In the summer of 2002 we traveled to Conception Bay North to visit family and shoot a documentary short. We fell in love with the area.
On that same weekend the daughter of the Cox House`s owner was visiting the house for the last time. The family had relocated to Boston several decades earlier, returning only for summer holidays. As family demands crept in, summer visits became fewer and eventually stopped. They made the difficult decision to sell the house and this was their final visit.
Immediately upon seeing the spot, we both fell in love with it - although there was a certain sadness to seeing a family part with the family home. It was much later that we discovered that the owner - Hettie Morris - was formerly Hettie Cox.
You see - My grandparents were also named Cox. Although there is no direct relation, In some way I feel like the house has "stayed in the family" after all.
The Blackhead Cove of Yesteryear
The Cox House was built circa 1917 by Art Cox. In the style of the time - plank boards form external as well as internal walls. One wall in the living room is made of exposed boards - some over 20 inches wide - something you would never see in a lumber yard today. Newspapers were pasted to the outside walls to add extra insulation under the many layers of wallpaper. In some places the wallpaper was 1/4" thick.
The house originally only had 2 small windows facing the water - an attempt to ward off the cold winter winds. The 4 main windows are perfectly oriented to capture the warm heat of the winter sun - something later generations would re-discover and claim as their own ``new`` invention - Passive Solar Heating.
The touch of the originally carpenters is evident if you look carefully. At several places in the plank ceiling and floor boards on the upper level you can see roman numerals etched into the wood - measurements marked by a carpenter with an awl. In places there are 2 sets of markings - one indicating the original board dimension - the other indicating what needed to be removed.
For more info on passive solar heating or green building:
My Generation - www.my-generation.ca