MONMOUTH — For several years, Lindy Snider has been kicking around the idea of having a treehouse on land in central Maine where her extended family has vacationed for four generations.

In October, she got her wish, and on Friday, everyone — at least those who tuned into “Treehouse Masters” on Animal Planet — could see her ecstatic and speechless reaction to the unveiling of her two-story turreted treehouse on the show’s season premiere.

“That would be a moment I never will forget,” Snider said Sunday in a telephone interview with the Kennebec Journal. “I got the chills. I almost couldn’t breathe.”

That reaction echoed Friday when she hosted a viewing party of the double episode, dubbed “Double Treehouse Extravaganza,” which showcased the construction of Snider’s Ethereal Portal Treehouse along with a Treetop Theater for a couple in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

“Every time Monmouth, Maine, came up, everyone was screaming and clapping,” she said.

In the way of television, the concept and construction of the treehouse appears fairly simple and straightforward, but the process of getting the treehouse built was more complicated and took years.

“We did this on a lark,” she said.

Snider — founder of Lindiskin, a company that produces skincare products for cancer patients and daughter of the late Ed Snider, chairman of sports and entertainment company Comcast Spectacor that owns the Philadelphia Fliers — had been watching “Treehouse Masters” with her daughters a couple of years ago. They suggested she contact the cable show to get her treehouse built.

She went online and applied to be on the cable network reality show, but when she didn’t hear back for quite a while, she and her contractor Dave Cadman decided to move ahead anyhow.

They contacted Nelson Treehouse and Supply, the company headed up by Pete Nelson, who is the star of Treehouse Masters.

“We didn’t even know the company was separate from the TV show,” she said.

They also didn’t know the waiting list was years long, so they were surprised to get a call a couple of months later from the production company that was interested in featuring her project.

Since about September, the construction of the treehouse at the southern end of Cobbosseecontee Lake has been a fairly well-kept secret. Contractors working on the project were banned from taking photos or posting about it on social media.

While that’s a fairly standard practice, Snider said she was in the dark until the big reveal by choice.

“It drove me crazy,” she said. “I was surrounded by people who knew. Dave kept saying, ‘I can’t say much, but you won’t believe it,'” she said.

Standing in the treehouse on Sunday, Cadman, owner of Dave Cadman Construction of Greene, said his role was to find local contractors, including plumbers and electricians, to complete the job. He also was hired by Nelson Treehouse to work on the project.

For one frenetic month, dozens of workers, including the television production crew, swarmed the site, working at full throttle to complete the project.

As he watched it take shape, he said, he was impressed by the quality of the work and the materials used.

It was no small undertaking. The 600-square-foot structure is estimated to weigh 20 tons. It is supported by eight trees around the perimeter of the building. Because of the size of the structure, the treehouse is also supported from underneath by five steel posts set in huge concrete anchors set deep into the ground.

“The treehouse itself won’t move, but all the trees can still move around in all directions,” Cadman said. “When you are in here on a windy day, it creaks. You feel little vibrations.”

Components of the treehouse were manufactured in Washington state, where Nelson Treehouse and Supply is located, and transported to Monmouth for assembly.

The treehouse has two bedrooms, a master bedroom on the main floor and one in the turret, a small kitchen, an eating nook and a living room with a gas fireplace that overlooks the lake through a three-panel sliding glass door that gives access to a large deck.

It also has a bathroom on the main floor, with a tiled shower. That, as the show reveals, is unusual because treehouses often sway, and tiles can’t stand up to the movement. But it’s possible in Snider’s home because of the large platform and support structure it’s built on.

It also contains a reference to one of Snider’s favorite childhood books, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C.S. Lewis. Nelson replaced the door to the master bedroom with the door to a pine wardrobe that he adapted for that purpose.

“Pete’s guys, they are such great people,” Snider said. “What you see on TV is who Pete is. He’s a fun, warm, light-hearted man who is a delight know. Half the fun was getting to know them.”

Snider appreciated that Nelson’s staff worked with local contractors and the care they took with the property while they were working on site. She credits Monmouth town officials for helping to get the project done and she praised Cadman for his work.

“Dave is truly the reason this happened. He is brilliant.”

While the building is done, some work still remains.

The house has to be hooked up to the well and septic system, and Cadman said he still has to finish putting shelves and poles in the closet, whitewash the unfinished wood on the windows and build outdoor storage for the family’s outdoor gear.

He estimates it will be done by early summer.

And after this one is done, Cadman and Snider said there may be other treehouses in the future.

“Say my daughters get married and have babies,” Snider said; they could spend their summers in their fully functional treehouse cabins.

And they can’t wait.

In the opening of the show, Snider, sitting with her husband Larry Kaiser on their property in Monmonth, said treehouses represent magic and childhood.

“Treehouses let you forever be a kid. Being able to create that feeling as an adult is exciting.”

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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