New Brunswick

Upright and intact cottage floats across province's largest lake

After floating more than six kilometres across the largest body of water in the province a lost cottage has been located.

A lost family cottage is found on the other side of Grand Lake after flooding

This castaway cottage floated upright and intact more than six kilometres across New Brunswick's largest lake last weekend. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

After floating more than six kilometres across the largest body of water in the province, a lost cottage has been located. 

During the recent intense flooding, the two-storey family cottage floated more than six kilometres across Grand Lake. 

"I'm really kind of shocked it never capsized, sunk to the bottom of the lake," said Aaron Moore, who owns the castaway cottage.

Aaron Moore's camp floated from one side of Grand Lake to other in the floodwaters. 1:07

The home away from home was first spotted on the weekend by Delberta Flood, who, yes, knows her name seems particularly apt after Grand Lake rose to destructively high levels in recent days.

"I went out for a walk Saturday afternoon and I walked down to the shore, where I could see along the shoreline," said Flood. "I saw a building and I thought, 'What is that?'" 

"So, I got closer and it was a camp. A complete camp. Fully intact. Floating in the water, up next to the shore." 

The Moore family cottage was found in Youngs Cove, almost exactly across Grand Lake from Princess Park, where it was built. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

"Completely upright and curtains still in the windows."

Flood snapped a photo on her phone and posted it to Facebook. Within a matter of hours someone replied saying,  "That's my camp!"

"I figured it just came from around the corner," Flood said. "But when I got ahold of the owner, it came from Princess Park, from across the lake." 

Delberta Flood came across the Moore's cottage on Saturday, where it had floated up to the shore next to her home. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Grand Lake is the largest lake in the province and a notoriously temperamental body of water. During that same weekend its waves pulverized dozens of cottages along its shores, reducing many to broken timber floating in the surf. 

But not the Moore cottage.  

Instead it somehow made it across the lake in one piece, although the front door of the structure does lie in the woods next to where the cottage has come to rest. 

"My in-laws had just arrived from Alberta to move into that place," Moore said. "So we were going to move all their stuff in there, but then the water started going up in Fredericton so we thought it may not be the best idea." 

The Right Stuff

Moore credits his father's handiwork for the family's seaworthy home. 

But he also suspects some of the building material may have helped give the cottage safe passage. 

"When we insulated the whole place we put a bunch of spray-foam insulation underneath," said Moore.  

"Now I'm not an expert in boating or buoyancy or anything like that but we kind of figure that might be what kept it afloat."

While there was damage to the interior of the Moore cottage, Aaron Moore says he believes the second floor is largely intact and most of the building is salvageable. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Moore said he now faces the challenge of figuring out exactly what to do with the cottage. He believes it is still in good shape, at least right now. But he worries the cost of pulling the building out of the water and trucking it back to where it belongs may be too much. 

Many other cottages along the lake did not survive the flood in one piece, especially after strong winds whipped across the water on the weekend. 

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.