Canadian ingenuity

telemnemonics

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It was once a fairly common occurrence here, especially when the government started to shut down communities and move them to new locations. Folks were dirt poor, couldn’t afford a new house, liked the house they had, the water was right there so…..

Friends of ours have a summer home in a place called Trinity that’s at least a century old and was floated there from elsewhere. Lovely old house.

Sounds like that young couple ran into a little trouble, but, then, it is a lost art. Kudos to them!

My job now in semi retirement is maintaining a five building waterfront hotel that used to be owned by MGM studios.
The main house has 15 rental units on four floors, so it's pretty big, and looks right out of a Steven King story.

But interestingly it was moved to the current site something like 150years ago, over land not water, but dragged by horses.
Durn big house to pick up and move a few miles!
Pretty sure at the time a a house would have been rolled on lobs as opposed to wheel and axle.
Electricity was certainly not in Maine yet so the problems with moving houses today are bigger despite heavy equipment that didn't exist in the 1800s. Getting your house past all the power lines is a huge impediment today and may be what nixes a move.
But country folk used to up and move a house like it was a normal doable thing.

I've gut renovated or overseen that on almost every room in the place, and much of the timber is signed in script by the lumber supplier.
Also we found every single room had been burned, but not like the whole place burned.
Just isolated fires that didn't take the place down. Could easily have been 40 house fires in the life of the building.

Note also that in say 1850 country living, many folks grew up having to hand cut timbers to frame houses, so building new was a dang lot of hard labor! Timbers would be cut using a pit saw setup, where one man was down in the bottom of the pit holding one end of the (maybe eight foot long?) handsaw, and another was on top above the timber holding the other end of the handsaw.
If we try to imagine cutting every timber in a house with handsaws, we might then shift our imagination of floating a house to move it, and see that as perfectly reasonable and even ingenious.

Shipping on canals was not because there were canals everywhere!
Canals were dug because floating stuff was more efficient than dragging it.

When did rubber tires become widespread?
Before rubber tires, what was used to move heavy loads overland?
Times have changed...
 

Telekarster

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Sounds to me like the house was an old, historic, home that they loved and didn't want to see it tore down. With all the massive distro centers poppin' up everywhere, I can tell you that I've seen plenty of beautiful old homes and buildings raised to make way for em. While it's an extreme thing they did, I'm glad they were able to save it. Kudos I say ;) Wow.... and the views that home will have will be million dollar!
 

Jared Purdy

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I saw this on the local Maine news as I was leaving for work and thought it was in Maine. Google got me a fox news report showing Newfoundland.
I thought it was interesting and seemed like something a Mainer might do.

We strive for greatness, occasionally succeeding. Necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks to salt cod and salt mackerel, Newfoundland has a lot of rum from Jamaica, and Jamaicans have a lot of salt cod and salt mackerel.
 

getbent

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Is the first sentence is the story right? All this was to move the house a kilometre?

why... that is not even a mile!

I love when people do stuff that confounds others.

I had an uncle that had a big spread in northern alabama and he bought a house 40 miles away to put on it. These guys cut the house in 3 pieces and hauled it all the way to Springville, Alabama (well, not in town) it was an incredible operation... it also destroyed every mail box in its path (uncle had to pay to fix) but, when they put it all back together on a huge foundation (with a gigantic basement for his gun and scotch collection) it was fantastic.

I have to say, I loved that house and it was okay, but, my uncle did say that it was about 2x the cost of just building new and he was an idiot for doing it, and then he laughed and said, 'but, I'm glad I did'

I say go for it.

Now, on a rainy day, I need to read some Annie Proulx.
 

drewg

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why... that is not even a mile!

I love when people do stuff that confounds others.

I had an uncle that had a big spread in northern alabama and he bought a house 40 miles away to put on it. These guys cut the house in 3 pieces and hauled it all the way to Springville, Alabama (well, not in town) it was an incredible operation... it also destroyed every mail box in its path (uncle had to pay to fix) but, when they put it all back together on a huge foundation (with a gigantic basement for his gun and scotch collection) it was fantastic.

