We’ve seen the Amish move houses with their bare hands, proving just how tight-knit their community is.
In McIvers, Newfoundland, Canada, a couple experienced something similar when they floated their dream home 50 miles across a lake with the help of several people.
Daniele Penney has always loved the green house on McIvers ever since she was a little girl. She would often joke around with friends and family, saying that she would be its owner one day.
“It’s just something about the house,” she said. “And it’s not only for me — I think it’s for everybody.”
The house, which is over 100 years old, was originally owned by Warren Blanchard. After he died in World War II, it was inherited by his mother and was later passed on to his daughter, Elsie Blanchard. 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 concept design, low ceilings upstairs, and old porcelain sink.
“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. But after a while, he began to see it as Daniele does.
After Urban died, Jeff and Sheila Edison bought 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, who is originally from the community, bought the house 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.
When Daniele and Kirk heard about their plan, Daniele approached the couple and was able to acquire the home, which she will share with her partner and six-month-old daughter, Harper Lovell.
Moving the house by truck would be difficult because of the power lines in the neighborhood. So, the couple looked back on old house-moving methods, specifically during the resettlement era of the 1960s, and decided to float the house instead.
“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.
To make the structure float, Kirk built a frame with wheels underneath for the house to sit on. He then attached 28 plastic barrels and some Styrofoam to it.
Seeing her dream house on the water with only three dories helping move it put Daniele on edge.
“It was like you were teeter-tottering on faith. Was it going to stay afloat? Was it going to sink?” she said.
During the transfer, Kirk’s dory broke down, and the house started to tip and sink. Luckily, he was able to reach the shore to get another dory. By then, people in the community who had been watching the move came together to help.
More dories joined them on the water as the house started to run aground, helping push it back into deeper water. When it reached land, excavators hauled it up the hill.
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.
The house is now on their land, and after installing a basement underneath, Daniele will begin to redecorate it. She doesn’t plan to change too much and hopes it will be inhabitable by Christmas.
Congrats, Daniele and Kirk, on your new home, and kudos to everyone involved in the transfer! Watch the incredible moving process of this biscuit house in the video below.
***Did you enjoy our feel-good and positive story? You can help support our site by simply SUBSCRIBING and sharing our stories with your friends and family.