Ros had always loved old saltbox houses and wanted her own place by the water. She and her husband, Brian, spent a year looking for a house, even contemplating building a new one when they couldn’t find what they wanted. Their wants weren’t unreasonable, really – it had to be an old house, within an hour or so of St. John’s, near the water, and preferably with some charm and a saltbox look.
They finally found the ideal house in Green’s Harbour, after a near miss in Harbour Grace forever commemorated by a painting of Amelia Earhart purchased for the cabin before the deal had gone through. The painting now hangs in the hallway of their Green’s Harbour place.
It’s a house, sure, but in use and purpose it has been transformed into a cabin – a weekend spot to get away from the city and enjoy all that rural life has to offer.
Being 100 years old, the house has some quirks and needed some renovations. The roof, windows, and siding were all replaced, and the inside was painted. What was originally thought to be a short job ended up lasting six months and being a lot more work than Ros had anticipated. It was her first house renovation, and she admits she didn’t realize the time involved in renovating a house.
Much of the furniture in the cabin came with the sale, and some of it has remained in exactly the same spot the previous owners placed it. Not because that’s the best place for it, but because in times past somebody had decided the best way to deal with the uneven and sloping floors was to cut off the furniture legs to make the top of the piece level, instead of leveling the floor. With each piece modified for the floor beneath it, the furniture stands askew if moved to another spot.
There are still some small jobs left, like adding stairs to the front deck and landscaping, but those are things she will work at during their visits.
“That’s the fun of it, doing it up and poking around and stuff like that,” says Ros.