plenty of parking out back. Roast a hog, put on a spread, and take your plate up to the wide, elevated screened-in porch that has tables and chairs looking out windows to the lawn.

Over the years, friends and visitors have donated decorations, art, mirrors, furnishings. They've also signed the walls. "The names highlighted are the ones who passed." Pictures show many good times, as well as his mama (in a place of honor), his daddy (a schoolteacher), his granddaddy, and his great-granddaddy (a slave).

Managing and cleaning the Treehouse is almost a full-time job. Willie Melvin's other job is as the in-school suspension facilitator at Roseboro Elementary School. Will he add on to the Treehouse? At 60, Willie says, "I'm done."

See Buddy Nelson’s house on WRAL-TV’s “Tar Heel Traveler.”

About the Author

Michael E.C. Gery is the editor of Carolina Country.

Comments (4)

  • What a fabulous fabulous and peaceful creation!

    Lisa Quenon |
    June 05, 2020 |

  • This place is nothing short of creative, amazing and just overall fun. There is such a party going on in your head as soon as you walk in, even if your the only one in there. You can just imagine dancing on the big dance floor and sitting the “Apollo” themed chair watching others dance and having a good time while your sipping on your favorite drink. Thank you Mr Melvin for an absolute fantastic tour. This is definitely a must see attraction. I will definitely bring back friends and family to see this whimsical creation.

    Melody Clarke |
    October 31, 2021 |

  • this is my cousin! i remember my childhood when this used to be just a tree and field that we would play in and Buddy hadn't built it yet. i think i was only a teenager when he first started constructing it and i remember scribbling my name on the wall. that seems like a lifetime ago now so not even sure if my name is still on the wall. i am old now and haven't returned to NC in many years, it's amazing to see how big its gotten!

    d7ine |
    June 24, 2023 |

    • What a treasure and thank you for adding to the history!

      Lisa Q |
      June 26, 2023 |

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