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Recreated early settlers’ home could be made a permanent attraction

A recently constructed recreation of a home built by Bermuda's first settlers could become a permanent fixture.

In a planning application it is proposed that the Settler's Dwelling, a timber-framed and palmetto roofed structure erected on the grounds of the Carter House Museum in St David's, become a permanent attraction at the museum.

Rick Spurling, of the St David's Island Historical Society, said that while the structure was built as part of the Island's 400th anniversary, it has proven to be not only popular, but more stable than expected.

“The dwelling was built much stronger than I had anticipated when we made the original application,” he said. “The structure itself is very sound and is now a great attraction and educational tool for our children.

“There is nothing like this in Bermuda and this is authentic, well researched, uses English tools and know-how of 1612 as well as local materials.

“It is hugely popular, and with Carter House and all our endemic and native trees and plants, is a perfect exhibit of Bermuda's first 100 years. We also have plans to cook and entertain (at a cost) in the dwelling in 17th century fashion.”

In a letter to the Planning Department included with the planning application, Mr Spurling wrote that when the project was first conceived, it was believed that hurricanes and winter storms would destroy the building.

“We actually believed that when the building was damaged/destroyed it would, in itself, be another exhibit demonstrating what the settlers had to tolerate with each storm,” he wrote.

“In fact, the Settler's Dwelling, not withstanding up to 80 knot winds from the south, has not lost a leaf.”

He said that while a hurricane would likely cause some damage to the building's thatch or the walls made from mud and clay, such damage can easily be repaired.

Mr Spurling also said in the letter that the structure had become an important draw for the museum, a valuable educational tool for local students and is well positioned to play a role in the National Tourism Plan as an icon of Bermuda's cultural history.

Sturdy: The Settler's Dwelling under construction in late 2012. The recreation of an early 17th century-style Bermuda home, complete with palmetto thatch roof, could be made a permanent attraction if a planning application is approved

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Published June 21, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated June 21, 2014 at 1:19 am)

Recreated early settlers’ home could be made a permanent attraction

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