We’ve seen the Amish move houses with their bare hands, proving just how tight-knit their community is.
McIvers, Newfoundland Canada, saw a couple experience something similar when they flung their dream home 50-miles across a lake with the help and support of many people.
Since she was little, Daniele Penney has loved McIvers green house ever since. She joked often with friends and family about the green house on McIvers, claiming that she would one day be its owner.
“It’s just something about the house,” she said. “And it’s not only for me — I think it’s for everybody.”
Warren Blanchard was the original owner of the house, which is now over 100 years old. It was passed to Elsie Blanchard’s daughter Elsie Blanchard after Blanchard died in World War II. After the latter’s death, it was sold to artist Collette Urban.
When she met her partner, Kirk Lovell, Daniele often talked about how beautiful the “biscuit box” house was. She loved its open design, low ceilings upstairs, old porcelain sink, and open concept design.
“It has so much character in it,” she said.
At first, Kirk didn’t like the house at all, saying that it was “old” and would require plenty of repairs. After a while, Kirk began to see the house as Daniele does.
Urban’s death, Jeff and Sheila Edison purchased the house in 2013. This shattered Daniele’s heart.
“It was like my dream was just gone and I knew I wasn’t going to get it,” she recalled.
Sheila, a native of the area, purchased the house to use as a summer home. She and her husband planned to retire in McIvers but didn’t envision the house as their retirement home, so they thought of tearing it down and building again on the land.
Daniele and Kirk learned about their plan and Daniele approached them. Daniele was able to purchase the home and will share it with Harper Lovell, Harper’s six-month-old daughter.
The power lines in the area make it difficult to transport the house by truck. The couple decided to flog the house instead, referring back to old house-moving techniques, especially during the 1960s resettlement era.
“I wanted to see if it could float. They did it back in the ’60s and they never had much to work with. Today with modernized technology and equipment I figured why not,” Daniele said.
Kirk designed a frame with wheels underneath to make the structure float. He attached 28 plastic barrels and some Styrofoam.
Daniele was on edge when she saw her dream house by the water, with three dories to help move it.
“It was like you were teeter-tottering on faith. Did it stay afloat or sink? Was it going to sink?” she said.
During the transfer, Kirk’s dory broke down, and the house started to tip and sink. He was able reach the shore to retrieve another dory. People from the community had seen the move and came together to help.
As the house began to run aground more dories joined them on water, pushing it back into deeper waters. Excavators hauled the house up the hill once it was on its feet.
Daniele was so proud of Kirk for the successful transfer, saying, “For something that he’d never done before he really outdid it.”
“It’s something I’m sure I’ll never experience again,” Kirk added.
Daniele will start redecorating the house once it is placed on their land. She doesn’t plan to change too much and hopes it will be inhabitable by Christmas.
Congratulations to Daniele and Kirk on your new home. And, kudos and congratulations to all involved in the transfer. The video below shows the amazing moving process of this biscuit house.
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