A “Disappointed House” No Longer

disappointed house
My photo. Taken in 1996. A scan from an old 35mm print.

For many years, I thought of this as “the disappointed house,” stealing the phrase from L.M. Montgomery. It sits at the base of a hill on Exploits Islands, just below what was a schoolhouse and above where the bridge used to be. I remember it from my childhood as “Percy Jeffrey’s House,” but it has certainly had many other owners over time. For the longest while, it looked like it had been forgotten, along with countless other former homes on the islands.

Since this picture was taken, the house has been lovingly restored and cared for and now looks like this:

My photo. Taken in 2006, ten years after the above photo.
A much older shot from a similar vantage point. Photo courtesy of George Collins.

It’s funny how some houses simply draw the eye. This one, currently under the care of Dirk Muir and George Collins, is in a particularly dramatic location is a marvelous colour for photography.

What makes it even more special is that George has been digging out boxes of family photos (the lives of his family and the house are inextricably interwoven), some of which show the house many, many years ago.You can see how the colour has varied throughout the years (and how a window has been added!).

Photo courtesy of George Collins.

I love the extent of the garden in the photo above. There are plants in that garden still that are over 100 years old. The yellow roses and black currents that appear all over the island have a very long history. In the above photo, the trees (I believe they’re damson?) haven’t yet sprung up.

New house construction
My photo. Taken in 2011, from a different angle.
My photo. From the boggy bit out front, where the irises bloom in the spring.

I’m sure George will pop over and add to this when he sees this post, so don’t forget to check the comments periodically if you’re an Exploits Islands fan!

Thanks for the photos, George! It was fabulous that your family had that Instamatic.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. gwcollins says:

    I believe the Yellow House of Exploits was biding it’s time, resting, waiting and now with addition of a few loving humans, is a very happy house.

    1. VickyTH says:

      I think it was always a happy house. At least, all of the pictures of the past make it look like a happy place. It was simply lonely for a while, waiting for the right people to come along. Calling it “the Disappointed House” was more a weird mind-association of mine that I made when rereading the Anne of Green Gables series round about when I took that first picture. Now I no longer think of it as “disappointed”. That title currently belongs to the old property that John Moores owned, out on the point near Garden Cove. Although, in truth, desolate might be a better title for that poor place. Sigh. Hope it doesn’t fall down before I get a chance to take some more pictures this summer.

  2. As one whose lived most of Life in Alberta’s north, many Albertans I share my day, work and time with are from … Newfoundland. Your photographs of a no longer disappointed house remind me that houses are set within a landscape, and that of Newfoundland is something I long to explore. My first views of Newfoundland’s landscape were those associated with the novel made movie – Annie Proulx’s ‘The Shipping News.’ That story contains the Coyle house and is the touchstone for so much of the Coyle’s family narrative. The Exploits Islands – a place I’ll need to look around. Good, good schtuff!

  3. lregoli says:

    I think even the old house, before the restoration, looked kind of cozy, at least it looks very nice in the photo from 1996!

  4. daphot75 says:

    Wow, this house was built in the right place. Beautiful milieu.

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