Verdmont Historic House and Garden

Verdmont Historic House and Garden
Verdmont
HISTORIC HOUSE & GARDEN
TEACHER RESOURCE GUIDE
acknowledgements
The Bermuda National Trust would like to thank AXIS Capital Holding Limited for
sponsoring this publication.
Copyright © 2014 Bermuda National Trust
To protect Bermuda’s unique natural & cultural heritage forever
Learning with the Bermuda National Trust
AXIS Education Programme
The Bermuda National Trust’s teacher resources focus on nature reserves and
historical homes owned and maintained by the Trust, offering comprehensive
resources and creative learning experiences for visitors, teachers and
students. We provide first-hand experiences that cannot be recreated
in the classroom. Guided tours can be scheduled with a member of our
education staff for primary, middle and senior level classes. It is our hope
that students will visit all Trust properties, beginning at primary 1 - 2, and
experience repeated visits throughout later primary, middle and senior
years. Repeat visits help students build on their prior learning and
develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and terms associated
with each site. Senior students are encouraged to visit each site to learn
about the care and preservation of nature reserves and historical homes.
Opportunities are available for senior students to participate in our
AIM Programme, allowing them to volunteer their time caring for Trust
properties, which can be applied to required community service hours.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden
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Table of Contents
5
Why Should You Visit Verdmont?
6
Note to Teachers
7
Scheduling a Field Trip to Verdmont
9
Island Map - Bermuda National Trust Properties
11
Introduction to Verdmont
12
Owners & Occupiers
18
Architecture & Furnishings
25
Bed, Bath & Beyond
26
Clothing Styles: Late 1700s
27
Cedar & Palmetto
28
Plant Foods in Bermuda c.1800
31
Toys & Games
32
Archaeology at Verdmont
33
The Attic & Exhibit
36
Teacher Resources/Activities
36
Before your Visit • Introducing Students to Verdmont
37
Activity 1 – Values Activity
38
Activity 2 – Examining the Thomas Smith Inventory
Activity 3 – Making a Floor Plan (see description on page 36)
4
44
During your Visit • Class Field trip Activities
45
Activity 1 – Meet the occupants of Verdmont Late: 1700s
46
Activity 2 – Clothing Styles
51
Activity 3 – Bed, Bath & Beyond
54
Activity 4 – Old Fashioned Objects
61
Activity 5 – Outside the House
64
Activity 6 – From the Garden to Your Table
68
After your Visit
70
Activity 1 – Make a Shoebox House
71
Activity 2 – Old-fashioned Utensils
72
Activity 3 – Recipes
73
Activity 4 – Children’s Activities Long Ago
78
Activity 5 – Make a Puzzle
79
Activity 6 – Manners
82
Activity 7 – Making Connections
83
Activity 8 – Interview and Older Person
84
Activity 9 – A Special Heirloom
85
Activity 10 – My Visit to Verdmont Historic House & Garden
86
Curriculum Links
89
References
90
Field Trip booking form
91
Waiver form
verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Why Should You
Visit Verdmont?
Stepping into this historic house will give each
visitor a sense of the island’s unique past.
Engaging students will enhance the school
curriculum through an informal learning setting.
bermuda's
cultural heritage
Escape into a different time
and place to understand the
origin of Bermuda’s
society & culture
architecture,
art & crafts
• Learn about the
architecture of the 1700s
people of the island
• Learn about the families
that lived at Verdmont
• Learn about art, household
equipment, furniture & toys
• Learn about their lives in
the early 1700s until today
• Learn about the lessons
archaeology can teach us
A glimpse of the past and present,
a reflection on the future
diaspora trail
daily life
Learn about the history
of slavery in Bermuda
and the African Diaspora
Heritage trail
• Politics & law
• Agriculture & fishing
• Population in the 1700s & 1800s
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden
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Arranging a Class Trip/Teacher Resources
>Note to Teachers
Our goal is to make your students’ field trip to Verdmont valuable and meaningful
and to stimulate a life-long interest in history. Authentic sources have been used as
a springboard for developing activities, which we hope will engage young minds and
bring history to life. Reading through the background information will assist you in
answering the more probing questions from inquisitive students and and help create
additional activities that extend the learning associated with Vedmont.
There are a few options to support you before and after the field trip:
Teacher workshop
We can provide a ‘group teacher workshop’ in our AXIS Education Classroom prior to
a field trip with your students. A minimum of 10 teachers is required, maximum group
size is 15. The workshop and materials are free. The time allotted for the workshop is
1.5 to 2 hours.
The overall focus of the workshop is to obtain a copy of the Verdmont Teacher Resource
Guide and network with other teachers to brainstorm ideas for additional activities that
can be offered to promote student learning before and after the class field trip.
Three-Part Learning Experience
We offer a three-part learning experience. After booking a field trip, a Bermuda National Trust
educator can provide an introductory lesson for your students in your classroom, providing
information about the site. This is an excellent preparation for the field trip which builds on
students’ prior knowledge and is helpful for engaged learning during the field trip. After the
site visit a follow-up lesson can also be scheduled. Students will be guided in a review of their
field trip and summarise their new knowledge.
1
2
3
preparatory unit
field trip
summary
Introduction to site
Informal engaged
Students will use their field
and target of learning
learning
trip experience towards
new learning
6
verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
The significance of Verdmont and what students should know
!Scheduling a field
• The home and items can be used to discover how people lived long ago
trip to Verdmont
• This historic home was built almost 300 years ago
To schedule a trip to
• It was lived in up until 1951 without plumbing or electricity
Verdmont download and
• There is a wonderful collection of antiques:
complete a school field
Furniture made of Bermuda cedar
trip booking form on our
Portraits of the family painted by a member of the family
website, www.bnt.bm
Fine porcelain and silver
(found under the school
Please prepare your students and adults for a visit to Verdmont:
• The items in the house are from the past and most are irreplaceable. We ask visitors
to look with their eyes and not with their hands
• Light, including sunlight and flash light used in photographs, fades the colours in the
paintings. Cameras may only be used outside on the grounds
• After visiting the house children can enjoy their lunch or a snack on the lawn outside
Verdmont with adult supervision
tours heading) or copy the
form in the back of this
book. Return the form via
email to: education@bnt.bm.
The ratio of field trips is
one adult for every ten
children. Additional adults
are welcome.
We recommend the following order of activities:
pre field trip activities
Three activities focus on introducing students to Verdmont and on the differences
between values past and present.
Teachers are welcome to visit Verdmont before the field trip to review the site and
determine which field trip activities will meet their students’ needs. Please call the Trust
for current hours.
Involve the students before their visit to Verdmont by discussing the period of clothing
that would have been worn by children in the 18th century. Show students the pictures
provided in this resource. Ask students to use their creativity and ‘dress the part’ to
enhance their experience.
field trip activities
The ‘During Your Visit’ activities address various aspects of life long ago. Select two
activities for your class to complete during their visit. Most activities can be modified to
meet the needs of students.
post field trip activities
These activities allow students to recall their visit and make connections about what
they have learned. Please see the attached Social Studies curriculum links for additional
learning experiences.
While the activities suggested in this resource are noted for specific primary levels, some
may be modified for other ages. We appreciate feedback and invite educators to share
their knowledge in order to support and or improving our education programmes.
Enjoy these resources with your students!
The Education Team
Bermuda National Trust
education@bnt.bm • 236-6483
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verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Bermuda National Trust
Nature Reserves, Historic Homes
& Cemeteries
st. george’s cemetery
(military)
the bermuda national
trust museum at
the globe hotel
st. george’s
military cemetery
historic
tucker house
st. peter’s church
burial ground
for slaves
and free blacks
stokes point
farm reserve
• nature reserves
• historic homes
• historic cemeteries
convict cemetery
royal naval cemetery
yellow fever
cemeteries
iw hughes &
wilkinson reserve
nonsuch island
mariners’
cemetery
jennings land
burial ground
spittal pond
nature reserve
garrison cemetery
prospect
watford cemetery
somerset long bay
east nature reserve
verdmont historic
house & garden
long island
cemetery
somerset
island
military
cemetery
hayward
family
burial
ground
waterville
bnt headquarters
gladys morrell
nature reserve
paget marsh
nature reserve
ports island
cemetery
sherwin nature reserve &
warwick pond
vesey
nature reserve
Directions
Location:
6 Verdmont Lane, Collector’s Hill, Smith’s Parish
Telephone: (441) 236-7369
Bus route: 1
verdmont historic
house & garden
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden
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Verdmont
HISTORIC HOUSE & GARDEN
10 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
standing proudly in smith’s parish off collectors hill, verdmont
is one of Bermuda’s most significant historic treasures, having been built
almost 300 years ago, between 1694 and 1714.
Verdmont is aptly named as it is translated from two French words, vert and mont,
meaning ‘green hill’. This grand house would have been suitably positioned to catch
the southern breezes and to view ships travelling along the South Shore towards St.
George’s. The property on which it stands originally consisted of three shares, 75 acres,
and would have stretched from coast to coast. Rather than the houses that you see
between Verdmont and the South Shore, the land would have been covered in native
and endemic plants, notably cedars and palmettos. The first record of the house being
called Verdmont was in a newspaper announcement of John Green’s (a former owner)
death in 1802.
While the exact date of the building is a mystery, the house has remained standing for
close to 300 years. The footprint of the house has remained the same over this period
of time. What is also remarkable is that it was lived in up until 1951 without plumbing
or electricity.
It was subsequently purchased, restored and opened as a museum that is now maintained
by the Bermuda National Trust. The museum features an extensive collection of antiques
including Bermuda-made cedar furniture, portraits, English and Chinese porcelain and
a child’s nursery. A walled formal garden surrounds the house and a young grove of
Bermuda cedar trees envelopes the south hillside.
Many people have been born and died under its roof. Each has a different story to tell.
There were the wealthy owners, the grieving widows and their children. Here too lived
generations of enslaved men, women and children who we only know by their first
names. All have contributed to the history of the house.
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The Owners & Occupiers
John Dickinson
Research indicates that the first owner of Verdmont was a man named John Dickinson
who acquired the property around the end of the 17th century. The three shares, or 75
acres, on which the house stands, had earlier been owned by three-time governor of
Bermuda, Captain William Sayle, who died in 1671. How Dickinson may have acquired it
brings us to an interesting story.
Dickinson was a man of influence and property and is thought to have become part owner
of a newly built Bermuda sloop of war named the Amity, in 1691. W.S. Zuill in his book
The Story of Bermuda and her People states that under the command of a Rhode Islander
named Thomas Tew, the Amity was commissioned to attack a French trading station in
The Gambia, on the west coast of Africa. Once at sea, Tew changed course and sailed
up the east coast of Africa and (intentionally) fell in with an Arab convoy of six ships. He
engaged the first and largest, which was heavily armed and carried 300 soldiers. Tew
captured it without losing one of his own 45 men. Their prize proved to be loaded with
treasure from Moslem India: ‘broken gold and gold dust...Lyon dollars and Arabian gold’.
This act of outright piracy is believed to have netted over £80,000 (several million dollars
today). Tew’s personal share was reported to be £12,000. The shareholders were discreet
about the source of their windfall, for most of them were prominent citizens. Much of the
booty quietly went into land purchases; it is reported that 13 shares of 25 acres each were
bought and ‘appropriate’ buildings erected. Was Verdmont among them?
Another of the Amity shareholders was Colonel Anthony White, Chief Justice of Bermuda.
Another beneficiary was Colonel White’s daughter, Elizabeth, recently widowed, who
inherited her husband’s share in the venture. Before the juicy Amity melon was sliced,
however, Elizabeth married John Dickinson.
Did father, daughter and new son-in-law use Arab gold to buy the land and build Verdmont?
There is no proof, but the indications are right. With sudden prosperity, the family had more
than enough money to build a fine home for the newlyweds. Verdmont is only a mile from
the site of Colonel White’s own ‘mansion house’ at Flatts. It is a matter of record that Dickinson
and his father-in-law bought 75 acres of land at that time which does exactly encompass all of
the original Verdmont property. The Dickinsons did have a home on that land, for John’s will
refers to ‘my now dwelling house’. Lastly, from a structural point of view, the present building
could have been built as early as 1700-1710. Indeed, an inventory of John Dickinson’s effects,
taken shortly after his death in 1714, lists his dwelling house as one with four rooms over four
rooms, Verdmont’s exact structural arrangement as it appears to this day.
When John Dickinson’s will was proved in 1714, it provided that the Verdmont estate
remain his wife’s until her death, then be divided between their two daughters, Elizabeth
inheriting the southern portion, including the house, and Mary the northern, where
Hinson Hall, on Middle Road, was later built. However, John’s widow Elizabeth was still
living when daughter Elizabeth (by then Mrs. Spofferth) died in 1733, so her share of the
property eventually went to her daughter, also named Elizabeth.
The Dickinsons, John, Elizabeth and their two daughters, were not alone on this grand estate,
for John’s inventory lists four male and two female slaves. The record details only their names
and the values assigned to them. This lack of information raises many more questions than
are answered about Sambo, Prince, Robin, Peter, Ruth and Beck. John’s will also reveals the
name of Bess, a slave who looked after his sister Alice, who lived with his family.
