House Launching, Slide Hauling, Potato Trenching, and other Tales from a Newfoundland Fishing Village

Robert Mellin


     7 × 9 in (17.8 × 22.9 cm)
256 pages
150 color illustrations, 90 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 9/1/2008
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568988078

There is an almost elemental appeal in the rural fishing villages of Nova Scotia, Maine, and Newfoundland. Their intimate connection to nature, to the land, water, and (often harsh) weather; their reliance on ingenuity, on-hand materials, and craftsmanship; and their values of thrift and endurance serve as inspiration and as touchstones for those of us caught up in the hubbub of modern life.

Tilting, Newfoundland is a celebration of all these virtues and an eclectic documentation of the buildings, landscape, and lifestyle of this remote community on a small island far off the Canadian coast. Through photographs, firsthand historical anecdotes, and delicate pencil drawings, author Robert Mellin presents a personal account of Tilting's houses, outbuildings, furniture, tools, fences, and docks, and, in the process, the way of life of Tilting. Mellin describes how houses are built for mobility and then "launched," or moved; how houses are detailed and constructed; how cabbage houses are built out of overturned boats; and the difference between picket, paling, and riddle fences-with diagrams in case you want to build your own.

Part journal, part sketchbook, part oral history, Tilting, Newfoundland is a treasure chest of a book that offers new discoveries with each reading, and a reminder of the simpler aspects of life and building.

"Architecture provides the window through which the author studies the human graces of a community of people. The book is less about roof trusses and clapboard than it is about the poetry of inhabiting a particular piece of geography over centuries, spoken in the language of village architecture."--The Globe and Mail, 100 Best Books of 2003

Robert Mellin teaches at the School of Architecture, McGill University. His love of the north and Newfoundland in particular led him to purchase a house in Tilting and become involved with heritage conservation there.

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