The New HouseIn 1954, this was the last building to be added to the township – the first new building for at least 80 years. Lots of these ‘timber houses’ were constructed in the mid-20th century to provide housing for forestry, farming and factory workers.
Eddie MacCallum and his family called it “The New House” to differentiate it from Eddie’s House, which they then called “the old house”. This is the only house in the township to have a garden with flowers, mainly for display, instead of a kailyard for growing food, which could now be bought from shops. But old ways die hard and tucked around the side of the house Eddie MacCallum had a small vegetable patch.
[caption id="attachment_21634" align="alignnone" width="494"] Willie Weir and son David outside the New House.[/caption]
The house was built in 1954. Eddie’s House was no longer considered fit for occupation because it had no flush lavatory, bathroom or hot running water. A number of Scottish landowners faced similar challenges. Tenant farmers’ houses and shepherd’s bothies often fell short of improved housing standards. The Argyll Estate solved the problem by purchasing high-quality timber house kits, like the one this building was constructed from.
In the 1980s the original fence was taken down and the garden was grassed over, but Ann and Willie Weir remembered a line of daffodils planted along the fence. When we re-created the garden, these showed us where to put the fence. The neatness of the garden is a stark contrast to the rough farmland surrounding the house. The close proximity of farm work to the house is clear in a photograph taken by Young Eddie MacCallum in the mid-1950s – the house is almost hidden by a haystack only fifteen yards from the front door.
Peggy and Eddie MacCallum in the living room of the New House, around 1960.
To read more about the New House and the family that lived here, click here.