12 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Elizabeth Spofferth
We do not know when this Dickinson granddaughter was born but her mother died
in 1733 and she inherited Verdmont upon the death of her grandmother, Dickinson’s
widow, about 1747. She married first Robert Brown, a merchant in St. George’s, and then
in September 1755 she married Thomas Smith.
Elizabeth & Thomas Smith
The Mr. Smith whom Elizabeth married was the Honorable Thomas, Collector of Customs
and member of the Governor’s Council for 20 years, a widower with four daughters. It is
this Smith family whose portraits by John Green, his son-in-law, hang in Verdmont today.
As Collector of Customs, Thomas Smith
did not have an easy job, nor an enviable
one, for smuggling was common. Bermuda’s
official port of entry was St. George’s, but
incoming ships had a convenient habit
of unloading cargo at the other end of
the island, then reporting to Customs.
During the American Revolution in the
late 1700s, smuggling and privateering
reached a dizzying peak of activity. While
Collector Smith was doing his aging best
to cope with the smuggling problem,
his four daughters were busy with their
own concerns of becoming engaged
and married: Mary (Polly) to the portrait
painter John Green, Elizabeth (Betty) to
left:
Captain Henry Trott and Catherine to
Portrait of Thomas Smith
Attributed to John Green
Joseph Packwood. Honora (Peggy), the
youngest, did not marry.
Collection Bermuda National Trust,
Verdmont Museum
Their stepmother, Elizabeth Smith, had no children of her own. After the Collector died
in 1781, she willed her Verdmont property to Mary Green, Smith’s oldest daughter, and
to Samuel Trott, Betty’s son. After Elizabeth’s death in 1789, the northern part, including
the house, was to go to Mary, the portion south of the public road to Samuel. A survey of
the period shows that there was no more valuable house in the parish than Verdmont.
The land (50 acres in all) was valued at over £583.
Interestingly, this was almost the same value as that placed on the four men (Bacchus, Daniel,
Mell, and Joe), three women (Rachael, Sue, and Marian), five boys (Nat, Sam, Davy, Jim, Tom)
and two girls (Tish and Sall) listed as slaves on the inventory of Thomas Smith in 1782. These
14 people were collectively assessed at £581, or more than one third of the total of the Smith
inventory, valued at over £1600. Certainly it can be presumed that they were an integral part
of the daily life at Verdmont and the functioning of the estate. The inter-relationships and
interactions between themselves and the Smith family can only be guessed.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 13
John & Mary Green
Mary Smith’s husband, John Green, was a man of both
varied accomplishments and considerable mystery.
In the 1760s he moved to Bermuda from America. In
1774 he went to London to develop his painting skills
under Benjamin West, who had become historical
painter to George III. Opinions as to the quality of
John Green’s work vary considerably. He is generally
regarded as a minor but noteworthy portrait painter
of his day. After Green’s return to Bermuda and
marriage to Mary, he presumably painted the Smith
family portraits that hang at Verdmont. Some may
have been done before he left.
left:
John Green self portrait
Miniature
By John Green
Collection Bermuda National Trust,
Verdmont Museum
Either Green had training in more than portrait
work, or influential political connections, or both,
for he stepped into two highly responsible offices.
In 1785 he was appointed to the same post his
father-in-law had held, Collector of Customs. More
surprisingly, the following year he was made
Judge of the Court of Vice-Admiralty, a position
he held until his death 16 years later. As Judge,
he was heartily disliked by American sea captains
for his harsh condemnations of their ships and
cargoes. (England was then at war with the new
French Republic, and both British warships and
Bermudian privateers were seizing and bringing to
Bermuda any ships suspected of trading with the
French.) Green was also on the Governor’s Council
from 1792 until his death.
In spite of his prominence, John Green remains a shadowy figure. He had no ancestors
in Bermuda and left no descendants. Almost nothing is known of his private life at
Verdmont, except that he was a gentleman farmer who one year produced 80 bales of
cotton as a contribution to that short-lived local industry. Governor Beckwith wrote of
him, “There is not in the King’s service a more upright judge.” When he died, at a time
when huge fortunes were being made (and lost) in Bermuda, his estate was valued at
only £286, one third of which consisted of three slaves – two boys, Brutus and Prince,
and a girl, Philis. If the information about John Green is sketchy, the information about
these three members of the Verdmont household is even more so.
Were the Greens responsible for the few obvious changes that were made in the house
during the mid to late 18th century? It is possible. Green himself had been so impressed
by classical Georgian influences in London that he had written Collector Smith, back in
1774: “This stile (sic) does not only prevail in Architecture and the other fine arts, but
even in common furniture amongst the nobility and men of taste and fortune.” It would
be natural for him to want to add artistic new touches to the house; indeed, some of
its elements belong very definitely to this period, including the dentil moulding in the
drawing room and parlour, the interior panelled shutters and the elegant carved mantel
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verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
left:
Portrait of Mary Green
By John Green
Collection Bermuda National Trust,
Verdmont Museum
in the upstairs parlour. Green might well have put up the damp-resistant wainscoting in
the drawing room and parlour and covered it with fabric or wallpaper as a background
for his portraits. He might also have been the one who changed the interior doors from
cedar to mahogany. All these 18th century features strongly suggest Green and his
period, but we cannot be sure; the old house has kept its secrets well.
The Trotts
John and Mary Green died childless in 1802 and 1803 respectively, and Verdmont went to
Samuel Trott, Mary’s nephew, who already owned that part of the property south of the
South Shore Road. After Samuel’s death in 1817 his widow, Sarah, and some of their children
continued to live in the big house. One of these, John Henry Trott, in turn inherited the
property – amazingly, the only time in its
long history that Verdmont ever passed
from father to son. But the son lost interest
after his daughter, Catherine, died there of
typhoid in 1858, and he moved to Hamilton,
taking the Green portraits with him. The John
Green portraits were eventually acquired
by James d’Esterre, a grandson of Samuel
Trott and they were obtained from him
for Verdmont by artist and businessman
Hereward Trott Watlington.
During this period of Trott ownership of
left:
Verdmont, several slave registers were
Captain John Henry Trott &
Harriet Trott
compiled in Bermuda. From these we learn
not only the names of those enslaved but
Courtesy William and Joyce Zuill
also their gender, colour, employment, age
and country. Tom, Dick, Prince, Beck and
Nanny appear on three registers, indicating
their presence at Verdmont over a nineyear period. What happened to Peter
between the first and second register and to David and Lattice between the second and
third register is not revealed. The addition of Emma, a young seven-year-old female
of coloured descent, in the 1827 register and Geoffrey, a young two-year-old male of
coloured descent, in the 1830 register raises the questions of familial relationships.
Unfortunately, the registers do not answer these questions. Slavery was abolished in
Bermuda on August 1, 1834. We do not know the names of the people who worked at
Verdmont after that.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 15
The Spencer-Joells
In the mid 19th century, John Trott sold Verdmont to Rupert Spencer, who farmed it.
Rupert was a bachelor, so his brother John and family not only shared the capacious
house with him, but John’s two daughters, Emma and Ella, inherited the entire 50-acre
estate. After their own father’s death in 1871, the two girls divided the property: Emma,
by then Mrs. Stafford Joell, took the house and land north of the South Shore Road,
and Ella the land south of it, plus cash. The Spencer-Joell tenancy was destined to be
Verdmont’s last private ownership.
Emma and Stafford Joell and family of five children lived at Verdmont during the
economic slump following the American Civil War. This was the period when the
islanders turned back from the sea to the soil, began to farm in a more scientific manner
and then marketed their crops overseas. Stafford Joell, who listed himself as a ‘planter’,
no doubt tried his luck with potatoes and onions, possibly arrowroot and lily bulbs, for
Bermuda exported all of these at the time. It is doubtful if the Joells took much interest
in the history or architecture of the house. To them it was not their ancestral homestead,
just a big, old-fashioned dwelling. They probably added the wooden verandah on the
south side (now gone) and may have dug the water tank by the detached kitchen to
replace the hillside catchment 200 feet away (also gone). Fortunately for us, they did not
attempt any Victorian ‘modernisation’.
Emma died in 1919, outliving her husband. They left five children, but only Lillian, born
in 1875, made the house her permanent home; she lived there for almost 75 years. A
spinster, she stayed alone at Verdmont in the latter part of her life, after her brothers
and sisters had gone their separate ways. For nearly half a century she worked for a law
firm in Hamilton, walking to and from work. Lillian loved the ancient house as it was and
shunned modern conveniences. There was no electricity, no plumbing, no telephone, no
refrigeration and no running water. She used candles and oil lamps for lighting, cooked
on a kerosene stove in the dining room, and dipped water from the tank outside the
former kitchen quarters. Naturally she was regarded as a ‘character’, but characters were
nothing new to Verdmont.
left:
Joell family, c1940
Pictured back row from left:
Lillian, Alan, Spencer, Esther and
Irene (known as Dolly) Joell
Front row from left: Alaine,
William and Diana Joell
Courtesy Alaine Joell Saunders
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verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
The Enslaved People of Verdmont
For more than the first 120 years, Verdmont was home to generations of men, women
and children who had no choice but to live and work here.
Perhaps the house was built by slaves. Alas, we do not know their names. We do, however,
know the first names of others from the inventories of several of Verdmont’s owners.
Bess, who cared for John Dickinson’s sister Alice, is mentioned in his will where he made
provision for her “accommodation ... so long as she continues serviceable in the family”.
More information, such as employment, age and country of origin can be found on the
Returns and Registers of Slaves. The Return of Slaves, below, was made in 1833 by John
Trott, on behalf of his late father Samuel Trott. Tom, a mariner, probably worked at sea
remitting the bulk of his wages to his master. Dick and Prince were listed as labourers
and Nanny (or Nancy), Emma and Geoffrey as domestics.
Geoffrey, who was five years old at the time of emancipation on 1 August 1834, was
probably the last born into slavery at Verdmont. We do not know what happened to
him. Did he stay on at Verdmont with his mother Nanny where she may have continued
to work for wages? Or did they leave? And what surname did the family assume?
African Diaspora
Heritage Trail •
Bermuda
The Bermuda Department of Tourism
and the international body African
Diaspora created a trail linking sites,
monuments and museums which
have a common legacy of slavery and
portrait the heritage and culture of
the people of African descent. These
sites were officially designated as
part of the transnational heritage
tourism initiative formed in 2001
and are part of the UNESCO Slave
Route Project with the aim to protect
and educate about the heritage and
culture of those belonging to the
African Diaspora. A bronze plaque
created by Bermudian sculptor
Carlos Dowling near the kitchen
indicates the official heritage status
of Verdmont.
Returns &
Registers of Slaves
above:
Trott Return of Slaves
Return of Slaves 1833/34 John H Trott agent for the Estate of Samuel Trott (deceased) 15 October 1833
Courtesy Bermuda Archives
The Bermuda National Trust
Lillian Joell’s resistance to change protected Verdmont from structural alteration. But
she was evidently resistant to maintenance too: the roof leaked, floors were rotten,
windows broken, shutters missing, hinges rusted away. The grounds were overgrown,
plantings had gone wild and the drive to South Shore Road was choked with trees and
Following the Abolition of Slave
Trade Act in 1807 Britain required
its colonies to maintain Registers of
Slaves in order to monitor slave
ownership and stamp out slave trading.
Bermuda submitted its first Register
of Slaves in 1817 when slave owners,
or their agents, were required to
complete a Return of Slaves listing
their slaves by name, sex, colour,
employment, age and country of
origin. The information was then
entered into a Register of Slaves.
brush. Fortunately, the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust realized the building’s
historic and architectural importance and bought it in 1951. After much needed repairs
and renovation, Verdmont was reopened as a museum in 1957. It is now owned and
administered by the Bermuda National Trust, successor to the earlier organization.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 17
Architecture & Furnishings
Architecturally, Verdmont is one of the most fascinating old houses in Bermuda. The
front of the house which faces the South Shore is a fine example of the rare transitional
style, retaining some aspects of 17th century dwellings, while anticipating the classicism
and symmetry of the Georgian mansions of the 18th. As mentioned previously, unlike
most old buildings, Verdmont has remained virtually unchanged structurally for close
to 300 years. It embodies traditional Bermudian materials and methods of construction,
yet has several features unique to itself.
From the Outside
Built of Bermuda limestone, cut into blocks, the method of construction is typically
Bermudian, but there are several architectural features that decidedly are not. The most
noticeable of these is the curious roof-on-roof, which is the only one in Bermuda and
almost certainly not part of the original design.
Unusual, too, are the large double chimneys at each end of Verdmont, which provide
eight fireplaces, one for every room in the house. The position of the chimneys illustrates
how old Bermuda homes are more akin to those of the American South than to the early
above:
The back entrance to Verdmont
homes of New England. Because of their cold winters, New Englanders favoured a large
central chimney, to warm as much of the house as possible. In Virginia, Maryland and
Bermuda, milder climates caused early builders to push chimneys to the ends of the
house, to dissipate heat and open up central passages through which air could circulate.
kitchen/
slave quarters
cistern
house
house front elevation
site plan
illustrations courtesy cary carson,
colonial williamsburg foundation, drawn
by jeffrey bostetter
18
verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Near the northwest corner of Verdmont is
a smaller building, obviously old, with a
chimney that seems unnecessarily large.
This was the former detached kitchen and
slaves’ quarters, now remodeled into a
residence for letting. The interior has been
much altered, but the building itself may be
as old as Verdmont. It is the only surviving
dependency of what must once have been
left:
a group of sheds, stables and the like in the
The former detached kitchen/
slave quarters
rear of the big house.
