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An Amish Building Architecture: The Davis Mercantile Tree in Shipshewana, Indiana
The proud tree
A 50-ft tall tree stands tall and proud in the center of Davis Mercantile building. It is a Douglas Fir from British Columbia, Canada. This single, large log is the epitome of the lone Amish mall in Shipshewana, Indiana. The barks are still attached to the trunk. Its raw beauty, straight and huge is nature's amazing handwork. This log is now called the Davis Mercantile Tree.
The Davis Mercantile Tree has more than 44 inches in diameter. Five steps of each staircase are overshadowed by the tree. Its length covers the basement all the way to the ceiling of the top floor in the 3 story structure.
The age of the tree is determined by the number of rings it has in its trunk. They gain one circle every birthday. As they age, the circles become bigger and the trunk becomes larger. Looking at the number of the annual rings, the Davis Mercantile Tree is more than 370 years old.
This log have witnessed many centuries of untold stories from the forest. With its new found home in Shipshewana, Indiana the jungle has now a different face. It is crowded with people, overstocked with products made of quilts and the scent around is a mixture of candles, wood and food. If only trees could talk...
Standing proud in the middle of the building, the Davis Mercantile Tree is surrounded by wooden staircase spiraling around it. To add drama to the star, the only way you can go up and down the three-story building is by climbing the stairs or using the elevator where the log is standing in the middle of it.
A tourist will never get lost inside. All you have to do is to follow the log. The chairs where you can rest are located near the log. Local shops hover around the log. The famous Jojo's Pretzels is located in the 1st floor of Davis Mercantile, near the log.
You can touch this unique art anytime you want. The only scar it has are from the ropes while being transported. It is clean and free of etches or vandalism. The Amish people have done a great job preserving this art.
This simple concept of architecture will surely catch the eyes of wood-lovers. It's like being in two places at the same time - the forest and the mall.
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