Thursday, January 31, 2013

Moving house.


When you hear that someone is moving house, you assume that they are moving and not the house.

Slated for demolition in 2009, the 249 year-old Morris House was saved by the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia -- which bought the structure from the City for one dollar. The catch was that house had to be moved from its original location.  The Trust along with other organizations raised the $30,000 that was needed to move the home to its new location.

Image courtesy of Heritage Trust.

The house began its move in the dead of the night last Saturday.  The trip of 4.5 kilometres through downtown Halifax, was to take 34 hours.  It wasn't going to be moved during the day but in the overnight period on Saturday and Sunday.  This was disappointing news as it meant that  I wouldn't be able to take photos of the move.


The moving company had to call in two front-end loaders to push the truck as it hauled its  72 tons load up the hills.  Countless utility crews had to move hundreds of wires to enable the safe passage of the house through downtown.

You can imagine my surprise when they mentioned on the radio on Sunday morning that the move had fallen behind schedule and the house had still not reached its destination.

As it was still perishing cold, I piled on several layers of clothes and bundled into the car and headed into town. 

I arrived in time to see the house just turning the corner in front of its final resting place.



Wires littered the ground as power trucks lined the surrounding streets. I was amazed at how close I was allowed to get to the building.

Workers in the photo below are placing blocks of wood under the back wheels in a effort keep the building from tilting any further.


Here a back hoe is pulling the front of the house, helping it turn onto the lot that would be its final home.

It's nice that the efforts of a tireless group of volunteers resulted the preservation of this historic old house.  Too often we are all too ready to destroy the old in favour of the new.


15 comments:

  1. That move was really something, wasn't it. Glad you were able to get your own pics of at least the last part.

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    1. It was 11 a.m. on Sunday morning Bonnie and I wanted to stay until it was in place ... but ... it ...was ... TOO ... darn ... cold.

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  2. HOw wonderful that the historic house was moved so that it could remain intact and then become a show case of history later on. I am glad that you were able to get the pics.

    I am also glad that you now have Google+. A nice move for you as well.

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    1. Still not sure what the heck Google+ is for. I feel sorta technologically left behind.

      I cannot figure out what happened to my "Follower" list ...

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  3. I'd love to see this lovely old house when it is returned to its former glory Sybil. That was quite a trip the house took and great care must have been taken to help it reach its destination intact. Joanne :)

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    1. Joanne, I'll be sure to go back and check on it from time to time ...

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  4. Funny. This post reminded me of Annie Proulx's book, The Shipping News. Have you ever read it?

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    1. I did read it a long time ago. I'm trying to remember if it included stories of houses being moved over water from isolated coves ?

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  5. Have seen one or two houses moved in my time. It's always amazing to see that. Hope this one will be happy in its new home. By the way, got a smile at your phrase "perishing cold". That's what it is here today.

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    1. Perishing cold again today here. I hope our groundhog was wrong about winter ...

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  6. Wow now was literally moving house..It must have been a very huge task to do, but what the heck you dont make such beautiful houses so easily. This is the first time I have come across something so huge, all I have seen is portions of the house being transported while remodelling on the show "The Extreme Makeover".
    How about post some photos of the house after it moved to the new location too now.It would complete the package then :)

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    1. Jake, I definitely will follow up with pictures of the house as it is fixed up. Interesting that when the house arrived at it's final location, there was no finished foundation waiting for it, which really surprised me. The lot didn't even look like it had been levelled properly. Hmmmmm.

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  7. Awesome. I have never seen or heard about anything like this.

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    1. It was an amazing thing to see. Thanks so much for dropping by Sartenada !

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  8. Indeed, that move means literally moving the house from one place to another. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. :)

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Thanks for stopping by. I really do love to read your comments.