As in the American South, the finer Bermudian homes used to have their kitchens in
separate buildings. This removed the danger of fire as well as the disturbances of noise,
heat, smoke and cooking odours. Kitchen and domestic chores were performed by
slaves in early times, as was most of the field work.
One important structure not seen at Verdmont
is a water storage tank for the main house.
This is puzzling, for storage of rainwater has
always been essential on the island, and
water tank
roof catchments were in common use for
generations. However, Verdmont evidently
relied on a hillside catchment and storage
house
tank (now destroyed) 200 feet to the east,
from which water was carried in buckets.
surveyed and contoured in 1898-1899 by
lieut. a. j. savage, re. published at ordnance
survey office, southampton, england, 1901.
courtesy works & engineering
There is now a small tank by the former
kitchen building, but water was never piped
from it to the big house, only dipped and
carried. Consequently, there were never any flush toilets; chamber pots and the tripleseated stone privy still standing near the northeast corner of the house had to suffice.
Privy exterior
Privy interior
Wash basin & chamber pots
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 19
Inside Verdmont/the Ground Floor
The basic plan is four rooms downstairs with four rooms above, each with its own
fireplace. An attic is found on the third floor, from which the earlier residents would
have had access to the cupola.
left:
Verdmont ground floor plan
dining room
library
hall
parlour
illustrations courtesy cary carson,
colonial williamsburg foundation, drawn
by jeffrey bostetter
Hall & Parlour
From the south, one enters immediately into the hall
left:
or drawing room. The parlour, adjacent, is connected
The pine board parlour walls
with paintings
by large double doors that, when open, provide an
impressive 40-foot expanse of the entire length of the
building with fireplaces at each end. The pine boards
covering the walls of the drawing room and parlour
have caused much speculation. Panelled walls are
occasionally found in old Bermuda homes, but native
cedar is generally used, with the boards running vertically. Here they run horizontally and
are not of top quality. They were presumably intended only as a base for a wall covering of
fabric or paper; indeed, traces of old wallpaper were removed when the house was restored
in the 1950s. Also, the delicate, white-painted dentil moulding at the junction of walls and
ceiling is better suited to decorative wall covering than to exposed boards.
The family portraits in these two front rooms show Bermuda’s 18th century dress and
hair styles, even though these are obviously of the ‘Sunday best’ variety. Many were
painted by John Green himself.
In addition, the drawing room and parlour contain a variety of fine antique furniture reflecting
styles of many eras, in most instances either made of Bermuda cedar or made in Bermuda. Of
special note is a handsome pair of Queen Anne side chairs, c.1750, having ‘split splat’ backs
which are unusual and almost peculiar to Bermuda. Other items of Bermuda cedar include an
18th century chest-on-chest with ‘marching’ legs, another unique Bermudian feature, a large
corner cupboard, and a notable desk whose lid and sides are of single planks. The six cedar
chairs with woven palmetto seats, c.1740, show an interesting use of the resources available
to early craftsmen, notably the use of two of Bermuda’s endemic trees.
20 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
The connecting wall between the double chimneys allows the space between to be
converted into closet-like cubicles accessible from various rooms. These cubicles are
ingle recesses which stem directly from those in medieval English dwellings, and were
in turn forerunners of the more formal powdering rooms of Georgian times.
left:
Cedar chair with woven
palmetto seat
centre:
Queen Anne side chair
right:
Chest-on-chest with
marching legs
Dining Room
The other two rooms on the ground floor
are the original dining room and a room
left:
Dining room fireplace
now furnished as a library. The dining room
fireplace is the largest in the house, with a
hearth elevated nearly two feet from the floor.
Raised hearths are common in old Bermuda
homes, particularly in fireplaces used for
cooking, which suggests that the purpose was
to save stooping. Although the last occupant
of the house, Miss Lillian Joell, used a kerosene
stove, in an earlier day this fireplace would
have served for light cooking, making tea or just keeping food warm that had been brought
from the detached kitchen. In the hall between the rooms is a venerable long-case clock,
still running, with English works and a Bermuda-made case, which dates from 1790.
Library
The library contains a mahogany ‘drum’
left:
table made in England in about 1820,
Madison china
and a cedar corner cabinet with ornately
carved ‘Greek key’ motif made by a
Paget cabinetmaker, Solomon Hutchings,
between 1800 and 1830. The blue and
gold coffee service within is French,
c.1810 and is said to have been seized
by a Bermudian privateer in 1815. The
set is reported to have been a gift from
Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, to Dolley
Madison, wife of James Madison, the
fourth president of the United States.
Sources: Vernon A. Ives, Verdmont Booklet,
date unknown, Revisions made in 1996, John
W. Cox, 2004, Ted Cart
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 21
The First Floor
The magnificent balustrade staircase leads
to the floor above and thence to the attic.
The balusters are of 17th century design,
hand turned from local cedar. The layout of
rooms on the first floor is identical to the
floor below. While some of the flooring was
replaced when the house was renovated,
one can still see very old, worn pine flooring,
probably original, on this level. The boards
are wider at one end than the other (from
the taper of the tree trunk) and are alternated
to balance out the difference, an ingenious
saving of both labour and wood. This technique
is also seen in the top of the cedar chest in
the main bedroom.
left:
Verdmont first floor plan
main bedroom
parlour
nursery
bedroom
balcony
Main Bedroom
To the north of the upstairs parlour is the main bedroom. The bed, impressive as it appears,
is an amusing example of early ‘show’. The spiral reeded posts at the foot of the bed,
where they would be noticed most, are of imported mahogany; the two at the head, less
conspicuous, are of local cedar and the covered headboard is just a piece of old pine! This
room also contains two traditional cedar chests on legs for the storage of clothes or bedding.
Lifted off the legs, they served as travel trunks. It is thought that the intricate dovetailing
possibly identifies the maker, each craftsman having his own pattern. The small truckle or
trundle bed, when not in use, could be pushed under the larger one. The panelled cedar
tallboy, in the William and Mary style, is the earliest of the three highly important examples
at Verdmont. This one dates from about 1700.
22 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
illustrations courtesy cary carson,
colonial williamsburg foundation, drawn
by jeffrey bostetter
left:
Spiral reeded four poster bed
below:
Cedar chest on legs
Nursery
The smallest room on this floor is furnished as a nursery. Here is a four-poster child’s bed
and even a doll’s four-poster. More typical of the average Bermuda home is the rocking
cradle with uprights at each corner to support a mosquito net. (Until the 20th century,
mosquitoes were a serious problem on the island, the then unknown cause of many an
epidemic of yellow fever.) There are also children’s chairs, a miniature sofa, dolls and
doll furniture and early children’s books and toys.
left top:
Four poster bed
right top:
Rocking cradle
left:
Wooden toy horse
right:
Miniature sofa and bed
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 23
Parlour
Opening off the corridor is an attractive room now papered and furnished as an
upstairs parlour. As the 18th century progressed upstairs parlours become increasingly
popular in Bermuda. An elegant cedar tea table, c.1740, showcases teacups which have
no handles. This is because the tea, first brought from China, was drunk by the same
method the Chinese used – cupping the hands around the cup. If the tea was too hot, it
was poured into the large dish-like saucers and sipped from the saucer.
left:
The parlour
right:
Chinese tea cup
left:
Side table
Made in bird’s-eye cedar by John
Henry Jackson
right:
Cedar tea table, c.1740
Bedroom
The remaining front room, also facing the sea, is furnished as a bedroom. Among the
items on display is an important and rare Bermuda cedar bonnet-top tallboy of about 1750,
having shell carvings and ‘trifid’ feet, and a cedar cradle from the early 18th century.
left:
Bermuda cedar
bonnet-top tallboy, c.1750
right:
Bermuda cedar chest
24 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Bed, Bath & Beyond
The one natural resource necessary
for survival that Bermuda does not
have is fresh running water. The early
settlers, like us today, appreciated
the value of collecting water from
rain and from underground wells.
Initially, rainwater was collected in
barrels. Shortly thereafter, cisterns
were constructed for storage. In
the early days, these were made of
cedar and then later tanks were cut
from the rock and made watertight
with a lime mortar.
Without indoor plumbing, the demand on the water source was not as great as it is now
and tanks were much smaller than they are today. They were often built partially above
ground and had a domed or flat slate roof. Water was dipped by hand and carried into
the house in buckets. The catchment for Verdmont was located 200 feet to the east.
There is now a small tank by the former kitchen/slave quarters, but water was never
piped from it to the big house, only dipped and carried. Consequently, there were no
taps, baths, showers, etc. installed at Verdmont, nor any flushing toilets. Early methods
of sanitation included chamber pots, tucked under beds, and commodes, a piece of
furniture designed to conceal a chamber pot. Verdmont also has a triple-seater stone
privy still standing near the northeast corner of the house, one of the few still surviving.
Getting a bath was not a daily routine and was more complicated than we know it. Baths
were taken once a week, unless the weather outside was too cold – then it would be
skipped until the next week. E. A. McCallan in Life on Old St. David’s Bermuda reports that
an elderly friend of his “affirmed that frequent bathing was injurious because it removed
the protective oil of the skin.” In preparation for a bath, water was carried in buckets into
the house and heated in a large pot in the fireplace. Once hot it was then transferred into
a portable bathtub, in which a person would be able to sit only with their knees bent.
The head of household usually took the first bath, followed by the remaining adults and
then children in order of position, usually chronological, within the household. You can
imagine the state of the water by the time it was the turn for the ‘baby’ of the family. Any
soap used was home-made from lye, a liquid from ash and fat boiled together.
“Early to bed and early to rise …” was true for many Bermudians relying on the sun and
candles as their main sources of light. At night, you would have retired early to bed
using a candle to guide your way. Those who could not afford candles burned whale
oil in lamps. Since nightgowns and pajamas did not become fashionable until the 19th
and 20th centuries, people wore their undergarments to bed. Men would wear their
long shapeless shirts and women their long shift. If you could afford it, your mattresses
would be stuffed with feathers or sheep’s wool. Poorer people collected Bermuda bedstraw or bed-grass as mattress filling and E. A. Mc Callan recalls dried crab-grass being
used to stuff soldiers’ mattresses. One person to a bed would have been a luxury and
most families in Bermuda shared beds, particularly the children. If extra sleeping space
was required, a trundle bed was used and could be tucked out of sight during the day.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 25
Clothing Styles: Late 1700s
While clothing styles would have varied
depending on socio-economic status and
left:
Portrait of Master
Joseph Packwood
occupation, there are some generalisations
that can be made for clothing worn by people
in the latter half of the 18th century.
Babies, both boys and girls, were dressed
in long gowns or shifts until they were
toddlers. Sometime between the ages of two
and five years old, boys and girls would
start to be dressed differently.
Boys wore breeches, trousers that came
down to just below the knees, and long
shirts that they pulled over their head and
tucked into their breeches. A waistcoat or
vest was worn over the shirt. Stockings up to the knees and shoes were added and a
tricorn or three-cornered hat placed on the head when going outside. Men dressed
similarly, adding a long coat and possibly a cravat, a narrow cloth wrapped around the
shirt collar.
Girls and women would start with a long shift that was possibly also used as a nightgown.
Stockings would be pulled on and held up with ribbon. Stays around the midriff and hoops
to fill out the skirts may have been added depending on position and occupation. Petticoats
came next and a pocket, or separate pouch, in which was carried personal items was tied
around the waist and then came the outer-most layer. For middle class and poorer women,
this might have included a long skirt that came down to the ankles and a short gown or
jacket. Gentry and middle class women wore a long dress over their undergarments.
The material used to make the clothes varied among the social classes. Gentry folk had
their clothes made from imported silks, satins and fine linens. For those who could not
afford these materials, wool, cotton and coarse linen were available.
left:
Portrait of Mary Green
right:
Portrait of Jane Slater
26 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Cedar & Palmetto
The grounds of Verdmont contain a variety of plants, some of which have been intentionally
grown and some have arrived on their own.
Native plants are those that were present in Bermuda before the first people arrived. In
other words, they arrived here on their own without human assistance. How did they
get here? They probably arrived as seeds carried by the wind or by ocean currents or in
the stomachs of migrating birds. Some native plants of Bermuda include the prickly pear
cactus, bay grape and Spanish bayonet.
If native plants are isolated for long periods, they may evolve into distinct species that
are not found anywhere else in the world. Species which are unique to an area are
called endemic. Bermuda has a few mosses, ferns and flowering plants that are endemic
and three endemic trees: the olivewood, cedar and palmetto. These latter two were of
great importance to earlier generations of Bermudians.
The cedar is probably the most important plant in Bermuda’s history. The first accidental
settlers from the Sea Venture used it for shelter and for building the Deliverance and
Patience to take them off the island. Later, it was used by settlers for windows and doors,
tables and chairs, chests and bureaus. It was used in the shipbuilding industry when
Bermuda was known for its fast boats and sloops. Additionally, the cedar berries were used
to make cedar berry beer and cough syrup. Forests of cedar were even used as a dowry – a
gift given with a bride when she married. In the 1940s a scale insect was introduced to
Bermuda and destroyed 85 - 90% of the cedar trees. Those that were resistant have been
used to grow more trees which are being planted over Bermuda again.
