Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a reference to the property’s size.
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WGN) — The most expensive home currently listed on Zillow in the Midwest isn’t some mansion in Minneapolis or a penthouse in Chicago. The honor falls to a $47,900,000 property in southern Indiana.
Big Tree Farm, near the border with Kentucky, is a 550-acre, or 0.86 square mile estate featuring a main home, a guest quarters building, an entertainment facility a.k.a. honky-tonk roadhouse, a full 1950s style diner, and its own classic car museum, among numerous other features.
In total, the property features 65,000 square feet of roof-covered space, 15 beds, 16 full baths, three half-baths, eight lakes, and a 2,042-square-foot pool. Its additional amenities include a shooting range, tennis facility, basketball court, miniature log cabin playground, horseshoe pit, multiple stone fire pits, and woodland nature trails.
The main residence was inspired by the traditional mountain log cabin. Offering 8,786 square feet of living space, six bedrooms, and five full- and one half-bathrooms, the entire structure is porch-wrapped and includes a walk-out basement.
The 8,350 square feet guest quarters, known as The Stables, have the look of a horse stable from the outside, but inside, the three two-bedroom, two-bathroom suites are influenced by Four Seasons Hotel New York. This separate structure from the main residence comes with its own shared living spaces and fitness center. It’s also where the property’s main pool can be found which comes with its own covered outdoor bar and dining space.
Located at 5382 E State Road 162 in Santa Claus, Indiana, its owner and creator is multi-millionaire B. Edward Ewing. Ewing made his fortune through a combination of real estate and business management. He grew up in nearby Jasper and, in an interview with Palmetto House, described the origin of his Big Tree Farm dream when he saw the white fences and green pastures of a Kentucky farm at about 12 years old.
About 30 years later he had achieved enough financial success to buy the first 100 acres. According to the interview, development began with the “party barn,” which would become the entertainment facility. From there, a slow and methodical build-up took place over the subsequent three decades. Ewing said he personally staked every flag and ran every design wire for each of the roughly 20,000 trees, all of the 3.5 miles of walkways, and every landscaping bed.
To put the sheer size of this property in perspective, one acre is approximately 209 feet in length and width. That means if the property were perfectly square, it would measure about 5,000 feet in length and width – nearly a mile in each direction. That’s equivalent to approximately 400 football fields. For those familiar with Chicago, a single city block is about 3 acres making Big Tree Farm equal to more than 183 city blocks. For one last comparison, let’s say the average home sits on a quarter-acre plot. This one property could be a neighborhood of more than 2,000 single family houses.
Living spaces aside, Big Tree Farm includes a 9,124 square foot entertainment facility that can fit 600 seated guests, a 2,400 square foot 1950s diner fit for 150 guests, and a 26,413 square foot car museum with room for 250 vehicles (car collection not included) and an attached 2,400 square foot automotive maintenance facility. This is all in addition to the shooting range, tennis facility, basketball court, miniature log cabin playground, horseshoe pit, multiple stone fire pits, and woodland nature trails.