"It'll burn for days," he says.
The fireplace has a specially designed mantel featuring art by Mel Shipley. He sculpted four dragon heads and a bust of Treuer in clay, then cast them in bronze. Gemstones from Treuer's travels - Persian turquoise, Sri Lankan moonstone and Indian star ruby - are set into the dragons' claws.
"It's a major piece of work," Treuer says.
Sederstrom is creating steel chain mail resembling dragon skin - Treuer calls it "scale mail" - to trim the sides of the fireplace.
"For decorating a castle, it takes kind of an oversized scale, for the building and everything in it," Treuer says.
On the end of the room opposite the fireplace, there's a recessed space for a movie screen and stage. It can handle "Shakespeare or The Rolling Stones," he says.
A stained-glass window from New Orleans shows two saints and buildings with architectural styles he likes. Behind the man and woman is a castle atop a cliff.
"Details that play into this whole fantasy," Treuer says.
Next to the library are bathrooms and two sleeping rooms. A deck outside the library is made from 50,000 pounds of rocks.
Treuer has learned a lot about building a castle through trial and error.
"There were no blueprints for something of that scale, so I had to learn from the scale of what is available and transpose it," he says.
He looked in old trade manuscripts for information and diagrams of period fireplaces; he found some information on the Internet. He learned about engineering for the steel beams and steel posts needed to carry the weight of the buildings. The rooms inside the great hall are 36 feet wide.
He also incorporated items he has collected over the years. The worn balustrades and columns of carved stone used in the landscaping are retired from the Iowa state Capitol. They were sent to Arkansas and used as models for new ones made from quarried stone.
Several lampposts were made from melted-down beer cans. Treuer turned a copper still into a water feature. He has planted trees and flowers, wired street lights and built pathways to connect the buildings, which include a garden shed and a garage with a rainwater collecting system.
The castle's towers rise above the treeline, and people have been curious as the project has progressed. They want to see it up close and inside, he says, for the buildings and the art collections.
A few years ago, Treuer bought the Beaver Town Inn and General Store on the other side of the bridge. People can call there for tour information and rates: (888) 819-0221.
While he declines to say how much this project has cost, he says he has maxed out his credit cards along the way - which also dictates the gradual pace at which it's being built.
Treuer isn't sure when the castle will be finished. He still has to do all the interior and detail work in the great hall.
"It's kind of a lifetime project," he says. "The end is not in sight."
This article was published 08/07/2007