Growing up in the Caribbean these houses were a common sight, but I never knew the history behind them
Chattel houses, which is a Bajan term for these houses, were built for ease of transport. where ever the former slaves could find work they would simply pick up and move….literally, the houses were built without nails and could be disassembled easily. They were placed on bricks (which also went along when they moved)
They are less common now as the houses do not stand up well in hurricane season. In Jamaica the rural communities have more chattel houses than in the urbanised areas but many are derelict.
Today people have added on additional rooms (and they are anchored with nails now of course)
Personally I think Barbados has some of the most unusual and beautiful ones!
Many have been repurposed into shops
I would love to see the reemergence of these houses as they bring a quaint charm to any community especially if they are painted in vibrant colors
To see and learn more about chattel houses please visit Chattel House website! they are on a mission to preserve these houses,now this is a movement that I will gladly join.