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An Amish Building Architecture: The Davis Mercantile Tree in Shipshewana, Indiana

Updated on April 21, 2013

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.

Copyright © 2012 The Girls. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without permission prohibited.


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      Theresa Ventu 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Thanks SMD2012! I saw an inside of a log cabin that has large, protruding brown roots, varnished and clean. Nature's gorgeous art unparalleled.

      Thank you stessily for stopping by! The famous local landmark is indeed unique and fascinating... :-)

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      This is really fascinating! Thank you for telling this tree's tale in words and photos. Douglas firs are so pretty. It's great that it's treated with respect, and I love that no one can get lost there because "All you have to do is to follow the log."

      Appreciatively, Stessily

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 5 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous! I've always wanted to live in a house that had a tree growing through it! My childhood holiday cabin had roots growing up through the floor which was pretty cool, but not an entire tree! Voted Up and beautiful!