My brother and I had explored it before, because it's so accessible (it's right on the water). It's pretty cool inside: there's an old cast-iron tub that has fallen from the top floor down to the basement, with a hole in the floor each story down. HOWEVER, on the same island, there is a bigger house, equally abandoned. We had heard that it was a model cottage, built to attract investors that never came, and we decided to FIND OUT MORE. Two years ago we tried to reach it on foot, but it was impossible - the brush is too high up, and it's about a kilometer away. This weekend we decided to attack by boat. We'd hoped that its relative inaccessibility might mean it's a bit better preserved.
Unfortunately, the water is too shallow to get close, and the house itself is surrounded by tough land on all sides but the front, where there's a bog, left over from what at one point must have been a very pretty bay. Motorboats are out, but so too is canoeing there, as the winds were high and it'd be a day trip at least. We decided to COMBINE the two: motorboat over, while dragging the canoe behind us on a toewire.
After a few tries (including one in which Victor got soaked) we discovered the only way the canoe would be even minimally stable was with a live ballast: someone IN the canoe to shift their weight as appropriate to prevent capsizing, and to bail when the water got too high. Canoes were not meant for motorboat speeds but we were going to try. It took us about 30 minutes to get there.
It was pretty awesome once we got up to speed! As the canoe got faster, the nose would rise up on a wave, and then come smashing down - the nose almost going underwater. Since the boat wasn't going to slow down, and the rope wasn't going to break, the canoe went as fast with the nose in the water as out of it. Sometimes the nose caught, and the canoe tried to pull away. The end result was that I look TOTALLY EXTREME!!!
It was very pretty.
When we got there and stopped for lunch, the sudden slowdown caused the tail of the canoe to dip underwater, and despite some frantic bailing, the canoe soon capsized.
Good times! What's below is pictures of the house, which it turns out was a functioning farm at one point: there was also a stable, a wagon (long since decayed except for a few planks and the metal wheels), and a barn with cow stables and a few dessicated cow poops. I can't imagine the story behind it but the next time I go back I'm going to talk to my parents' friends and try to find out!
Approaching, you can see the house in the distance:
Half of the basement wall had capsized, so you could see inside. The was an old boiler down there:
Perhaps the remains of a flower garden? There were huge raspberry bushes all around also.
This would have been hidden behind the walls. I think it says "Stairs North" (?) but I'm not certain. I love the flourish on "Stairs", though.
My brother Victor took all these pictures.