Bermudian Heritage Museum
At St. George, Bermuda
Located at the eastern end of Water Street, this building used to be called the Samaritan Lodge. It was the head office of the Order of Good Samaritans & Daughters of Samaria - A society formed in the 1800s to help the blacks after they were freed from slavery in 1834.
Since 1994, the Smaritan's lodge is the home of Bermudian Heritage Museum which is the only Black History Museum in Bermuda. The museum is part of the African Diaspora Trail
As the island started to develop in 1600s, the slaves in Bermuda got involved in various areas of the growing economy. The slavery in Bermuda
continued for over 200 years.
The female slaves worked mostly as the domestic maids, nurses and so on, while the males worked as home servants, masons, carpenters, sailors and even pilots. There was one female slave who even worked as an executioner in 1652.
The Museum has many artifacts, photographs, uniforms and exhibits capturing the legacy of black slavery, the social and historic heritages and achievements including sports and social history. The museum has exhibits on the Friendly Societies that helped the blacks following their emancipation, black nurses, Cup Match and more.
Many of the personalities in sports and music have also been recognized here.
Bermudian Heritage Museum
There is an exhibit from the American slave ship The Enterprise, which was blown off its course in 1835 and reached Bermuda. It had 78 black slaves on board. By that time the slavery had already ended in Bermuda. The customs and some of the friendly societies refused to let the ship to sail back again until the slaves were given a choice of freedom. Except for one woman and her five children, all chose freedom. Today, thousands of blacks in Bermuda can relate their ancestry to the slaves who were freed that time.
You will also know the stories about descendants of native American slaves like Mary Prince and Sally Bassett
. Mary Prince wrote her own diary about her torturous life of slavery and its vivid descriptions, which was later published as a book. Sally was accused of poisoning a couple who owned slaves and was burnt to death.
Admission fee for the museum: $5 for adults, $3 for children. Kids under 6 are free.
Donations are accepted.
Monday to Wednesday: 10am - to 2pm. Friday: 9:30am to 3:30pm.
Location and Contacts
Samaritans Lodge, 29 Water Street, St. George.
Located at the junction of Duke of York Street and Water Street in St. George's Bermuda.
Bus Routes #1, 3, 10 or 11
1) Check out Bermuda Museums
for great museums and historical buildings in Bermuda.
3) Check out African Diaspora Trail
to know about the other museums and monuments in the heritage trail of Bermuda.
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