Moveable Houses

Queen Charlotte City, like other Island communities, has many homes which once were somewhere else, or while here, used for another purpose …. this was usually from economic necessity or common sense, today we call it re-purposing!

We are hopeful that some of those current owners will add their homes’ story here … some examples of buildings which have changed usage are:  The Legion [2012] used to be the Church; On the Rock/Funk It [2012] used to be the Legion; and there are many more examples.

One group of houses which came into our community in the late 1970’s were the “Jedway Houses”. These were houses which were originally barged up from Vancouver area, in the early 1950’s, to Kitimat in prefab pieces of 12’x30′ to be joined together later into 36’x30 flat roofed homes, for the workers who would built the town of Kitimat. After their use in Kitimat they were again moved, across the Hecate Strait, to Jedway, on the southern Charlottes, where they were used during the 60’s as accomodation for the mine workers of Jedway.

After Jedway’s closure the houses were put up for sale, as is, where … some local entrapreneurs jumped at the opportunity. Today, 2012, there are at least 4 in Queen Charlotte, although they look very different today … these can be seen at 720 Oceanview; 905, 2nd Ave.; 223, 2nd Ave.; 401 2nd Ave. ; more were brought up but have since dissappeared. Some that came up had been modified; 2 stories or a fouth section added before they got here … all were significantly upgraded once here. At least one of the Jedway houses that came here, after a few years, moved about 4 blocks down the road.

Their voyage up and arrival here was, on occassion was quite dramatic, … one fish boat used, Golden Spruce, had to have a towing bridle made over the bow to distribute the load and help with manipulation during the long trip up the coast … one trip they became weathered in Sewell … where for reasons I can’t quite remember the skipper, Del Fowler, had to break into a storage cabin for some food …. all there was a case of canned corn. He ate canned corn and mussels for a few days [and didn’t ever want either again]!

When they finally arrived in Charlotte the tides had to be just right so that the houses could be skidded off the raft and onto dry land with a Cat [caterpillar tractor … the island work horse]. Some were landed on the beach and dragged down the road to their resting spots then blocked up and ready for living.

Since that time they have housed many families, survived earthquakes and hurricanes, births and deaths and still they live on!

Photos and more specifics to come ………………….


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