Early settlers found many uses for the Bermuda palmetto as well. They saw the wild hogs
eating the berries and trusted that they could as well. The heart of the tree was eaten like a
cabbage and a strong alcoholic drink, bibby, was made from the sap. The leaves have been
used for everything from thatching roofs to making umbrellas, baskets, mats, hats and rope.
David Wingate, former Government Conservation Officer, estimates that 85 - 90% of the
plants growing in Bermuda today are introduced. These are plants that were brought
here by people either accidentally or for use as food, medicine or decoration.
left:
Palmetto roof as seen at
Early Settler’s Reconstruction
Cottage at Carter House
right:
Palmetto broom
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 27
Plant Foods in Bermuda c.1800
Farming at this time in our history was in a very poor state. No one, black or white, free
or slave, wanted to work the land. Governor William Browne, appointed 1781, wrote
“agriculture is a subject foreign to the engagement of the people”. Bermudians had been
used to earning their living by boat building, trading, privateering and piracy. As seamen,
most Bermudians considered work on the land degrading and rich whites refused to permit
their slaves to labour on the land as the labour of whites and free blacks was sufficient to
cultivate what little land remained after that used to graze animals and grow cedar.
During the American Revolution, 1775-1783, Bermuda, as a British colony, became
the enemy of the Americans and many trading opportunities were lost including, for
example, the salt trade that had been so profitable. Additionally, the boat builders of
America copied the style of the fast Bermuda sloops and made them bigger and better.
Bermuda, because of its strategic location, was a very possible target for invasion by the
Americans or the French (America’s allies in their War of Independence).
In 1801, the situation was so bad that the lead story in The Royal Gazette, April 18, stated
“the situation of these islands at present is truly alarming for want of corn, flour, rice, pork,
etc. Many poor families have been several days without a mouthful of bread kind, and at
present there is no likelihood of a remedy.” This was disastrous as bread was eaten in large
quantities and at one time a loaf of bread was considered one man’s ration for a day.
The few acres that were cultivated included the following crops: potatoes (common and
sweet), beans, peas, pumpkin, squash, onions, carrots, corn (maize), cassava, barley and
collard greens These vegetables were supplemented with imported rice and wheat, and
herbs and fruits grown locally. The fruits included oranges, lemons, limes, pomegranates,
pawpaw, prickly pear, melons, sugar cane, cherries, bananas, mulberries, cedar berries,
palmetto berries, figs and sugar apple. Only the wealthy could afford most of these.
The herbs included anise, basil, cumin, fennel, marjoram, parsley, hot red peppers and
sage. From the fruits and berries, people would make their medicines: poppy syrup,
cedarberry syrup, castor oil, bitter aloes, marjoram tea and pomegranate bark tea. The
drinks included water, gingerbeer, berry beer, beer, rum and wine.
The basic daily food for most people was corn grits and mush, bread, cornmeal, peas
and rice together with a little meat or fish once or twice a week. For a special treat they
might make fennel seed or ginger cookies.
Most cooking was done over an open fire or hearth.
Pots were hung over the fire on hooks and everything
was boiled together. A griddle with a long handle
was used to make pancakes and a long-handled
fork to toast bread. Baking was done in a separate
bread oven located to one side of the large
fireplace. Alternatively, bread could be baked in a
Dutch oven, an iron pot on three legs with wood
burned below and on the lid.
Dutch Oven
28 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Author: Ray Latter, 2003
Sources: Collett, Jill Bermuda: Her Plants and
Gardens 1609-1850 Published by Macmillan
Publishers Ltd., London 1987 McCallan, E.A.
Life on Old St. David’s Bermuda Published by
The University Press, Glasgow 1948
Plants Grown in the Small Rock Garden at Verdmont
Aloe
Basil
Chives
Lemon Balm
At one time plantations of
Used in cooking particularly
This plant has leaves similar
The leaves look very much
aloe grew in Bermuda. The
with tomatoes, basil is
to those of an onion and, in
like those of the stinging
juice was extracted and sent
first mentioned in 1616.
fact, they are closely related.
nettle but smaller. Rubbing
to America to help in the
The seed was said to cure
It is frequently used on
the leaves between the
making of medicines. Boiled
sadness and so make one
dishes with eggs, cheeses
fingers produces a distinctive
with molasses, it was a good
happy. The juice was used
and potatoes but may also
lemon smell. It is used to
cough remedy. A slice soaked
to help eyesight.
be used as a garnish.
treat nervous tummy upsets
in water produced a liquid
in children and to help with
that was good for colds.
depression and anxiety.
Today, the cut leaves are
used to help cool sunburn.
Lemon Grass
Parsley
Sage
Thyme
This grass was used as an
It is not clear when this plant
Sage is a flavourful herb for
This low growing herb is
herb in cooking in Asia. In
was introduced to Bermuda.
meats, particularly pork. It is
often used in cooking roasts
Bermuda, the leaves are
Today, it is found growing
not known when it was first
and stews. The small leaves
steeped in boiling water,
wild in many places. It is
imported but it is likely that
are dried and used for
the juice strained and sugar
used for garnishing foods as
it arrived quite early.
seasoning. They may also
added to make a lemonade
well as for flavouring sauces,
be used to aid digestion,
drink often used for coughs.
stews and stocks. It is often
particularly of rich foods,
used as a diuretic to help
and to clear coughs and
reduce fluid retention.
chest infections.
Source: Collett, Jill Bermuda: Her Plants
and Gardens 1609-1850 Published by
Macmillan Publishers Ltd., London 1987
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 29
Other Common Plants Grown in Bermuda
Bay Grape
Fennel
Honeysuckle
Lantana
This native plant with its
The seeds of this plant were
Two types grow in Bermuda
The common sage bush,
distinctive shiny, round
first sent to Bermuda in 1616
– the ones with yellowy-
Lantana, grows wild over
leaves and red veins must
and grew very well here. People
white flowers and the ones
Bermuda today. It was
have arrived here on its own.
used to chew the seeds to
with orange-red flowers.
brought in from the Bahamas
It is often seen growing
prevent them from feeling
The old name for it was
by Samuel Spofferth over
near the coast. The fruit
hungry and to freshen their
woodbine and Nathaniel
250 years ago to be grown
grow in clusters and turn red
breath. Fennel was also
Tucker mentions it in a poem
as firewood for the poorer
when ripe. They are enjoyed
said to be good for stomach
in 1772. Children would pluck
people. The leaves were used
by birds and may be made
upsets. The dried stems were
the flowers and enjoy sucking
to brush the teeth and the
used to make kite sticks for
the nectar from within.
branches for scrubbing
into a jam.
the traditional Good Friday
out cooking utensils and
kite flying.
chamber pots.
Nasturtium
Pawpaw
Prickly Pear
Rosemary
This native plant from South
It is not clear if it is native
A native cactus, the early
There is no record of
America was first mentioned
or introduced. By 1621,
settlers discovered how
when this was imported to
as being in Bermuda in 1772.
pawpaw trees were plentiful.
good the fruit was to eat.
Bermuda but it was certainly
It was probably brought in as
The fruit when green is used
By the 19th century, a candy
in use by 1687, particularly
a garden plant and escaped
as a vegetable. When put in
was being made from it in
as an air freshener. Even
into the wild. The leaves and
a stew, it makes the meat
St. David’s. Prickly pears
lightly touching the close-
flowers were used in salads
tender. When ripe, the fruit
were hung in store houses
growing, thin leaves
and the seeds can be used
is good to eat by itself or in
to prevent rats from eating
releases the aromatic scent
like capers.
fruit salads. In old Bermuda,
corn. The colourful fruit was
of rosemary. It is used in
the juice of the green fruit
used for dyeing materials
cooking, especially with
was used to cure ringworm
purple, scarlet or pink. It
lamb, but is also said to have
and warts.
was also thought to have
been used in a cough syrup
a medicinal use – that of
with molasses and as a hair
cleansing the kidneys.
rinse to darken graying hair.
30 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Toys & Games
For many years, children growing up in Bermuda
did not have lots of toys to play with as they do now
and they didn’t have electronic games or remote
control toys. Slave children often worked from a
very early age. When children had time to play,
they enjoyed the same games that their parents and
grandparents had played when they were young.
Some of these games are still played today, like tag,
hide-and-seek, hopscotch and jump rope. Children
played marbles, but they used clay marbles before
Assorted toys in the
nursery at Verdmont
glass ones were invented. Sometimes they even
took an old hoop and tried to roll it with a stick.
Games helped children learn skills that they would need later in life as farmers and
parents. Games taught children how to aim and throw, how to solve problems and do
things with their hands, and how to follow directions and rules. They also learned to be
fair, to wait their turn and to use their imaginations.
The Model Doll House at Verdmont
Model Doll House
by Ronnie Chameau
The doll house in the attic is an exact replica of Verdmont. It was crafted in 1997 by Mrs.
Ronnie Chameau who built the house in 2 sections with a scale of 1” = 1 foot. The house
is made of natural materials and every item (except for the electrical light fixtures) is
handmade. The wall paper is a hand painted reproduction of the wallpaper from the upstairs parlour by Mrs. Chameau in watercolour. Some of the miniatures were contributed
by Dr. Jack Arnell and Mrs. Betty Hollis.
Doll houses like the model of Verdmont have been around for about 400 years with the
most detailed created in Germany, Holland and England. The earliest houses were very
expensive and off limits to children. Some of them were worth the price of a modest
full-size house. Germany was the producer of the most prized doll houses and doll house
miniatures up until World War II. They were and are still collectors’ items.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 31
Archaeology at Verdmont
In 2006 the Bermuda National Trust, working with the Ironbridge Gorge Archaeological
Unit, conducted an archaeological survey of the Verdmont property to look for evidence
of outbuildings listed in the 1714 probate inventory of John Dickinson.
Several interesting features were uncovered and in 2007 archaeologists from Bristol
University, working in the eastern sections of the property, excavated the remains of an
ancillary structure that may have been associated with the animals kept on the property.
Surveys with ground-penetrating radar were conducted in the formal north lawn and
archaeologists investigated the privy and discovered that it was built over a cave.
In 2012, Dr. Brent Fortenberry resumed archaeological work at Verdmont to investigate
the area below the kitchen cottage. It was determined that the area under the kitchen
was a strong candidate for the housing of enslaved Africans, and a blocked up doorway
revealed the possibility of a linking staircase between the current patio area and the
cellar space. Additionally, archaeological work revealed a posthole on the current
patio with a single piece of 18th century tin-glazed earthenware in the fill. In 2013, Dr.
Fortenberry continued his work at Verdmont with the excavation of an area that has
been known as the kitchen garden. Digging revealed the remains of the outbuilding
from the earliest period of occupation of the site.
The artefacts below were found in digs conducted by the National Trust’s
e
p
a
r
s
t
d
u
o
2. Blue transfer printed bowl or
saucer, fragment, Early 19th century
Pearlware
Made in England, probably
in Staffordshire
3. Pipe bowls and stems, fragments
c.1800
Clay
Made in England
Archaeological Research Committee at Verdmont in 2006 and 2007:
i
1. Black transfer printed plate,
fragment, Early 19th century
Pearlware
Made in England, probably
in Staffordshire
4. Decorative handle, fragment
Mid 18th to 19th century
Tin-glazed earthenware
Made in England
5. Sugar bowl, wheat sheaf-style
treatment, fragment
Early 19th century
Ironstone china
Made in England
6. Faunal assemblage
Miscellaneous bones
7. Square pharmaceutical bottle
base, with proprietary embossing
Late 19th century
Clear glass
Made in England
8. Small hand blown
pharmaceutical bottle
Late 18th to early 19th century
Green glass
Made in England
9. Blue transfer printed
earthenware, fragment
Late 18th century
China glaze
Made in England
10. Pecten ziczac (Bermuda scallop)
Shell
32 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
The Attic & Exhibit
There is question regarding the attic headroom of 7’6” and why a wide balustrade
staircase leads to this area. Speculation has it that this room was used for political
meetings, social gatherings, storage or sleeping quarters.
The octagonal framing in the centre of the ceiling is supposed to have provided room
for a ladder leading up to a one-time cupola or widow’s walk. Whether widow’s walk or
cupola or both, it is reputed to have blown down in the 19th century and been replaced,
blown down again in the hurricane of 1926 and not replaced. The entire roof was
rebuilt yet again during renovations in the 1950s.
An exhibit Verdmont: House and its People, displays pictures of the family members who
lived at Verdmont and the history of this historic home. A variety of artefacts are on
display which allows visitors to see items that would have been used by the people who
lived and worked in this home.
