When you visit the Cayman Islands for your holiday, don’t forget to visit two historical centres on Grand Cayman, The Mission House and Pedro St James.
Pedro St James
Pedro St James is known as the birthplace of democracy in the Cayman Islands, as in 1831 a meeting was held there when it was decided that the Cayman Islands should have an elected assembly. It was at this great house that the Proclamation ending slavery in the Islands was made in 1835.
The house, which is the oldest structure on Grand Cayman, was built by Englishman William Eden in around 1780. It has been used for a home, a meeting place, a restaurant, converted to a castle and was even used as a jail!
Pedro St James has been open to the public since 1998 after the Cayman Government purchased it from the former owners who had tried to run a restaurant there. This restaurant was destroyed by fire in 1989.
During a multimedia presentation you will learn of the history of the house and the Islands, along with the hardships faced by the first settlers. It is open daily from 0900 to 17:00, and is closed Christmas. For more information visit www.pedrostjames.ky
The Mission House
The Mission House, which can be found in the first capital of Grand Cayman – Bodden Town, is actually a copy of the original house that was built in the mid-1800’s. This was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It has strong links to the development of Christianity and education on the Island. During the last quarter of the 19th Century it was used to home Presbyterian missionaries. Commissioner George Hirst also stayed their in 1908 while the Government Administration Building was being completed. It was used as a school between 1908 and 1917, which was run by the Lyon family. The Watler family donated it to the National Trust in 1997 after being in the family since 1920.
The best way to visit The Mission House is by guided tour so that you can get the full history of this remarkable house. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.ky . It is open Tuesday to Saturday 09:00 to 17:30.
John Guinn is a Cayman Island Specialist and can help you to research your Cayman Islands holiday.