We bought our home in Glenville, Cape Breton Island in April 2013. It has been 3 years already. It's a perfect location because it is directly between our parents' homes near Inverness and Mabou. I was organizing photos the other day and found some of the first photos we took of the house and property. A bunch of work was done the summer of 2013 to the inside. We have yet to complete the outside of the house and we're slowly doing yard work and gardening, but it will come. Here's our journey so far.
The house was built in 1901. We are the fourth owners. The original owners were my sister-in-law's great grandparents (which is so neat to me). When we bought the house it needed some love. We live in Halifax, NS, about 3.5 hours away from Glenville, so many weekends were spent driving back and forth. (Cape Breton is where we both grew up, so the 3.5 hour drive was nothing to us on a weekend). The house had numerous larger renovations in the last decade, including moving the location on the property, adding a foundation, new windows and kitchen cupboards.
We hired 3 amazing Cape Bretoners – Collie the painter, Davie (my uncle) the carpenter/problem solver/fixer of everything, and Stephen from Dancer's Flooring in Port Hood. Our friend Joe also helped out with flooring over a weekend. Collie painted the entire inside of the house. Great guy, excellent stories and fabulous painter. Now choosing paint colours. That took longer than I ever expected. Originally my preference was to have light, beach house colours (except the cottage is not a beach house). So, we decided to proceed with rich colours – red, purple, green, various blues. They give the house so much life.
We bought all of our flooring at Finewood Flooring in Middle River, Cape Breton Island. We chose Honduras Pitch Pine Hardwood. Our friend Joe came down from Halifax for a weekend to help Brandon install the downstairs flooring. It was the hottest weekend of the summer. Of course. Stephen from Dancer's flooring completed the upstairs, sanded the stairs and did all of the staining. This guy is incredible. Highly recommend him although I think he is in hot demand for his service.
Then there was every other little and big thing that had to be done in the house. The front and back decks were torn off. Davie salvaged what he could from the wood to build the front step and side deck. He also built the deck on the back of the house which I was excited to "design". He did everything imaginable inside and around the house – putting up baseboards, putting doors back on, building a gate to the basement, building a garbage box, etc, etc. Davie has incredible solutions. He'll think about them for hours or days and tell you about them for a long time and then when it's just right, he'll get the job done. He's a really great uncle, godfather and friend.
The grass was beginning to look like grass and not hay, the decks were on, the inside was coming together. Next, furniture assembly, more mowing and whipper snipping and some gardening.
We finished in time to welcome baby Lucinda Belle on August 25, 2013. We were fortunate to stay at the cottage for 2 weeks in September with our new sweetheart. We introduced her to our families and friends in Cape Breton. Just like her parents, Lucinda has a soft spot for Glenville.
I love summer the most in Glenville, but every season is beautiful in its own way. We're fortunate to spend numerous weekends and a couple of weeks vacation in Glenville. We also rent the cottage between June and October to vacationers. From the back deck, there is a beautiful view of the Cape Mabou Highlands, the same ones that the Glenora Distillery is nestled in. As day turns to evening, the sound of the brook and the unbelievably clear starry nights are enchanting.
We've been fortunate to have family and friends spend time with us in Glenville. It's so nice for Lucinda to see all of her grandparents in the place where we all grew up. We spent Lu's first Christmas in Glenville and have celebrated her first two birthdays. We're grateful to have a special place to call home in Cape Breton.