Owners Artefacts
t
r
u
e
o
i
p
1. Portable writing desk, c.1840
Bermuda cedar
Made in Bermuda
5. Telescope, first half 19th century
Leather-clad brass
Made by Cary, London, England
2. Quill pen, modern
Goose feather
Made in Bermuda for educational use
6. Boot jack, 19th century
Ash wood, possibly
Made in England
3. Inkwell, modern
Stoneware
Made in Colonial Williamsburg, USA
7. Sewing basket, late 19th century
Wicker, green silk lining
4. Oil lamp, 19th century
Lamp, copper, made in England
Chimney, glass, made in Colonial
Williamsburg, USA
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 33
Slavery Artefacts
e
r
i
t
p
o
u
1. Wood working tools, 19th century
Beech wood
Made in England
5. Wash tub & scrub board, 1870 to 1880
Pine
Made in Bermuda
A. Moulding plane, W Greenslade, Bristol
B. Smoothing plane, H Stone
C. Smoothing plane, WW Bubb
6. Palmetto broom, c.1930
Dried palmetto leaves, Bamboo handle
Made in the West Indies
2. Waffle irons, 19th century
Iron
Made in the USA
7. Feather duster, c.1930
Domestic chicken feathers, possibly Barred
Rocks, Wood handle
Made in the USA
3. Cooking pots, cauldrons, 19th century
Iron
Made in England
4. Smoothing irons, c.1880
Iron
Made in England
34 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Daily Life Artefacts
r
e
1. Commode chair, Chair, mid 18th
century, pot early 19th century
Chair, Bermuda cedar,
made in Bermuda
Pot, white glazed stoneware,
made in England
2. Toilet set, c.1900
Porcelain
Made in England
3. Bed pan, c.1880
White glazed stoneware
Made by Burgoyne Burbidges and
Co, London EC, England
t
4. Hanging food safe,
End 19th to early 20th century
Painted wood, wire mesh, recent
Made in Bermuda
5. Bucket, modern
Oak with galvanised bands
Made in Colonial Williamsburg, USA
u
o
6. Skein or yarn winder
19th century
Wood
7. Candle mould
Early 19th century
Tin
Made in New England, USA
8. Milk pail
19th or early 20th century
Aluminium
Made in England
a
s
i
p
d
9. Pioneer Dairy milk bottle
First half 20th century
Glass
Made in the USA
10. Orange or lemon squeezer
Late 19th century
Bermuda cedar
Made in Bermuda
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 35
Teacher Resources/Activities
Before your visit/
Introducing Students to Verdmont
These activites are designed to be completed in advance of a visit. It prepares
the students to visit and explore lifestyles of long ago.
objectives
• To explore differences in values between people of different times
• Compare a list of furnishings in an old Bermuda house with those of today
!activity 1/primary 5
Values Activity
Complete the ‘Values Activity’ sheet individually. Then, compare answers in small groups
exploring differences and reasons for choices. Extension Activity: Parents/guardians
complete the same activity. Point out the differences and similarities in the lists between
one generation and the next. What conclusions can be drawn from your findings?
!activity 2/primary 5
Examining the Thomas Smith Inventory
Examine the ‘Inventory of the Hon. Thomas Smith, December 1782’. Allow time for
students to comment or ask questions. Point out observations of your own (e.g. the
length and detail, the values of some items, any interesting items, any items that you
don’t know what they are, the names and values of those enslaved, items that would be
found on a modern inventory, etc).
!activity 3/primary 5
Making a Floor Plan
Choose one room from the inventory and, on a flipchart or blackboard, draw the room
with the items in it in a simple form (refer to the Verdmont floor plan provided on page
20). Have students work individually or in small groups and draw another room with
the contents in it. Make comparisons to furniture in their classroom or a similar room in
their house. What items do they have in their classroom/school, or homes that require
electricity or plumbing (and thus will not be seen at Verdmont)?
>cross-curricular activities
Maths:
Add the values of the furnishings and compare with students’ own
furnishings using today’s current value.
English: label the diagram and write observations about their findings.
36 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
!activity 1/verdmont
Values Activity
Name:
Date:
Ask: What are the MOST IMPORTANT things to you in this world?
Think: “If I had to pack a suitcase and leave Bermuda, what would I take with me?”
How valuable is each item to you? How much do you think each item is worth in
dollars and cents?
1. Fill in the list below, naming the top 5 things you would take with you.
2. Number the items from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most important thing to you
and 5 being the least important thing to you.
3. Make a guess at how much each item costs if you had to buy it new.
item
importance
level 1-5
cost to
buy them
When you have finished, share your answers with others
1. Are their answers the same or different?
2. Why did you choose to include these items?
3. Why are they valuable to you?
extension activity
Have an adult in your household complete the ‘Values Activity’. How do their answers
compare to yours? Are they similar? Are they different? Why did they choose to include
their items?
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 37
!activity 2/verdmont
Examining the Thomas Smith Inventory
Inventory of the Estate of the Hon. Thomas Smith, Esq. • December 1782
Inventories
Parts of this inventory have been omitted in an effort to make it more manageable.
(s
)
(d
)
gs
ce
n
9
0
0
Square Mahogany Tables
8
0
0
1
Card Table
3
10
0
2
Candle Stands
3
0
0
1
Harpsichord
30
0
0
1
Brass Hearth Tongs and Shovels
7
10
0
3
Prints
3
0
0
2
Looking Glasses
8
0
0
1
Large Picture
–
13
4
subtotal
72
13
4
1 pound (£) = 20 shillings (s)
1 shilling (s) = 12 pence (d)
in the parlour
½ doz.
po
(d
)
pe
n
li
il
sh
Mahogany Chairs
2
1 doz.
un
ds
sh
(£
il
)
li
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
po
in the hall
un
ds
(£
)
The spelling of words has been amended to today’s closest modern English equivalent.
Mahogany Chairs
8
0
0
1
Tea Table
2
13
4
1
Safe
1
13
4
1
Small Round Table
–
16
0
2
Square Mahogany Tables
7
0
0
17
Prints
12
0
0
2
Looking Glasses
7
10
0
2
Windsor Chairs
1
10
0
1
Clock
16
0
0
1
Grate and Tongs
2
0
0
2
Spying Glasses
3
0
0
subtotal
61
2
8
38 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
An inventory is a complete list of
items such as the contents of a
house. One is sometimes made
of the possessions of a deceased
person to aid in the settlement
of their estate. Old inventories,
such as those found for some of
the owners of Verdmont, provide
a glimpse into the furnishings
and the use of the rooms. A telling
sign of those times was the
listing of slaves alongside other
possessions.
(d
)
ds
sh
(£
il
)
li
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
un
6
8
0
Chest of Drawers
15
0
0
1
Cupboard
–
13
4
1
Dressing Table
4
0
0
1
Small Case of Drawers
7
0
0
1
Bed and Furniture
10
0
0
11
Prints
2
13
4
1
Looking Glass
2
13
4
1
Two Armed Chairs
2
13
4
subtotal
50
13
4
1
0
0
3
Old Low Chairs
–
4
0
1
Round Cedar Table
3
0
0
1
Deal Chest
3
0
0
1
Deal Table
–
2
8
1
Cupboard
–
–
–
subtotal
7
6
8
)
ce
n
pe
1
Bedstead and Furniture
32
0
0
1
Mahogany Cabinet
24
0
0
1
Looking Glass
4
0
0
1
Two Armed Chair
4
0
0
2
Mahogany Tea Tables
2
13
4
1
Japan Tea Kettle
–
12
0
1
Japan Coffee Pot
–
5
4
2
Japan Waiters
1
10
0
2
Japan Bread Baskets
–
16
0
1
Tea Box
–
13
4
2
Cedar Stand
–
10
0
8
Prints
3
0
0
Mahogany Chairs
8
0
0
2
Windsor Chairs
1
10
0
1
Cedar Chest
3
10
0
1
Mahogany Waiter
1
10
0
subtotal
88
10
0
½ doz.
)
gs
n
li
sh
il
ds
po
un
(s
)
pe
n
sh
Small Windsor Chairs
(£
)
5
in the 1st floor/bedroom
(d
gs
ce
n
li
il
ds
un
po
in the dining room
(s
)
Cedar Chairs
1
(£
)
8
(d
po
in the library
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 39
(d
)
ds
sh
(£
il
)
li
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
un
12
0
0
Old Chest of Drawers
2
5
0
1
Mahogany Table
2
13
4
1
Dressing Glass
1
16
0
½ doz.
Mahogany Chairs
4
0
0
2
Small Cedar Chairs
1
0
0
4
Prints
1
10
0
1
Camera Obscura
–
5
0
subtotal
25
9
4
10
16
8
Mahogany Chairs
3
0
0
1
Cedar Table
–
10
0
1
Looking Glass
–
5
4
subtotal
14
12
0
Bedstead and Furniture
24
0
0
1
Mahogany Cabinet
26
0
0
1
Looking Glass
4
0
0
1
Cedar Dressing Table
–
13
4
1
Mahogany Writing Table
1
10
0
Mahogany Chairs
3
0
0
2
Armed Chairs
3
6
8
2
Windsor Chairs
1
6
8
Framed Prints
1
6
8
subtotal
65
3
4
½ doz.
40 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
)
ce
n
pe
1
½ doz.
)
gs
n
li
sh
il
ds
po
un
(s
)
pe
n
sh
Bedsteads and Furniture
3
(£
)
2
in the 1st floor/southwest bedroom
(d
gs
ce
n
li
il
ds
un
po
in the 1st floor/northwest bedroom
(s
)
Bedstead and Furniture
1
(£
)
1
(d
po
in the 1st floor/northeast bedroom
(d
)
ds
sh
(£
il
)
li
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
un
po
in the garrett
2
Bedsteads
5
0
0
1
Screen
–
13
4
5
Cedar Chairs
1
0
0
1
Speaking Trumpet
–
6
8
2
Maps
–
–
–
1
Pair Scales
2
13
4
4
Demijohns
–
10
8
14
Jugs
2
2
0
1
Looking Glass
–
3
4
1
Microscope
1
6
8
1
Lanthron
–
5
4
1
Saddle Chest
–
1
4
1
Bed Pan
–
5
4
1
Warming Pan
1
0
0
3
Shapes and two Water Pots
1
10
0
subtotal
16
18
0
)
(s
)
ce
Racks
–
16
0
2
Copper Fish Kettles
1
16
0
3
Bell Metal Skillets
6
0
0
1
2 pair
(d
gs
n
pe
n
li
sh
il
po
kitchen items
un
ds
(£
)
NOTE: Plates, China, Glass, Queens Ware, Pewter and Linens have been omitted from this section.
Dutch Oven
–
13
4
2 pair
Pot Hooks
–
4
0
½ doz.
Iron Pots
4
0
0
½ doz.
Trivets
1
10
0
2
Gridirons
–
5
4
1 doz.
Skewers
–
2
0
3
Tea Kettles
2
13
4
2 pair
Steelyards
–
18
0
1
Brass Spice Mortar
–
13
4
1
Marble Mortar
–
10
0
4
Spits
1
0
0
2
Large Brass Kettles
4
10
0
6 pair
Smoothing Irons and Stands
–
16
8
1 pair
Small Racks
–
6
8
1
Chafing Dish
–
6
0
3 pair
Brass Candlesticks
2
14
0
1 pair
Flat Candlesticks
–
6
8
1
Frying Pan
–
5
0
2
Deal Tables
–
–
–
subtotal
30
6
4
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 41
(d
)
ds
sh
(£
il
)
li
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
un
Pails
–
16
0
3
Washing Tubs
–
15
0
2
Small Pails
–
4
0
3
Small Tubs
–
16
8
1
Peck Tub
–
4
0
subtotal
2
15
8
(d
)
30
0
0
Daniel
73
0
0
Mell (at sea)
75
0
0
Joe
90
0
0
ce
li
35
0
0
Sue
45
0
0
Marian
45
0
0
35
0
0
Sam
35
0
0
Davy
28
0
0
Jim
25
0
0
Tom
15
0
0
42 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
)
(d
n
ce
gs
ll
pe
subtotal
sh
i
Sall
in
ds
Tish
po
un
girl slaves
(s
)
Nat
(£
)
sh
i
(d
(£
)
ds
po
un
boy slaves
)
pe
Rachael
ll
i
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
sh
n
il
)
gs
n
ds
un
po
female slaves
(s
)
sh
Bacchus
(£
)
po
un
male slaves
il
ds
(£
)
li
pe ngs
n
ce (s)
3
(d
po
wooden ware
25
0
0
25
0
0
581
0
0
(d
)
ds
sh
(£
il
)
li
n
pe
gs
n
ce (s)
un
po
animals
3
Horses
17
0
0
1
Bull
15
10
0
7
Cows
113
0
0
1
Steer
10
0
0
1
Heifer
9
0
0
4
Hoggs
8
0
0
2
Sheep
4
0
0
2
Goats
3
0
0
179
10
0
subtotal
inventory glossary
Camera Obscura: a dark box with a small
opening or lens that allows images to be viewed
Candle Stand: for holding candles
Chafing Dish: large serving dish to keep food warm
Demijohn: a large bottle with a narrow neck,
surrounded by wickerwork
Dutch Oven: a large heavy pot for cooking
Dressing Glass: long mirror
Fish Kettle: a long pot for boiling fish whole
Grate and Tongs: fireplace tools
Gridiron: metal grate over embers in fire for
broiling meat and fish
Harpsichord: a stringed musical instrument
Hearth Tongs and Shovels: fireplace tools
Heifer: a young cow
High Chairs: high backed chairs
How: hoe
Lanthron: lanthorn - lantern
Looking Glass: mirror
Mortar: small bowl for grinding
Peck Tub: for measuring 8 quarts
Pot Hook: hook to hang a pot from a rack over an open fire
Prints: pictures
Rack: frame for hanging objects
Scales: for measuring weights (sugar, flour)
Screen: placed in front of a fireplace to protect
from the heat
Shapes: moulds
Skewers: thin pointed rod to pierce meat
Skillet: frying pan
Smoothing Iron: used to flatten or press clothes
Speaking Trumpet: a horn to speak through to
make the voice louder
Spit: a pointed metal rod to hold meat while cooking
Spudd: digging instrument
Spying Glass: telescope
Steelyard: for measuring weights
Steer: a young ox
Tea Box: for storing loose tea leaves
Tea Table: small table for serving tea
Trivets: hot plates
Waiter: tray
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 43
During your visit/
Class Field Trip Activities
Teacher and students are presented with a selection of activities for investigation
during their visit to Verdmont.
objectives
• To introduce the occupants of Verdmont
• To observe the clothing styles of the Smith family from the portraits
• To compare materials of different textures and relate them to different persons who
would have worn them
background information
• Occupants at Verdmont, late 1700s
• Clothing styles (refer to page 23)
!activity 1/primary 5
Meet the Occupants of Verdmont
Children will be introduced to the Smith family using the portraits, and the names of the
slaves of Thomas Smith using the inventory.
