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Uncle Ben’s

A well-preserved heritage home centrally located in downtown Change Islands (population 200), Uncle Ben’s house overlooks Skinner’s Harbour with a distant view across the water of the hills of Fogo Island. Rugged natural beauty, scenic fishing stages, and the legendary warmth and hospitality of Newfoundlanders combine to make Change Islands a very special place.

Sehemu
Ben Diamond’s grandfather, Ben Ledrew, built this home at the turn of the last century. When the first diesel generating plant brought electricity to Change Islands in 1963, Ben saw no need for the comforts and conveniences of connection to the grid. Ben continued to live in this house, without electricity or running water, for his entire life. A small wood stove in the kitchen was the principal source of heat.

When I acquired the house from Uncle Ben’s nephews in 2010, it was in almost museum-quality condition, with original linoleum floors and many layers of wallpaper dating back over 100 years. Restoring the house so as to retain its many layers of history, while still providing the basic amenities of modern life, such as electricity and running water, has been a seven year labour of love (or folly, some might say). The bathroom is entirely new and the kitchen has been substantially upgraded while preserving the original tongue-in-groove walls and ceiling, and the wood floor. The rest of the house has been left as much as possible in its original condition with the various layers of wallpaper exposed in many of the rooms and the original linoleum floors, and linoleum fragments, kept in place. With the exception of the mattresses, the furniture is also all original to the house.

Outside the traditional wooden clapboard and wooden windows have been repainted in the typical white of Change Islands, with the tile red trim which matches the many stages and stores on the island. Except for a small area immediately around the house, most of the yard has been left to grow wild; long native grasses interspersed with wildflowers dominate the meadow behind the house.

Ufikiaji wa mgeni
Except for the attic which is unfinished and used for storage, guests can use the entire house and can also wander down to the harbour just across the road. The land on the other side of the road belongs to Uncle Ben's house and there is a short path where I cut the grass so you can walk down to view the water. Because of the jagged rocks on the shore the area is not suitable for swimming.

Mambo mengine ya kukumbuka
The bedrooms are on the second floor and the bathroom is on the main floor. The stairs are somewhat steep and unfortunately may be challenging for people with restricted mobility. Children are definitely welcome, but parents should note that the house is not child-proofed and there are some antiques that have stood the test of time better than they might withstand curious children. Parental discretion is advised.

In spite of the new 180 foot drilled well, like many other homes on Change Islands water needs to be conserved (I have never run out of water but the well does not refill very quickly). Drinking water is available for free from a nearby municipally inspected water facility, and the house is always stocked with a few gallons of fresh drinking water.

There is no television in the house but there are some good Newfoundland novels to read, lots of dramatic sunrises and sunsets to watch, and some great neighbours to meet. Internet access may be sporadic at times.

Change Islands is accessible only by ferry or private boat. Make sure to check the ferry schedule as it may change due to traffic or weather conditions. http://www.tw.gov.nl.ca/ferryservices/schedules/c_fogo.html

The general store and variety store on Change Islands generally offer basic food staples, snack foods, and gasoline. Because most supplies are delivered only once weekly, you may wish to bring fresh fruits, meats, bread, and any specialty items with you. Beer is available on the island but other alcoholic beverages need to be purchased in nearby communities such as Gander or Lewisporte.
Uncle Ben’s

A well-preserved heritage home centrally located in downtown Change Islands (population 200), Uncle Ben’s house overlooks Skinner’s Harbour with a distant view across the water of the hills of Fogo Island. Rugged natural beauty, scenic fishing stages, and the legendary warmth and hospitality of Newfoundlanders combine to make Change Islands a very special place.

Sehemu
B…

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4.84 out of 5 stars from 31 reviews

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Mahali

Change Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador, Kanada

The house is located directly across the road from the water. Everything on Change Islands is within walking distance; the house is a five minute walk from the general store and one of the two local restaurants on the island. There are numerous hiking trails and, for those who enjoy swimming in waters frequently visited by icebergs, some spectacularly scenic swimming spots. For families with young children there is a brand new public playground in the schoolyard. The Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Refuge is of interest to all ages; rides can be usually be arranged for children. Summer days are very long, but if you stay up late enough for the sky to turn dark there are some great opportunities for stargazing just beyond the lights of the town.

When the capelin are running (typically in late July and August) whales can often be seen swimming off the coast. Local fishermen have been known to offer curious tourists boat rides and to take them out fishing. (There is a recreational cod fishery open at various times over the summer; consult the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada website for the dates of the Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Groundfish Fishery.)
The house is located directly across the road from the water. Everything on Change Islands is within walking distance; the house is a five minute walk from the general store and one of the two local restaurant…

Mwenyeji ni George

Alijiunga tangu Machi 2018
  • Tathmini 31
Wakati wa ukaaji wako
I live five minutes away from Uncle Ben's and will be there to greet you and am available if you have any questions about the house or Change Islands. If you have a specific interest in Newfoundland heritage homes I can arrange for tours of a couple of other very well-preserved traditional homes.
I live five minutes away from Uncle Ben's and will be there to greet you and am available if you have any questions about the house or Change Islands. If you have a specific intere…
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