I have to say, I loved that house and it was okay, but, my uncle did say that it was about 2x the cost of just building new and he was an idiot for doing it, and then he laughed and said, 'but, I'm glad I did'

I say go for it.

Now, on a rainy day, I need to read some Annie Proulx.

Maybe your uncle's place is worth more than what a new place would be? Even if not, it's worth more to him and that's all that matters.

This thread made me think of The Shipping News, too. I liked the movie but never read the novel. Should have done that first
 

telestratosonic

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drewg

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Note also that in say 1850 country living, many folks grew up having to hand cut timbers to frame houses, so building new was a dang lot of hard labor! Timbers would be cut using a pit saw setup, where one man was down in the bottom of the pit holding one end of the (maybe eight foot long?) handsaw, and another was on top above the timber holding the other end of the handsaw.
If we try to imagine cutting every timber in a house with handsaws, we might then shift our imagination of floating a house to move it, and see that as perfectly reasonable and even ingenious.

I never heard of a pit saw setup, and I love reading things like this. It does does put things in perspective, "perfectly reasonable and even ingenious," you said it best. And less wasteful. It is healthy for us to remember where we came from.

As a kid over here on the northwest coast, I used to mow the lawn for a retired architect whose old house was on a spit of land off an island in Puget Sound. I learned later that that house had been "moved there on a barge." I wish I could remember from where but it seemed like it was pretty far away.
 

drewg

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My job now in semi retirement is maintaining a five building waterfront hotel that used to be owned by MGM studios.
The main house has 15 rental units on four floors, so it's pretty big, and looks right out of a Steven King story.

It does sound like something out of Steven King story. Ever see any ghosts? (Only half joking)
 

telemnemonics

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We strive for greatness, occasionally succeeding. Necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks to salt cod and salt mackerel, Newfoundland has a lot of rum from Jamaica, and Jamaicans have a lot of salt cod and salt mackerel.

Plus traditional Maine Franco American fiddle mucis gained Afro Caribbean influences!
Which because trade and seaport entertainment drove music evolution, means Newfoundland is a critical salty fishy ingredient in ALL North American musics including Jazz and Blues!
From what I've read in Maine maritime history we had genuine Afro Caribbean pirate ships in the Maine waters looking for stuff to steal, which included the fur trade as well as salt cod & such.
While US settlers and decision making elder statesman were 70-100 miles South of us, the fur trade and fishing industries were huge up here and really Mainers and Canadians blended as one people, or in the backwoods survival & port trade at least.
Plus Celts and various other nationalities, I forget what all or why each country sent ships here but I suppose English trade ships would have had Irish and Scottish sailors who in some cases decided to stay in Maine, maybe for the beaver or the romance.
Good bit of historic info though on Afro Caribbean presence in Maine going way way way back, and certainly related to Newfoundland salt cod which brought us to the floating house we laugh at today!
 

Jared Purdy

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Plus traditional Maine Franco American fiddle mucis gained Afro Caribbean influences!
Which because trade and seaport entertainment drove music evolution, means Newfoundland is a critical salty fishy ingredient in ALL North American musics including Jazz and Blues!
From what I've read in Maine maritime history we had genuine Afro Caribbean pirate ships in the Maine waters looking for stuff to steal, which included the fur trade as well as salt cod & such.
While US settlers and decision making elder statesman were 70-100 miles South of us, the fur trade and fishing industries were huge up here and really Mainers and Canadians blended as one people, or in the backwoods survival & port trade at least.
Plus Celts and various other nationalities, I forget what all or why each country sent ships here but I suppose English trade ships would have had Irish and Scottish sailors who in some cases decided to stay in Maine, maybe for the beaver or the romance.
Good bit of historic info though on Afro Caribbean presence in Maine going way way way back, and certainly related to Newfoundland salt cod which brought us to the floating house we laugh at today!