!activity 2/primary 1�2 & 5
Clothing Styles
Children will observe the portraits and complete the ‘Clothing Styles’ activity sheet
comparing one gentleman and one lady.
follow up activities in the classroom
• Colouring pictures (Alternatively, have children cut out shapes of clothing from scraps
of fabric and glue on to the pictures.)
!activity 3/primary 1�2 & 5
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Students will investigate the differences in bathing routines of long ago and today.
!activity 4/primary 1�2 & 5
Old-Fashioned Objects
This activity allows students to evaluate historic objects, making deductions about their
functions, design and worth.
!activity 5/primary 1�2
Outside the House
Students are ask to sketch Verdmont and label features such as chimneys, windows,
shutters, doors etc. Architectural features are introduced with this activity.
!activity 6/primary 5
From the Garden to Your Table
This activity introduces food plants and their use to the students. It also focuses on the
change of the foods we eat since Bermuda was first colonized.
44 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
!activity 1/verdmont
MEET THE OCCUPANTS OF VERDMONT: LATE 1700S
The Smith Family
In 1747, Elizabeth Spofferth inherited Verdmont from her grandmother, who in conjunction with her husband John Dickinson,
had been the first owner of this magnificent house. Elizabeth lived at Verdmont with her second husband, Thomas Smith,
Collector of Customs and member of the Governor’s Council, following their marriage in 1755. While Elizabeth had no children
of her own, Thomas had four daughters from his first marriage and it is this Smith family whose portraits by John Green, his
son-in-law, hang in Verdmont today. His daughters included Mary (Polly) who married the portrait painter John Green, Elizabeth
(Betty) who married Captain Henry Trott and Catherine who married Joseph Packwood. Honora (Peggy), the youngest, did not
marry. Unfortunately there is no portrait of Elizabeth Spofferth.
Elizabeth Spofferth m Major Robert Brown d.1752
d.1789
m Thomas Smith m 1st wife d.1755
d.1781
Names = Verdmont owners
Elizabeth (Betty) m Henry Trott
d.1784
d.1805
John Green m Mary (Polly)
d.1802
d.1803
Catherine m Joseph Packwood
d.1784
d.1789
Samuel m Sarah Musson
d.1817
c.1788-1866
Portraits
honora
smith
mary
smith green
jane
slater
honora
smith
hall
Honora
d.1782
Joseph Packwood
d.1835
lady in grey satin dress
unidentified
parlour
joseph
packwood
miniatures in frame
john green • thomas smith
elizabeth smith trott
elizabeth
smith trott
henry
trott
thomas
smith
catherine
smith
packwood
Enslaved at Verdmont
From Thomas Smith’s inventory following his death in 1781, we know that there were 14 other people who lived at Verdmont –
those who were enslaved. They were listed as follows:
men
women
boys
girls
Bacchus
Rachel
Nat
Tish
Daniel
Sue
Sam
Sall
Mell (at sea)
Marian
Davy
Joe
Jim
Tom
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 45
!activity 2/verdmont
CLOTHING STYLES
Name:
Date:
Observe the portraits in the Drawing Room and Parlour on the ground floor of Verdmont. Record the
differences in styles between one lady and one gentleman in the table below.
Observations
Names of people
Name or draw what is on
their heads?
Name the items of clothing
they are wearing (dress, shirt,
vest, etc.)
What makes these
clothes “fancy”?
What colours are their clothes?
Name or draw one other
observation about the clothes
Write a question you have
about the clothing styles of
long ago.
46 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Lady
Gentleman
LET’S GET DRESSED UP
A fairly simple yet effective addition to your visit is to have the children dress in simplified period
clothing using the resources available to them. Boys wear long trousers tucked into knee-high socks
and a vest over their school shirt. Girls wear long skirts and add a shawl around their shoulders.
Mobcap
(frills longer at back)
Collar turned up
White necktie
Muslin shawl crossed
over at front and
tucked into top of
apron. Point at back
Black drill waistcoat
Sleeves rolled up
Roll sleeves up
White ‘lawn’ apron
Old trousers cut
tied under the bust
below knee and
and mid-calf length
elasticated or tucked
into long socks
Dark long socks
(black, gray or blue)
Skirt should hang
from bustline to ankles
(plain cotton or
Black plimsolls
very small print)
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 47
CHILDREN’S DRESS
Source: Farr, Betsy and Fann, Marcia
American Made: The Colonial Child of 1740
published by Great American Colouring
Book, Inc. 1996
48 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Name:
Date:
CHILDREN’S DRESS
Name:
Date:
Source: Farr, Betsy and Fann, Marcia
American Made: The Colonial Child of 1740
published by Great American Colouring
Book, Inc. 1996
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 49
DRAW A FAMILY PORTRAIT
Source: Farr, Betsy and Fann, Marcia
American Made: The Colonial Child of 1740
published by Great American Colouring
Book, Inc. 1996
50 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Name:
Date:
!activity 3/primary 1�2 & 5
Bed, Bath & Beyond
objectives
• To compare differences in bathing routines of long ago and today
• To estimate the volume of water in a bathtub
background information
• Bed, Bath and Beyond (refer to page 23)
A) Washing up at Verdmont
Children will observe the bathtub and washbasin and listen to the bathing routines of
long ago.
B) Getting a Bath
They will complete the ‘Getting a Bath’ activity sheet.
follow up activities in the classroom
Colour ‘An Old-fashioned Bedroom’
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 51
!activity 3B/verdmont
Name:
GETTING A BATH
Date:
Think about what it was like to have a bath long ago in Bermuda compared to having a bath today.
Answer the questions in the chart below as if you were a child living a long time ago and as a child
living in your house now.
Questions
Long Ago
In Your House
When do you have a bath?
Where do you have a bath?
Who has a bath first?
Who has a bath last?
1. Estimate how many buckets of water it would take to fill the bathtub at Verdmont.
2. This bucket weighs ____________ pounds with 2 gallons of water in it. Put a tick if you think it is heavier or lighter than:
Heavier
Your schoolbag
A bag of groceries
A suitcase full of clothes
A car
52 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Lighter
An Old-fashioned Bedroom
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 53
!activity 4/primary 1�2 & 5
Old-Fashioned Objects
objectives
• To observe and evaluate historic objects, making deductions about their functions,
design and worth
• To use a quill pen and wax seal
A) Looking at an Object
Children will closely observe and handle objects used in households in times past and
complete the ‘Looking at an Object’ activity sheet. (Students may not chose the same
objects and their answers will vary)
B) Matching game
Children will match the names of the objects with the cards provided.
C) Quill pens
Children will practice writing using quill feathers and ink then fold and seal their paper
with a wax seal.
follow up activities in the classroom
• Make a quill pen
• Practice with a quill pen by writing the alphabet or writing a letter to someone
54 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
OLD-FASHIONED OBJECTS
Milk Pail
Quill & Inkwell
Calabash Cup
Horseshoe
Feather Duster
Iron
Sock Darner
Candle Maker
Wash board
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!activity 4A/verdmont
LOOKING AT AN OBJECT
Name:
Date:
Observe the objects on the table. Chose two and complete the chart below for these objects. Note
that your answers may not be the same as other peoples’.
The Main Things to
Think about
What does it look and feel like?
How was it made?
(by hand, by machine, held
together with what?)
What was it used for?
Is it well designed?
(Does it do its job? Is it made
of the best material? Is it
decorated? Attractive?)
What is it worth? (To those
who made it? To those who use
it? To you? To a museum?)
56 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Object 1
Object 2
!activity 4B/verdmont
VERDMONT BINGO CARD
Name:
Date:
What was life like long ago? Can you find the following items in the rooms on the ground floor of
Verdmont that give us clues to the past? Put a tick (◊) by the object when you have found it.
Ball &
Claw Feet
Chinese
Pattern
Plate
Palmetto
Broom
Piano Base
Candle
Stick
Teacup
Fire
Shovel
Candle
Snuffer
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!activity 4C/verdmont
MAKING QUILL PENS
Long before ball point pens and gel pens, quill pens and ink were used to write with. Quill feathers
come from the wings of birds and are shed periodically. Since geese were often kept on a farm, these
feathers were readily available although turkey and crow feathers were used as well.
materials
P Large feather, 8-12 inches long
P Bowl of warm tap water
P Penknife or craft knife
P Cutting board
P Liquid bluing agent (found in the laundry
section) for ink (It is less permanent on
clothes and hands than traditional inks.)
1. Soak the shaft of the quill in warm water to soften it.
2. With a penknife, cut the tip of the shaft in a gentle curve. This forms the nib of the pen.
3. Cut a small slit in the nib to control the flow of ink.
4. Dip the quill into the ink and blot off excess ink on the side of the inkwell.
5. Practice writing on a sheet of paper. Hold the quill at different angles and observe the
effects. Do not press too hard as this will destroy the nib. Do not expect writing to be a
speedy process as you will need to re-dip into the ink frequently.
6. When the nib becomes worn or soft, the process can be repeated to create a new nib
on the same quill feather.
Source: King, David Colonial Days Published
by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York 1998
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PRACTICING THE ALPHABET
Place a sheet of paper over these letters and practice writing with a quill pen.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 59
PENMANSHIP
Name:
Date:
Colour in the speckled areas to find out what letter has been formed by this artistic scholar.
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!activity 5/primary 1�2 & 5
Outside the House
objectives
• To recognize the unique architectural features of Verdmont
• To understand the difference between the words native and endemic
• To give examples of early uses of the Bermuda cedar and palmetto
background information
• Verdmont (refer to page 16)
• Cedar and Palmetto (refer to page 25)
A) Observing Verdmont/Outside
Children will walk around the outside of the house noting the name, location and
architectural features of the house.
B) Cedar & Palmettos
The early uses of the endemic cedar and palmetto trees will be discussed.
C) Sketching Verdmont
Children will sketch Verdmont.
follow up activities in the classroom
• Children can colour the pen and ink picture of Verdmont
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!activity 5C/verdmont
OBSERVING
VERDMONT/OUTSIDE
Name:
Date:
Sketch Verdmont showing some of the features that make this home distinct. Include: the roof-onroof, the symmetrical arrangement of windows, the windows without blinds on the outside and the
double chimneys at either end.
62 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Verdmont
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 63
!activity 6/primary 5
From Your Garden to Your Table
objectives
• To view pictures of herbs in a kitchen garden
• To understand the steps required in the process of food preparation and the persons
responsible for these
background information
• Plant Foods in Bermuda c.1800 (refer to page 26)
• Some Plants and Their Uses
A) Plants and Their Uses
Children will view pictures of plants that were at one time grown in the small rock
garden at Verdmont and complete the activity sheet ‘Plants and Their Uses’.
B) Food Preparation
Early methods of food preparation will be discussed.
C) In The Dining Room
Children will explore the dining room, entering from the side door, and examine the
porcelain in the cabinet. They will complete the ‘In the Dining Room’ activity sheet.
follow up activities in the classroom
• Kitchen picture to colour
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!activity 6A/verdmont
Plants & Their Uses
Name:
Date:
Plant 1 Name:
Description
(e.g. smell, colour,
feel, height)
Uses
Leaf rubbing or drawing
Uses
Leaf rubbing or drawing
Plant 2 Name:
Description
(e.g. smell, colour,
feel, height)
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!activity 6C/verdmont
In the Dining Room
Name:
Date:
Listen to the talk about the activities in this room and answer the questions.
1. Who would have eaten in this room?
2. Who would have prepared the food? Where would they have cooked it?
3. Why does the fireplace have a raised hearth?
4. Look at the dishes in the cabinet. Many of these are from China and the pictures were painted on by hand. What clues in the
pictures let you know that they came from China?
In the late 1700s, the British copied the Chinese patterns and created the Willow Pattern. Look at the
plates and see if you can find the pictures as you listen to the story of the Willow Pattern.
5. Draw a line from the object in the poem to its picture on the plate.
The Willow Pattern
Two doves, flying high
Chinese vessel sailing by
Weeping willow hanging o’er
Bridge with three men, if not four
Chinese temple there it stands
Seem to cover all the land.
Apple trees with apples on
A pretty fence to end my song.
– Anonymous
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!follow up activity/verdmont
A Kitchen Long Ago
Name:
Date:
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 67
After your visit/
Additional Information & Activities
Activities listed in this section encourage students to learn further with the help of
fun and engaging activities.
objectives
The following activities will enable students to summarize their learning and to reflect
on their visit. Suggested activities provide additional information about traditions and
encourage students to be inquisitive about the past.
