Thursday, April 24, 2008

Charles MacDonald's Faerie Cottages

In Hall's Harbour, Nova Scotia, there are these cottages that I am just in love with! I am not totally sure how I discovered them for the first time, but ever since I did, I have been dragging random people out to see them. I think they should be a tourist destination, but I believe they are privately owned. In the spirit of the Once Upon a Time Challenge, as they are called Faerie Cottages, I thought I would share pictures. I dragged one of my friends out there yesterday, and she liked them. Probably not as much as I do, but in any case. I was wandering around taking pictures on my digital camera and I startled a pheasant which flew away. I think I jumped ten feet in the air... It was interesting.

So. this one has a really cool chimmney. It sort of reminds me of a lighthouse with the top it has. The house itself is concrete and the chimney is rocks, with some in different colours.

A close-up of the chimney. It is pretty cool, huh? I wonder how long it takes to make a house in such a fashion. There is a museum for Charles MacDonald. I think I might have to go check it out this summer. I didn't know he made these cottages until this year. I am not from the area and he is not taught in school. I local had to fill me in. They have seen the cottages on television, but I dragged them there to see them in person a few weeks ago.
Moving on. This is the picture I took just before the pheasant incident. This house has a stonewall in the different colour rocks. I think I have a better picture.

A teaser photo of my favourite cottage. Don't you just think Hansel and Gretal when you see this one?

The person that was with me, this is a teaser photo of her favourite cottage. That is also the field where the bird was. It was hiding in those bushes. I am really glad I didn't get too close because I imagine there was a good chance of a nest and I don't think mama bird would have been very happy to see me.

A close up view of my friends favourite cottage. As you can see, this one has rock work for the chimney and the walls. It is pretty cool, huh? I should point out that as far as I can tell, the roof of these houses is also concrete. Even that little garage-type part on the side. I would almost think that this one was built after the other one because there are more rocks, but that would just be a guess on my part. I think I am going to have to go to the museum and do some research... I also want to take some pictures when the trees have leaves and then again in the fall. I imagine they are really pretty with the falls leaves....

Okay, I saved this one to showcase last... I LOVE this cottage! Isn't it amazing? With the rock walls, curved concrete roof, trees growing up the side, and the colours... I am in love. I drive out there just for this one. I mean, the others are amazing, and my friends don't always consider this one their favourite, but it is mine. I think Hansel and Gretal or a Gingerbread House. One of my friends, and an article I read, thinks Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Whatever you think, I love this house!

A close-up view of my cottage. If you click on the picture and make it bigger and then look in the window by the door you can see that there is even stonework inside the house. I would love to see the inside of this house... Even the patio is made with the coloured rocks. Can you tell I love this house? As you are driving down the road, each of the houses slowly come into view, and I am always wondering what the people I am showing the houses to for the first time are thinking. It has been a while since I experienced the houses for the first time, but even still I cannot help being amazed as these houses come into view. I am sure there are fancier houses, but for me, the whole idea behind these houses captivates me. I have to think about how long it must have taken to put these houses together.

One last picture. This is my friend that was with me yesterdays favourite. A side view. I apparently did not take anymore pictures of the one above that is hiding in the bushes! I will have to go back and take some one of these days. Anyways, I hope you have enjoyed these cottages at least almost as much as me. I think Charles MacDonald has created a legacy with these, and the best thing of all is that through the powers of the internet, I just showed them to people that might not have been able to enjoy them otherwise! If you are ever in the area, though, and you want directions, just ask! They are ten times better close up, believe me!


  1. Those are great! And how very odd that you posted these today as I was out driving around at lunch and took a street I rarely travel and saw this house that I really liked that just happened to have a little quaint stone cottage in the back yard. I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to buy the house just so I could turn that little cottage into an art studio or something fun like that.

    Thank you so much for sharing these, they certainly are in the spirit of the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I'm so glad you're back to posting more regularly, I was getting concerned.

  2. How wonderful! That rock work is bringing back a faint memory of a scene from Carol Shields' "The Stone Diaries." I will have to dig out my copy and see if such a thing is actually built in there somewhere or if I'm imagining things.

  3. Gorgeous!! my great loves are trees (wood of any sort) and stones! Love these cottages!

    and you are right.. they look like fairy homes! lol

  4. Another good reason I need to visit Nova Scotia again. I like your favorite cottage the best. Does he rent them out to tourists or do people live in them?

  5. Carl V: Well, it is nice to know I was missed! I have missed the blogosphere, I am trying to be around more! Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

    Kate: It has been so long since I read "The Stone Diaries" that I can barely remember what it is about let alone stonework references. Now you have me curious.

    deslily: They call them faerie cottages, not me. I don't want to take credit for something that I didn't name. :)

    booklogged: I believe they are owned by people that the man who built them trusted to keep them up. He is dead, though. And, yes, you will have to see them if you are ever here again. You did miss a very wonderful part of N.S. when you didn't go to the Valley at all.

  6. Anonymous12:55 PM

    Yes these are privately owned except for the Blue Cottage which tends to be rented out by the MacDonald family. From an esthetic point of view these are very quaint picturesque structures, but they paint a very different scene if you have to live in one or choose to spend your summers in one. The concrete structures are held together with merely chicken wire and cement and not meant to withstand the damp climate and salt air from the ocean. They require constant upkeep and have proven to be dangerous to occupants on more than one occasion.
    What relly makes this area and any other tranquil area special is the scenery and the fresh outdoor ocean smell. Wherever any one of us can get away even for a few minutes and reconnect with what is natural it is beautiful and majestic.


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