By Peter Barker
A Newfoundland couple took the unusual step of pushing their two-story house into the Bay of Islands to move it about six-tenths of a mile to their new property on Oct. 11.
The trip for the finished house along the north shore of the bay on Thanksgiving Day in Canada took about eight hours and the effort of half a dozen boats.
House owner Daniele Penney who organized the move with her boyfriend, Kirk Lovell, said it also took a lot of nerves and “nailbiting.”
As she watched the operation from dry land in the tiny rural community of McIvers on the west coast of Newfoundland, at one point the house started to slip into the water and the boat pushing it broke down. But then other boats rushed to join in and managed to stabilize it.
Aerial footage shows the house is being towed and pushed across the water toward the place where it is finally meant to be located, with two huge mechanical diggers waiting at the water’s edge to help to pull it ashore.
Once it arrives, it is pulled by the diggers up the slope on a trailer and slowly edged into place, as another video shows.
Another video shows the home, with a view over the bay, as it is being carefully pulled and placed into its final position.
Penney said the massive operation took place because she had always admired the two-story house from its original plot of land, and she had been shocked to learn that the owner was planning to redevelop the plot and tear down the house.
She and her boyfriend then decided to try and move it to their own plot of land along the water, but it was not possible to move it over land because of all the obstacles, including high-voltage power lines.
They were inspired to try the water effort that involved strapping barrels to the bottom of the house. They knew that in the past, when the road network was less sophisticated, houses had often been moved by floating them across the water.
The trailer that was used to pull the house ashore was already fitted to the bottom of the house when it went into the water, and it was held up by tires.
Some of the fixtures and fittings of the house ended up filled with water as a result of the move, but the couple is hoping that it will soon dry out, helped by holes dug in the bottom for quick drainage.
They couple is living in a mobile home while they wait for their new home to be habitable.
The couple said that it would probably have been cheaper to build a new house, but it was great to be part of re-creating a bit of history, and it was a memory they would always treasure.
Edited by Judith Isacoff and Kristen Butler
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