!activity 1/primary 5
Make a Shoebox House
Students are asked to be creative in designing a house using an old shoe box. This can
be a copy of Verdmont or their own design.
!activity 2/primary 5
Old-fashioned Utensils
This activity will ask the students to compare old to new and draw similarities between
their own lives and that of the residents at Verdmont.
!activity 3/primary 5
Recipes
A couple of simple recipes are listed as an example of recipes from the Colonial days.
!activity 4/primary 5
Children’s Activities Long Ago
Activities will introduce students to several games and ring games that are old-fashioned
and fun.
Old-Fashioned Ring Games
!activity 5/primary 5
Make a Puzzle
Students are ask to create a puzzle using an old children’s book illustration.
!activity 6/primary 5
Manners
This activity introduces the different manners expected from children in the 19th century.
68 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
!activity 7/primary 5
Making Connections
Students are ask to write a story from the perspective of one of the people who lived at Verdmont.
!activity 8/primary 5
Interview an Older Person
This activity will allow students to make real life connection with the past through
interviewing an older person.
!activity 9/primary 5
A Special Heirloom
A heirloom can tell an interesting story. Students are asked to investigate the past of an
heirloom found in their own home.
!activity 10/primary 5
My Visit to Verdmont Historic House & Garden
This activity is designed to summarize the visit in a personal reflection. Students are
encouraged to write about their own experience during the visit.
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!activity 1/verdmont
MAKE A SHOEBOX HOUSE
A shoebox house is a wonderfully creative way to allow children to plan, design and construct. This
activity can be used to reconstruct Verdmont and allow children to translate what they have learned
into a three dimensional house. Alternatively, it can be used as an opportunity for them to produce
a unique structure of their own design. However you decide to introduce it, this activity will take
some time (one afternoon may not be enough) but it will produce incredible works of art of which
the children will be immensely proud.
materials
P One shoebox per student (have each child bring one or call a local shoe store for empty boxes)
P Extra cardboard for making room dividers, furniture, stairs, etc.
P Scissors
P Cutting board
P Glue or tape
P Paints, markers, crayons, etc
P Construction paper
directions
1. Create a demonstration house to show the children what they will be doing.
2. Have the children plan their house. They must decide where the windows and doors
will be located; whether they will have a pitched roof or a flat roof; how they will access
the inside - from the top or from the side.
3. Before marking the doors and windows, have the children paint the whole house.
4. Have the children mark the placement of the windows and doors and either paint
them or have the teacher cut them. Remember to cut only three sides of a door so
that it can be folded open.
5. Now let them be creative and cut, fold and glue furniture into their house.
Pictures of furniture can also be cut from magazines or newspapers.
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!activity 2/verdmont
Old-fashioned Utensils
Name:
Date:
Look at the picture below of the utensils found in a kitchen long ago. If you have the same object in
your kitchen today, colour it blue. If the object below is not found in your kitchen, colour it red. Note
the long handles necessary when cooking over an open fire.
utensils & tableware
Basting spoon
Beaker
Mug
Mixing spoon
Strainer
Pastry maker
Suspended
frying-pan
Plate
Iron
Fork
Knife & spoon
Kitchens today have items that require electricity. Make of list of these items below.
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!activity 3/verdmont
Recipes
Churning Butter
Butter is made from the thick cream that rises to the top of milk. Old wooden churns
made of wood or pottery had handles built into the lid and the cream was stirred, or
churned, until it turned into butter. You can easily make butter in your classroom using
whipping cream and lots of shaking.
ingredients
1½ cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
Pinch of salt
equipment
1-quart jar with lid (like a mayonnaise jar)
5 or 6 clean marbles
directions
1. Let the cream stand in a warm place until it reaches room temperature.
2. Pour the cream into the jar. Add 5 or 6 clean marbles and tighten the lid.
3. Shake steadily up and down or side to side. Children can pass the jar around so that
each child can have a turn. The butter will begin to form within 5 minutes.
4. When the butter globs have stopped forming, open the jar and pore off the liquid
(buttermilk). Remove the marbles.
5. Rinse the butter in cool running water. Pour out the water gently so that the butter
remains behind.
6. Add a pinch of salt and stir well to blend the ingredients.
Banana Bread • Makes 1 loaf
ingredients
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp shortening
1½ cups flour
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of ripe bananas
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
directions
1. Blend sugar and shortening
2. Add egg and mix
3. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and add baking soda, add to first mixture
4. Add milk and mix well
5. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt
6. Place batter in loaf pan and bake at 325° for 1 hour
72 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
Source: King, David Colonial Days Published
by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York 1998
!activity 4/verdmont
Childrens Activities Long Ago
Old-Fashioned Ring Games
1. Ring Around the Roses
In a circle, children join hands and start skipping while singing. When they come to
“all fall down”, they all collapse on the grass.
Ring around o’ roses,
A pocketful of posies,
A-tishoo A-tishoo!
We all fall down.
2. Bluebird, Bluebird Through My Window
Everyone joins in a circle, holding hands and raising them above their heads. One
person weaves in and out, between the others, while all sing. When the first verse ends,
the ‘weaver’ stops. The person he/she is standing beside is the one he/she pats on the
shoulder while singing the second verse. This person then places his/her hands on the
shoulders of the “weaver” and follows him/her in and out of the circle. Repeat until the
circle falls apart.
Bluebird, bluebird, through my window (3 times)
Oh, Johnny, and the tiger!
Take a little girl (boy) and pat her (him) on the shoulder (3 times)
Oh, Johnny, and the tiger!
3. Have You Ever Seen a Lassie/Laddy?
Children stand in a circle and one person is selected to be in the centre. When the others
sing, this person does some action(s) which the others copy. The child in the middle then
selects another person to replace him/her in the centre of the circle.
Have you ever seen a lassie, a lassie, a lassie?
Have ever seen a lassie go this way and that way?
Go this way and that way. Go this way and that way.
Have you ever seen a lassie go this way and that?
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 73
4. Farmer in the Dell
Children join hands in a circle and one person is selected as the ‘farmer’. This person
stands in the middle while everyone sings. When he ‘takes a wife’, he selects another
person from the circle of children to join him in the middle. The ‘wife’ selects the ‘child’,
and the ‘child’ selects the ‘nurse’, etc. When the cheese is selected, the others re-join the
circle so that the ‘cheese stands alone’. All children but ‘the cheese’ clap hands above
their heads to honour ‘the cheese’. This child then selects who will be the next farmer.
You may want to encourage children to not just select their friends, but to select others as well.
The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the farmer in the dell.
The farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the farmer takes a wife.
The wife takes a child, the wife takes a child,
Hi-o the derry-o, the wife takes a child.
The child takes a nurse, the child takes a nurse,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the child takes a nurse.
The nurse takes a dog, the nurse takes a dog,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the nurse takes a dog.
The dog takes a cat, the dog takes a cat,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the dog takes a cat.
The cat takes a rat, the cat takes a rat,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the cat takes a rat.
The rat takes the cheese, the rat takes the cheese,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the rat takes the cheese.
The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone,
Hi-ho the derry-o, the cheese stands alone.
5. Brown Girl in the Ring
Children form a circle with one person in the centre. While the children sing, the one in
the centre does an action which the others copy. The person in the centre then selects
another child to replace him/her and the process is repeated.
Brown girl in the ring, tra-la-la-la-la (3 times)
She’s sweet like sugar and spice.
Show me your motion, tra-la-la-la-la (3 times)
She’s sweet like sugar and spice.
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verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
6. Poinciana
Children stand in a circle and sing. One person is selected to be in the middle and will
do an action that is then copied by the rest of the children. ‘Poinciana’ chooses the next
person to be in the centre.
Who’s coming in, Poinciana, little fellow?
Who’s coming in, Poinciana, little dear?
What shall we do, Poinciana, little fellow?
What shall we do, Poinciana, little dear? (action)
Then we’ll do it too, Poinciana, little fellow;
We’ll do it too, Poinciana, little dear.
7. A Tisket, a Tasket
Children sit in a circle with one person standing on the outside. This person holds the
‘letter’ in his hand. As the children are singing, he closes his eyes. The person who is
standing walks around the outside and discreetly places the object/letter behind one of
the children sitting down. When the children finish singing, everybody looks around
to see who has the ‘letter’. That child jumps up and chases around the circle to try and
reach his seat before the one who dropped the ‘letter’ reaches the seat. Whoever is still
standing, then walks around the outside and drops the ‘letter’ again.
A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket.
I sent a letter to my love and on my way I dropped it.
I dropped it once, I dropped it twice, I dropped it three times over.
A little girlie picked it up and put it in her pocket.
8. Little Sir Echo
Children form two lines, facing each other. One line sings the song and the other line
echoes ‘hello’.
Little Sir Echo, how do you do?
1st line calls: Hello, hello, hello, hello.
2nd line echoes: Hello, hello, hello, hello.
Little Sir Echo will answer you
1st line calls: Hello, hello, hello, hello.
2nd line echoes: Hello, hello, hello, hello.
Won’t you come over and play?
You’re a nice little fellow, I know by your voice,
But you’re always so far away (echo: away).
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 75
9. Walking Through The Green Grass
Children form 2 lines facing each other, approximately 8 - 10 feet apart, with a stick in
the middle to indicate the two sides. The lines take turns singing to one another. When
both lines have named someone from the other side (often the smallest), those two
individuals meet in the middle and try to pull the other over to his side. The object is to
get everyone onto ‘your’ side.
1st
We’re walking on the green grass, green grass, green grass.
We’re walking on the green grass.
Rancey, dancey, stick-in-the-well, rancey, dancey, day.
2nd
What are you walking here for, here for, here for?
What are you walking here for?
Rancey, dancey, stick-in-the-well, rancey, dancey, day.
1st
We’re walking here to marry, marry, marry.
We’re walking here to marry.
Rancey, dancey, stick-in-the-well, rancey, dancey, day.
2nd
Who do you wish to marry, marry, marry?
Who do you wish to marry?
Rancey, dancey, stick-in-the-well, rancey, dancey, day.
1st
We wish to marry (name of person on the other team) (3X)
We wish to marry (name).
Rancey, dancey, stick-in-the-well, rancey, dancey, day.
2nd
We wish to marry (name of person on other team) (3X)
We wish to marry (name).
10. Playmate
This is sung while children clap hands in pairs.
Playmate, come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three,
Climb up my apple tree.
Slide down my rainbow,
Slide down my cellar door,
And we’ll be jolly friends forever more.
I’m sorry, playmate,
I cannot play with you.
My doll’s got the flu,
Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo. (rub eyes and pretend to cry)
Ain’t got no rainbow.
Ain’t got no cellar door.
But we’ll be jolly friends forever more – more, more, more.
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verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
11. London Bridge
In this game, two children make an arch by facing each other and holding hands. The
other children continuously pass through in single file. The arch is then lowered at a
certain point to ‘catch’ a player.
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.
Take a key and lock her up, lock her up, lock her up.
Take a key and lock her up, my fair lady.
How will we build it up, build it up, build it up?
How will we build it up, my fair lady?
Build it up with silver and gold, silver and gold, silver and gold.
Build it up with silver and gold, my fair lady.
Gold and silver I have none, I have none, I have none.
Gold and silver I have none, my fair lady.
Build it up with needles and pins, needles and pins, needles and pins.
Build it up with needles and pins, my fair lady.
Pins and needle bend and break, bend and break, bend and break.
Pins and needles bend and break, my fair lady.
Build it up with wood and clay, wood and clay, wood and clay.
Build it up with wood and clay, my fair lady.
Wood and clay will wash away, wash away, wash away.
Wood and clay will wash away, my fair lady.
Build it up with stone so strong, stone so strong, stone so strong.
Build it up with stone so strong, my fair lady.
Stone so strong will last so long, last so long, last so long.
Stone so strong will last so long, my fair lady.
Additional Group Games
Game Props
Musical Chairs
Stilts
Bottle Dolls
Blind Man’s Bluff
Bow and arrows
Cat’s Tail
Blue Light
Slingshots
Jacks and Ball
Hide-n-Seek
Hoops
Knitting
Mother, May I?
Skipping Rope
Spinning Tops
Horse
Flying Kites
Alleys (Marbles)
Hopscotch in a Square
Games Compiled by Judith Patricia
Ann James, Retired School Teacher and
former Brownie Guider, April 2004
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 77
!activity 5/verdmont
Make a Puzzle
This is a copy of a puzzle in the nursery at Verdmont. Make a copy of this on card stock and have the
children cut their own shapes.
Alternatively, cut pictures from magazines or newspapers and glue to card stock or cardboard.
Have students exchange puzzles and see how long it takes to put the puzzles back together.
78 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
!activity 6/verdmont
Manners
Examine the list of ‘manners’ from Etiquette for Little Folks, Susie Sunbeam’s Series, 1856 and compare
them to today’s standards. (This book is in the glass-fronted cedar cabinet in the nursery at Verdmont)
Rules for Good Behaviour at Home
• Never enter the house with your hat on, and always bow to any strangers you may
meet at home.
• If you pass by your parents at any place, where you see them, either by themselves
or with company, always bow to them.
• Never speak to your parents without some title of respect, as Sir or Madam
• Dispute not, nor delay to obey your parents’ commands.
• Never grumble, or show discontent at any thing your parents appoint, speak or do.
