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. 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.
    Marisol recently posted..Cruising Halong Bay: Still Beautiful, But….My Profile

  3. 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.
    Tonya recently posted..Civil War Sites in the SouthMy Profile

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.
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  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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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