Ghost Houses

One more Newfoundland post. Best enjoyed on a slow, low-sunlight winter day. So here we go, convening with ghosts on The Rock…

When I left you last in Newfoundland I vowed to go back and spend time in the  two little settlements of Open Hall and Red Cliff on the north coast of Bonavista Penninsula. I had  driven past earlier and spotted beautiful heritage houses clinging to their souls as they succumbed to the elements.smaller_IMG_6590

This beauty revealed itself slowly and achingly as I walked around.

Maker:L,Date:2017-9-15,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E:Y

Maker:L,Date:2017-9-15,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E:Y

curtains drawn one last time

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roof shingle blown onto the deck,  now disguised as lichen

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do not enter

I put my hands to each side of my face to interrupt the reflection as I leaned against the window, and OH!  I could see that really it wasn’t so long ago that this home had to be left behind.

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It is not so long ago that the “Cod Moratorium” changed Newfoundland’s economy forever. In 1992, in response to the ever dwindling and endangered population of cod in the waters surrounding Newfoundland, the Canadian government imposed a moratorium on cod fishing. Needless to say, with 35,000 people suddenly put out of work, the effects on the Newfoundland’s economy was devastating. Initially meant to last a couple of years, the moratorium has continued to this day with only minimal recovery in the cod population.

 

Sprinkled throughout the landscape are many beautiful fishermen’s houses which have been abandoned as people left to find a new life elsewhere.

Maker:L,Date:2017-9-15,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E:Y

 

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becoming transparent

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Exhaling

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revealing its layers

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washed in or left behind?

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Commiserating

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holding ground, but barely

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back to the wind

 

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dressing in layers, still shivering

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hauled up one last time

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Hanging in there in Summerville

 

Shuttered shops:

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with hand painted signs:

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and even a hand painted speed limit sign–now that’s a first for me:

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And whole towns disappeared:

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This is Bruce of Rugged Beauty Boat Tours showing us a snug harbor, once cheek by jowl with homes.

There is still a  town of Little Harbour. But it is washing away at about the same rate as its welcome sign. smaller_img_6890

 

But, wait! All is not lost. The indomitable spirit keeps springing up.

That Newfoundlanders have been able to maintain their spirit despite this assault to the cultural identity inspires me every time I go spend time there. We were happy to meet Peter Burt, who together with his partner Robin Crane found a new way to make a living from the sea with the production of (gourmet) salt!

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And the foodie movement has helped to rejuvenate the Bonavista Pennisula.

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The Boreal Diner–where we sampled fried dandelion flowers. YUM!

 

And always, always Newfoundlanders are quirky, spunky, funny!

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ever optimistic:

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excellent problem solvers:

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and did I say funny? Oh yes, I did!smaller_img_6881

 

Lest so many images of abandonment at the top of this post have left you bereft I will end with images lovingly cared for heritage homes and sheds on the Bonavista Penninsula.

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Maker:L,Date:2017-9-15,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E:Y

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Maker:L,Date:2017-9-15,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E:Y

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Adieu Newfoundland. Til next time!

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5 thoughts on “Ghost Houses

  1. Love all these photos, and your captions! Those first two made me think of that novel by Annie Proulx, “The Shipping News” , because they almost captured what I saw in my mind in some parts of the book! And l love the shift to positive developments at the end. Such beautiful scenes. And that PLANE at the end!

    Like

    • Thanks, Ginny! And here’s another book you might find interesting in terms of these images of Newfoundland: Michael Crummey’s Sweetland. About the resettlement and abandonment of an outport island town. You won’t be able to put this book down.

      Like

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