• If any command or errand is given to you to perform, do it with alacrity.
• Never make faces or contortions, nor grimaces, while any one is giving you commands.
• Never quarrel with your brothers and sisters but live in peace and amity.
• Use respectful and courteous language towards all the domestics. Never be
domineering nor insulting, for it is the mark of an ignorant and purse-proud child.
At Table
• Come not to table without having your hands and face washed, and your hair combed.
• Ask not for anything, but tarry till it be offered to you.
• Find no fault with anything that is given to you.
• When you are helped, be not the first to eat.
• Speak not at table. If others are discoursing, meddle not with the matter; but be
silent, except when spoken to.
• Make not a noise with your tongue, mouth, lips, or breath, in eating or drinking.
• Be sure never to speak with food in your mouth.
• Endeavour so to eat, that none may see your food while chewing.
• Lean not your elbow on the table, nor on the chair back.
• Spit not, cough not, nor blow your nose at the table if it can be avoided; but if it be
necessary, do it aside, and without noise.
• Stuff not your mouth so much as to fill your cheeks. Be content with small mouthfuls.
• Gnaw not bones at the table, but clear them with your knife (unless very small) and
hold them not with the whole hand, but with two fingers.
• Never pick your teeth at table.
Among other Children
• Be willing to take those words or actions as jesting, which you have reason to believe
were designed as such.
• If your companion be a little too sarcastic in speaking, strive not to take notice of it,
or be moved at all by it.
• Abuse him not, either by word or deed.
• Be not selfish altogether, but kind, free, and generous to others.
• Avoid sinful and unlawful recreations, and all such as prejudice the welfare of body or mind.
• Scorn not, nor laugh at any because of their infirmities; nor affix to any one a vexing
title of contempt and reproach; but pity such as are so visited, and be glad that you
are otherwise distinguished and favoured.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 79
In School
• Bow at entering, especially if the teacher be present.
• Walk quietly to your own seat, and move not from one place to another till school
time be over.
• If your teacher speak to you, rise up and bow, making your answer standing.
• Make not haste out of school, but soberly retire when your turn comes, without
hurry or noise.
• Go not rudely home through the streets. Stand not talking with boys who delay you;
but go quietly home, and with all convenient speed.
At Church
• Walk quietly and soberly to the pew; run not, nor go playing.
• Change not seats, but continue in the place where you are desired.
• Talk not in church. Fix your eye upon the minister; let it not wildly wander to gaze on
any person or thing.
• Attend diligently to the words of the minister. Pray with him when he prays, at least
in your heart; and while he is preaching listen attentively, that you may remember.
• Be not hasty to run out of the church after the worship is ended, as if you were
weary of being there.
• Walk decently and soberly home, without haste or playfulness, thinking upon what
you have been hearing.
• Always remember to be punctual at church. Never, if it can possibly be avoided,
disturb the services by coming in after they have commenced.
In the Street
• Walk quietly and unobtrusively in the street, neither singing, whistling, or shouting.
• Affront none, especially your elders, by word or deed.
• Jeer not at any person, whatever.
• Pay your respects to all you meet, of your acquaintance or friends.
• It is impolite to stare at every unusual person or thing which you may see in the
street, or to use any improper postures, either of head, hands, feet or body.
Recognitions
• A gentleman, on meeting a lady of his acquaintance in the street, or elsewhere,
should not presume to bow to her, till she has first recognised him; or she may feel
compelled to notice him, when she would not choose to do so otherwise.
• A gentleman should never recognise a lady, to whom he has never been presented,
at a ball or evening party, and should pass her as a stranger, unless she chooses to
recognise him, when he should, as in all other cases, return the salute.
Introductions
• On giving introductions, always present a gentleman to a lady, save when a lady
enters a room where several persons are assembled, when the lady is presented.
• Very young persons should be presented to older ones; and we should always
present individuals to those persons to whom we owe particular respect, on account
of age and station.
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Good Breeding
• You can be as polite to the boot-black as to the President. This is done, not by an air
of condescension, but by treating him as a man, according to his place. Render him
his due, and he will be likely to render you yours.
• Follow fashion moderately, if you would follow it gracefully. Never rely on dress to make
you a gentleman. It is as flimsy a disguise as the lion’s skin was to the ass; his braying
betrayed him, and his unsuitable attire only made him appear the more ridiculous.
• A good enunciation is a distinctive mark of good breeding. Speak your words plainly
and distinctly, and in a moderate tone of voice. Pronounce words in the manner that
is used by the best bred persons, but not affectedly, or with a strained precision.
• Avoid all vulgar or inaccurate vowel sounds, as keow, ile, soit, for cow, oil, sight. Do
not slip or smother your consonants, as gen’lm’n for gentleman, mornin’ for morning.
Cleanliness
• A foul mouth and unclean hands, are certain marks of vulgarity; the first is the
cause of an offensive breath, which nobody can endure, and the last is declarative
of dirty work, and disgraceful negligence to remove the filth. One may always know
a gentleman by the state of his hands and nails.
Modesty
• Be particularly careful not to speak of yourself, if you can help it. An impudent person
intrudes himself abruptly upon all occasions, and is ever the hero of his own story.
• The less you say of yourself, the more the world will give you credit for; and the
more you say of yourself, the less they will believe you.
Civility
• Observe carefully what is pleasing to you in others; and probably the same things in
you will please others.
• If you have occasion to contradict any one, or to set him right from a mistake, it
would be very brutal to say, “That is not so; I know better;” or, “You are wrong;” but
you should say, with a civil look, “I beg your pardon, I believe you mistake;” or, “If
I may take the liberty of contradicting you, I believe it is so and so;” for, though you
may know a thing better than other people, yet is very disagreeable to tell them so,
directly, without something to soften it; but remember particularly, that whatever
you may say or do, with ever so civil an intention, a great deal consists in the manner
and the look, which must be genteel, easy and natural.
• Civility is particularly due to all women; and remember that no provocation whatever
can justify any person in being uncivil to a woman; and the greatest man in the land
would be reckoned a brute, if he was not civil to the meanest woman. It is due to
their sex, and is the only protection they have against the superior strength of ours.
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!activity 7/verdmont
Making Connections
Name:
Date:
Write a story from the perspective of one of the people who lived at Verdmont. Include activities
that this person would have done during the day. Imagine their thoughts and feelings as they went
about these daily activities.
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!activity 8/verdmont
Interview an Older Person
Name:
Date:
Interview your grandparents or older persons in your neighbourhood. Find out what they did as children.
Record your answers in a story and add pictures.
1. Did they go to school?
2. What games did they play?
3. Did they have chores to do?
4. What was school like for them?
5. What are some of their most memorable moments?
6. Did they ever get into trouble?
7. What rules did they have at home?
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!activity 9/verdmont
A Special Heirloom
Name:
Date:
Chose a special heirloom or object in your family. Draw a picture of it and write a story about why it
is so special.
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!activity 10/verdmont
My Visit to Verdmont
Historic House & Garden
Name:
Date:
The name of the historic home I visited was
It is located I visited it on (date)
If I was telling a friend why this old house is important, I would tell them …
When I was there I learned about different activities such as …
I would like to/not like to (chose one) live at Verdmont 200 years ago because …
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 85
Verdmont Historic House & Garden
Teacher Resources
Activities & Curriculum Links
Before your visit/
Introducing Students to Verdmont Historic House & Garden
Activity
Grade Level
Subject
Curriculum Link
Activity 1
Values Activity
Primary 5
Math
P5 – Answer a set of related questions by collecting, selecting
and organising relevant data; draw conclusions from their own
and others’ data and identify further questions to ask.
Activity 2
Examining the
Inventory
Primary 5
Social Studies
Describe the development of the main economic activities in
Bermuda from 1700 to 1918.
Activity 3
Making a
Floor Plan
Primary 5
Math
P5 – Answer a set of related questions by collecting, selecting
and organising relevant data; draw conclusions from their own
and others’ data and identify further questions to ask.
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 – Create, use or interpret a tiered timeline, graphic organiser,
charts, graphs or illustrations. Evaluate the extent global
events have affected Bermuda in the past and or the present.
Explain the sequence and relationships of events. Form a
simple organization of key ideas related to a topic.
Primary 5
Visual Arts
P5 – Create lines using a variety of tools.
M2 – Indentify and collect data to answer a question; select
the method of collection, sample size and degree of accuracy
needed for measurements.
M2 – Choose a horizontal or vertical frame based on chosen
subject matter.
86 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
During your visit/
Class Field Trip Activities
Primary Level Investigations
Activity
Grade Level
Subject
Curriculum Link
Activity 1
Meet the
Occupants of
Verdmont
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 – Create, use or interpret a tiered timeline, graphic organizer, charts, graphs or illustrations. Explain the sequence and
relationships of events. Form a simple organisation of key
ideas related to a topic.
Activity 2
Clothing Styles
Primary 1, 2
Social Studies
P1 – Understand the concept of change, P2 – Understand that
change is on-going.
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 – Form a simple organisation of key ideas related to a topic.
Primary 1, 2
Social Studies
P1 – Understand the concept of change, P2 – Understand that
change is on-going.
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 – Form a simple organisation of key ideas related to a topic.
Primary 5
Math
P5 – Answer a set of related questions by collecting, selecting
and organizing relevant data; draw conclusions from their own
and others’ data and identify further questions to ask.
Primary 1, 2,
Social Studies
P1 – Understand the concept of change.
P2 – Understand that change is on-going.
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 - Recognise and understand an increasing number of social
studies terms. Form a simple organisation of key ideas related
to a topic. Collect supporting evidence from primary and
secondary sources.
Primary 1, 2
Social Studies
P1 – Understand the concept of change, P2 – Understand that
change is on-going.
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 – Explain how goods and services in Bermuda have
changed over time to 1918.
Primary 5
Science
P5 – Know that plants reproduce. Know that plants need
energy from light to grow.
Activity 3
Bed Bath &
Beyond
Activity 4
Old Fashioned
Objectives
Activity 5
Outside
the House
Activity 6
From Your
Garden to
Your Table
Primary 5
P5 – Create, use or interpret a tiered timeline, graphic
organiser, charts, graphs or illustrations.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 87
After your visit/
Additional Information & Activities
Activity
Grade Level
Subject
Curriculum Link
Activity 1
Make a Shoebox
House
Primary 5
Visual Arts
P5 – Create lines using a variety of tools.
Activity 2
Old Fashioned
Utensils
Primary 1, 2,
Social Studies
P1 – Understand the concept of change, P2- Understand that
change is on-going.
Activity 3
Recipes
Primary 5
Social Studies
P5 – Recognise and understand an increasing number of social
studies terms. Form a simple organisation of key ideas related
to a topic. Collect supporting evidence from primary and
secondary sources.
Activity 4
Children’s
Activities
Long Ago
Primary 1, 2
Social Studies
P1 – Understand the concept of change.
P2 – Understand that change is on-going.
Primary 5
English
P5 – Writing fiction: Write descriptions of settings in stories
and portraits of characters. Plan main points as a structure for
story writing.
Activity 5
Make a Puzzle
Activity 6
Manners
Activity 7
Making
Connections
Activity 8
Interview an
Older Person
Activity 9
A Special
Heirloom
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References
Verdmont, The Story of a House, Bermuda National Trust,
Hamilton, Bermuda, 2011. Print.
Jarvis, Michael. In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic
World, 1680-1783. Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early
American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North
Carolina, 2010. Print.
Held in Trust: The Properties and Collections of the Bermuda National Trust. Hamilton,
Bermuda: Bermuda National Trust, 2008. Print.
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 89
the bermuda national trust
To protect and promote Bermuda’s unique natural and cultural heritage forever.
School Field Trip Booking Form
Please complete this form, scan and return via email to education@bnt.bm
Education
Programme
or fax it to: 236-0617
A member of our Education Team will be in touch with you to schedule your field trip.
Thank you for contacting the Bermuda National Trust Axis Education Programme.
BNT site requested
Date requested:
Please provide 2 options
1.
2.
Contact person (full name)
Time requested
Phone
work
Email
School
Year level
Number of students
Number of adults: Ratio for school field
trips is 1 adult for every 10 students
(additional adults are welcome)
Are there students with learning/ physical
difficulties? Please describe.
Teaching objectives
Ties with curriculum
Please answer the following:
How did you hear about school field trips
and resources provided by BNT?
Are you interested in attending workshops
to learn more about our nature reserves
and historical homes? If so, please indicate
which sites.
Kindly sponsored by AXIS Capital Holdings Limited
90 verdmont historic house & garden | bermuda national trust
cell
the bermuda national trust
To protect and promote Bermuda’s unique natural and cultural heritage forever.
Education
Programme
School Field Trip Permission Form
Please complete this form, scan and return via email to education@bnt.bm
or fax it to: 236-0617
School Name:
Dear Parents,
Our class will be participating in a field trip to:
Our trip is scheduled for date:
time:
parent/guardian please fill out the below form and sign
I,
give my permission for (student’s name)
to attend the trip to the Bermuda National Trust property indicated above. Please note that the Bermuda National Trust
staff may take photos of individuals attending our field trips and activities, which may be featured in their publications. In
signing this form I give consent for my son/daughter to be featured in BNT publications.
Parent/Guardian
Date
Kindly sponsored by AXIS Capital Holdings Limited
bermuda national trust | verdmont historic house & garden 91
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