Moving Day, Westmoreland Jamaica

Sometimes, moving day can mean much more than moving household furniture and personal belongings. Sometimes, it also involves the  moving of the actual house.

Moving day, Westmoreland, Jamaica
Moving day, Westmoreland, Jamaica

When I read Budget Jan‘s post for last week’s Travel Photo Thursday, it reminded me of the times, in Westmoreland, when I’d see houses like this one being moved from one location to another, usually on a tractor. Westmoreland has a long history with tractors and sugarcane so it’s not unusual to see them pulling double duty. Still, I couldn’t believe my luck at seeing a house moving so soon after I was reminded of it. I was anxious to take the photo, I didn’t have time to adjust the lens on my camera.

Typically, the houses are made of wood (board) and have two rooms – a bedroom and living room. They are raised off the ground and sit on stones, sometimes blocks. They are usually called ‘board’ houses and because of the transient nature of their owner’s work, are never made of concrete.  Other rooms will be added as the owner’s economic situation improves and his family increases.

As we got closer to this house, we noticed that curtains were still hanging in the window and there was a television antenna on its side in one of the rooms. A car traveling ahead seemed to be transporting the owners as well as some of their belongings.

So popular was this way of moving houses that there are work songs created specifically for the occasion.

This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

This week, I’m also linking up with the Friday Daydreaming series organized by Becca at Rwethereyetmom. Hope to see you there!


44 comments on “Moving Day, Westmoreland Jamaica

  1. What a gorgeous picture … has shades of Romany tradition in England and gypsy caravans with a twist! In Australia they sometimes move houses on trucks, but often they cut them in two first of all. I\’d never seen it before.

  2. It’s actually pretty cool that you can move your whole house on the back of a tractor. I always wonder though if it compromises the structural integrity of the building.

  3. Never seen or heard anything like this! Whole houses being moved seems almost absurd!!
    Have a nice day, Thanks for sharing Marcia 🙂

  4. What a great shot! I recently saw a historic home being moved to a new location in our town. It needed a police escort because it was wide enough that it was taking up 3/4 of the roadway. It was quite a sight! Quite funny that the one you saw was still partially furnished!

  5. Hi Marcia, that’s interesting. When I was growing up in the Philippines there was also a similar practice, but instead of moving homes by tractors, they were carried by the men in the village. Coming together to help move one’s home was a hallmark of village unity. Back then most homes were built out of wood and were transportable. Nowadays, most homes in my hometown are bigger and built out of bricks and no longer moveable, but I think it still happens in a very rural area.

  6. Very neat and what a tiny, cozy little house. We frequently see trailers and double wides enroute to their destination but once I was really surprised to see a big semi hauling a trailer up a one way mountain road that I’d be nervous to traverse in my car. It amazes me where they haul the homes to.

  7. What a cute little house. It would be great being able to take your house with you. Jamaica sounds like an interesting place to live. Thanks for linking 🙂

  8. You’re welcome, Jan. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Yes, it’s probably great to be able to move with your house but I wonder what it’s really like to move with your house. I guess it could probably be like a camper.

  9. I used to see the those trailers in NYC as well. Every so often, late at night, there’d be one or two. It was always interesting to see.
    Those trailer drivers are real experts — I’m sure it’d make me nervous too.

  10. I agree, Marisol, that’s such a neighborly thing to do. Sure does foster village unity.
    Though we still have quite a few, people here are also moving away from houses made of wood but I love them. They’re usually so neat and colorful.

  11. Wow, Lisa, that sounds like quite a large home! I can see why it needed the escort and maybe also because of its historical significance.
    I must admit, it was a bit funny seeing that it still had stuff in it.

  12. I know they secure the house before but you’re probably right. My guess though is that they do some more work once they get the house to its destination.

  13. That’s a great observation, Johanna. I can just imagine those caravans moving from place to place.
    I’m guessing they cut them in two so they don’t get damaged.

  14. I remember seeing a mobile home being moved in Texas and marveling that it still had curtains up. I guess they must do that all over! My friend bought a very old wooden house, had it cut in half, and then moved it to her property. Apparently, it’s quite a production.

  15. I think it’s a great idea that these old houses can be moved instead of being demolished. Sometimes this happens at home and every now and again, a truck can be seen taking an old wooden house to a new location.

  16. It’s probably easy to leave the curtains up since they don’t add much weight.
    Must be interesting to move house like this but I’m sure, like you said, it’s quite a production.

  17. This isn’t such an old house, Jenny, but I agree — it’s definitely better to move than demolish and this is a better way to move them.

  18. When we lived in New Zealand, we saw the same. When people moved, they would sometimes take their house with them. Or sell their property and their houses as separate entities. Houses would be moved on trucks and if it was a big house, they would simply cut it in two for transport. So odd and so fascinating.

  19. Loved this house on wheels!! I never encountered such houses before. The pictures are just lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I always love reading about places around the world. Jamaica is one of the places I have all my travel wish list. Thanks for sharing the information.

  21. I love it – thanks for showing us “everyday life” in Jamaica too! Thanks for always linking up to our Friday Daydreamin’ – I appreciate it!

  22. I didn’t realize they did that in New Zealand as well or that they can sell their properties as separate entities. Of course, it’s easier when you have a wooden house. More and more, I’m thinking it’s the way to go — wooden houses, I mean. They breathe better, better able to withstand earthquakes. Thanks for the info on NZ, Sophie.

  23. So cute! I saw a house similar to this that was showcased as “the smallest house in the USA”, lol. Sure makes moving a lot easier!;-)

  24. Thanks for sharing this interesting practice! And it’s so neat that you actually captured it with your camera having thought about it so recently. Like others I’ve seen the mobile home moves here in the States, but nothing on that scale. I think it’s great not to waste a perfectly good home when you need to change locations!

  25. What an interesting practice! Like others, I’ve only seen this with mobile home moves, but it really makes sense! Why waste a perfectly good home when you just need to change locations!

  26. You’re welcome, Kate. It was serendipitous, to say the least. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw it.
    I agree — it’s great to be able to change locations and bring your home with you.

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