Balcony House Museum, Bahamas
Balcony House Museum is a museum on Market Street, off Bay Street, in Nassau, Bahamas. As with many of the wooden colonial houses in the city, it is painted pink with white trimmings. Built in the 18th century, it got its name from the overhanging balcony upstairs supported by knee brackets.
The beauty of the Balcony House Museum lies in it preserving a snapshot of the past. The museum building is reflective of the architectural style adopted from southeastern United States. A stone kitchen is at the back of the house, detached from the main building.
Believed to have been built around 1788, the museum is probably the home of a Loyalist who fled mainland America during the American Revolutionary War, to settle in Bahamas which was under the British Crown. It is probably the oldest residential house in the Bahamas that is still intact.
In the mid 19th century, it became the home of Stephen Dillet, the first colored person to be elected to the Bahamas parliament. The house was acquired by the Central Bank of The Bahamas in 1985. The bank was instrumental in its restoration, working in partnership with the Department of National Archives. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1994.
The interior of the Balcony House Museum recreates the atmosphere of the home of a wealthy Loyalist in the late 18th century. It provides a glimpse into life during that part of the history of The Bahamas.
The Balcony House Museum is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and on Thursdays from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. The museum is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free but donations are welcome. To contact the museum, call 242-302-2621.