Right you are, and interestingly, I've met many Newfoundlanders, and a few Jamaicans (the mighty wife is Jamaican) who are aware of this history. They talk about it with mutual admiration as Maritimers. They established a trade relationship with each other long before Newfoundland joined Confederation, sometime beginning in the early 1800's.
 

telemnemonics

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It does sound like something out of Steven King story. Ever see any ghosts? (Only half joking)

Ghost stories????
Personally I've been 99% disappointed by ghosts as no shows.
Hmm, lets see though.

The place I mentioned that was moved to where I work now maybe 150 years ago, we were gutting a first floor living room area to make a rental unit and off the bathroom appeared a line of child size bare footprints in winter with no children around.

Years ago when in a boat apprenticeship we went to a Maine town where some 150-200 years former battle massacred so many that they were buried in a mass grave with no concern over which side of the war each of the dead was on.
My Mother was a hobby grave stone historian and made grave stone rubbings in the 1960s so I brought rice paper, masking tape and lumber crayon. Sunny day as we arrived, then climbing over the iron and granite cemetery fence the sky grew dark and a wind whipped up. I pulled out the rice paper and the wind was whipping it around but once I got close to the stone the paper literally grabbed onto and wrapped around the stone just right. Did the rubbing and finished the trip, later showed the rubbing to the gallery owner where I rented a room. She was creeped out by the whole story and wanted me to get the rubbing out of her house.
As we talked, a front room that was dark suddenly clicked as a floor lamp turned on with nobody in the room.

Sorry, never saw any ghosts!
A couple of summers ago at the old place I work, I was outside and heard a very loud emphatic banging that lasted maybe 20 seconds.
The only guest up there came running down the stairs and asked what the noise was.
Seems suspicious, maybe the guest was having a fit?
IDK but there was nobody else there and the guest looked creeped out.
We did find in a basement room some scrawl on an inner wall something like "I kill you John Smith", but really it seemed like a joke.
No ghosts!
 

telemnemonics

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Is the first sentence is the story right? All this was to move the house a kilometre?

I regret to inform you that the news was foxy and foxes is the sly devils at work plotting their takeover of the henhouse.

So I can neither confirm nor deny the length.
Figger though if the straight path was water, the roundabout was longer!
 

drewg

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Ghost stories????
Personally I've been 99% disappointed by ghosts as no shows.
Hmm, lets see though.

The place I mentioned that was moved to where I work now maybe 150 years ago, we were gutting a first floor living room area to make a rental unit and off the bathroom appeared a line of child size bare footprints in winter with no children around.

Years ago when in a boat apprenticeship we went to a Maine town where some 150-200 years former battle massacred so many that they were buried in a mass grave with no concern over which side of the war each of the dead was on.
My Mother was a hobby grave stone historian and made grave stone rubbings in the 1960s so I brought rice paper, masking tape and lumber crayon. Sunny day as we arrived, then climbing over the iron and granite cemetery fence the sky grew dark and a wind whipped up. I pulled out the rice paper and the wind was whipping it around but once I got close to the stone the paper literally grabbed onto and wrapped around the stone just right. Did the rubbing and finished the trip, later showed the rubbing to the gallery owner where I rented a room. She was creeped out by the whole story and wanted me to get the rubbing out of her house.
As we talked, a front room that was dark suddenly clicked as a floor lamp turned on with nobody in the room.

Sorry, never saw any ghosts!
A couple of summers ago at the old place I work, I was outside and heard a very loud emphatic banging that lasted maybe 20 seconds.
The only guest up there came running down the stairs and asked what the noise was.
Seems suspicious, maybe the guest was having a fit?
IDK but there was nobody else there and the guest looked creeped out.
We did find in a basement room some scrawl on an inner wall something like "I kill you John Smith", but really it seemed like a joke.
No ghosts!

That 1% is good enough for me. Those are three good stories. I can feel a new thread coming on...
 




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