COLUMN – A Step Back in Time... “A Treehouse high above"

By Lyle Holmgren - December 1, 2020

The Holmgren family of Tremonton goes back four generations of pioneers and developers in the Bear River Valley that helped bring growth and prosperity to the community.

Lyle Holmgren of Tremonton started posting historical community photos and information on social media and has granted The Valley Headliner – BRVNEWS.com permission to publish his work.


“A tree house, a free house, A secret you and me house, A high up in the leafy branches cozy as can be house. –Silverstein”

Sometimes, memories are only a whisper until an old picture brings it all back.

Funny how the mind works.

I am certain I didn't appreciate as a boy the enchanted place home was. If ever there was a place where creativity and imagination were freely bestowed, it was there.

In 1962, dad and his hired man, Gerald Fuller, built us a tree house in the old Siberian elm tree behind our home.

It was the perfect place for children to play and imagine.

We pretended to hold school, imagined we were spies, had a top-secret club we called the Phantoms (with an undisclosed password that only we knew).

On warm summer nights, we would sleep out on the hard wood floor, telling ghost stories and planning what we would do the next day.

During the night, the summer breeze would cause the branches to brush against the roof of the tree house. There were spooky shadows and creaky noises.

In the morning, those same branches would brush the roof. There were still creaky noises but the sweet summer air and warm sunlight pouring in made everything alright.

The years wore on, we outgrew the old tree house and time eventually took its toll on it.

Before it had to come down, I climbed the old tree and crawled through the tree house’s secret passage door one last time. As I sat on the old hard floor, the schoolroom clocks we drew in pencil as children were still on rafters.

The paint we used to make silly sayings and change the color of the walls was faded. The old hammer and sickle we painted on the outside of the treehouse to scare away any imaginary intruders was peeling away.

I sat there, alone, and thought of all those memories. The hours of creativity, imagination and lifelong friendships that were forged in that old tree house. They will never be forgotten.

Photo courtesy of Lyle Holmgren

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