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Historic home museum closes for renovations

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Work in progress: Verdmont in Smith’s (Photograph supplied)

A historic home and museum has closed for renovations designed to make it more welcoming to visitors.

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda National Trust said Verdmont, in Smith’s, was expected to be shut until the spring for installation of a security and fire system, along with improved lighting for the property’s car park and garden.

Anna Ridgeway, the museum manager, said: “The collections have been safely stored away while work is undertaken and the Bermuda National Trust looks forward to expanding its museum experience when Verdmont reopens.

“With the introduction of technology, we are reinvigorating a traditional museum space.

“We are excited about being able to broaden our museum experience to visitors by further developing the stories of all those who lived at Verdmont and contributed to its care over the centuries.”

The improvements are intended to make the property more accessible and make the building better suited for educational experiences and rental as an event venue.

The $126,000 project was funded by donations from neighbours and supporters, including the Garden Club of Bermuda, which gave $15,000.

Cooper Gardner has been hired as architects and contractors Total Project Services will carry out the work.

The Georgian-style house was built for John and Elizabeth Dickinson more than 300 years ago, financed with the proceeds of a pirate raid in the Indian Ocean.

The home did not have an inside bathroom or kitchen, but included a detached kitchen building and a “three-seater privy” in the garden.

The most recent occupants of Verdmont, sisters Lillian and Irene Joell, lived with no electricity or plumbing in the early 20th century.

The house was sold to the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust, a forerunner of the Bermuda National Trust, in 1951, and the property was opened as a museum.

Work in progress: Verdmont in Smith’s (Photograph supplied)
Work in progress: Verdmont in Smith’s (Photograph supplied)
Work in progress: Verdmont in Smith’s (Photograph supplied)

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Published February 12, 2021 at 2:33 pm (Updated February 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm)

Historic home museum closes for renovations

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