Sunday, April 24, 2011

Road Trip - part two

Prominent on the list of places Amy and Mickie wanted to show me, were the "jelly bean cottages" they'd discovered on an earlier visit to Hall's Harbour.

There is no sign at the turn off to the dirt road that is home to these delightful, fantasy hide-aways.

Click to enlarge.  Note the stone bird on the chimney.
This was the Macdonald family cottage.

Originally there were five of these colourful cottages, built by Charles William MacDonald in the 1930's and 40's.  Called Faerie (Fairy) Cottages, they are located at Huntington Point, near Hall's Harbour on the Bay of Fundy.

The "Blue Cottage" built in 1937.

"The Blue Cottage served as a youth hostel at first, renting for twenty cents per night. ... It is now a Provincially Registered Heritage Property, along with the Charles Macdonald Concrete House in Centreville."  1. 

Reading the fine print.

Macdonald sold four of the cottages to friends who he felt would take good care of them.  The Teapot Cottage c1935,  the most popular of the cottages because of its unusual shape, was demolished by its owners in 1982.  (The dumb farts ! ).

In 1912, at the age of 38, (after extensive world travels) Macdonald returned home to Nova Scotia. He devoted the next forty years of his life to manufacturing, promoting, and using concrete. Unfortunately, at that time concrete was not seen as popular construction material in Canada.

"The residents of Centreville (just north of Steam Mill) made fun of Macdonald when he started his cement brick factory on Saxon Street. The concrete business cannot have been terribly lucrative at first, for Macdonald was driven to live in a tent outside his factory. Before long, though, World War One created a market for concrete - an important war material. In 1916, Macdonald got married and his wife Mabel helped her husband turn the erstwhile factory into a house." 2.

Our tour continued on to check out that house.

Everything was concrete: the fence posts, the statuary, the table and chair on the lawn, and even the bird houses in the tree !

Click on photo and check out the pillars.

Enlarge to see the bird houses in the top centre of this shot.

A $15 family membership includes the opportunity to book a summer holiday at the "Blue Cottage" !

What week shall I book for us ?



2.  -- There is a lovely shot of the "Teapot house" at the bottom of this page.

Clearly the volunteers caring for the house and cottage are struggling.  If you would like to help -- and have a shot at booking the Blue Cottage -- their membership page is here:


  1. Jelly bean cottages look so fun! Would love to stay in one. :)

  2. I am going to have to get out there to visit you one of these days! I especially love the ocean, cliffs, waterfalls, etc. Thanks so much for posting all these interesting and beautiful pics for those of us who have never been able to get out there, or those that have and need a reminder of how beautiful it is!

  3. I've always felt that there would be something incredibly satisfying about living in a home that was made with your own imagination and by your own hands. I'm always drawn to these unique places. Considering this man's creativity and innovative spirit, I hope he was very content. What a wonderful legacy he has left for us.

  4. Thanks Betty T. The amazing thing is that I've only explored stuff within less than two hours of Halifax. There is so much more to see and this silly province doesn't know what it's got !

    Cindy, I think, given the wonderful whimsical nature of his house and the cottages he built that Mr. Macdonald must have been a happy person.

  5. Saw these for the first time last fall, and I was mesmerized by them. Such an interesting character he was!

  6. Wouldn't it be marvellous to stay in the Blue Cottage Margaret ?

    Thanks for stopping by my Blog.


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