Giving new meaning to term moving day

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By Tina Comeau


Arnold d’Eon of West Pubnico gives new meaning to term house boat, not to mention moving day.

And it's not a sight you see on the water vessels towing a barge with a house on it.

But after having transported a house from Cape St. Mary's to Pubnico years ago, d'Eon was at it at again over the past couple of days with the same house, but a different barge.

After renovating the home – new windows, new roof, new cedar shingles, being among the improvements – d’Eon sold the home.

That also meant moving it off of land he owns. The new owner was setting up the home on Canoe Island, about a mile north of Abbott’s Habour.

And even though it was done before, moving the house by sea was still no small undertaking.

D’Eon spent months building a barge to carry the weight of the house (which he said weighed 35 tonnes) and an excavator (which weighed 20 tonnes). In the week leading up to moving day, d’Eon was working around the clock making sure all of the final details were taken care of.

Asked a few days before the move how he knew the barge would carry the weight of the house and excavator he said, “I don’t.”

But he and the small army of helpers he had, including the home’s new owner – not to mention an interested group of onlookers – were certainly hoping for the best.

Things weren’t exactly smooth sailing throughout the excursion on the first attempt. There were problems with the barge’s pontoons and a hatch, which caused the excavator to start sinking, threatening to take the house underwater with it and causing some anxious moments for those watching things unfold. The barge and house were brought to shore to secure them and to make adjustments for another attempt, which, thankfully – and on this Thanksgiving weekend, no less – went smoother than the first.

Included with this story are photos courtesy of West Pubnico resident Mary Ella d’Entremont.

Geographic location: West Pubnico, Canoe Island

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