Buying the Nova Scotia House on Middle Island

The Nova Scotia House; Building the Workshop.

My sister-in-law and her husband (a minister) had recently bought a house on Bells Island, on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The next year we took the Bar Harbor to Yarmouth ferry to visit the islands. I had a 16-foot, sailboat, called a ‘ Comet’ on a trailer which I used to explore the LaHave Islands. On one such foray I came around a rocky point on Middle Island and saw a house that I knew immediately would make an ideal summer house for us. It had that neglected look that unoccupied dwellings acquire, shingles missing and a few roof tiles that had been crudly repaired with flattened tin cans.

Also a ruinous dock with an impossibly steep slip. So I asked around and found that the owner, Walter Warfield, had moved into his brothers house on the far side, the more sheltered side, of Middle Island. When I found him and asked if he'd consider selling the house he seemed taken aback that anyone would want “ such a hard-looking old place” but he agreed to sell me the house and land and asked if $200 would be too much.

I got a lawyer down from Bridgewater, hired a local boat to take us out to Middle Island and Walter, who could barely write his name ‘made his mark’ on the deed. So we bought the house and land and then a second one on the far side of the cove. We spent the next several summers working on the first house, but the other one, altho built more recently, we had to let go. It was a two story frame building, most of the glass still intact and it was full of swallows. They nested precariously in curls of wallpaper as it slowly peeled off the plaster walls. At first we used it as a source for firewood, then kindling until finally there was nothing left but rusty nails and plaster coated lath. I did meet a grandson who described taking the path through the woods to visit. ‘A wonderful good house” he said,“ but no place to keep a boat--the wind laid onto it something wicked”.


  1. So nice to see your stories online--and to remember our two summer visits to Middle Island!


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