Man-O-War Heritage Museum

Preserving History & Heritage on a tiny Island.


Long overdue!

I apologize for my absence, but we have been kinda busy running a coffee shop and Museum! Yep, we finally did it. Our opening day was February 17, flea market day, and what a day! I never dreamed we would be so busy! Along with all the wonderful visitors, we had our Prime Minister, his wife and entourage as well. And since that day we have kept pretty busy. We even had the ex prime minister stop in one day for coffee.

With the outside looking pretty and the garden coming back to its former beauty we are officially open for business.

There are a few minor adjustments to be made, but over all it’s looking beautiful.

Inside is coming together as well. This is what you see when you walk into the coffee shop. Our concrete counters are a real source of conversation and the Abaco pine floor is beautiful.

The wall we kept looks perfect in this space.

And the view looking outside isn’t bad either.

The first room in the Museum was small so we had to really figure out what would be best in the space available. And so far, the collection of wedding dresses fits perfectly.

On the left is Mrs. Patricia’s, then the mystery dress, and the one on the far right was worn by 4 brides! Look how beautiful it still is! The mystery dress was believed to belong to Mrs. Mary, but on further inspection it appears that it is not. We are still on the look out for the owner. If you recognize this dress in some old photos, let us know who it belongs to.

As you exit this room and go to the left, this room has a charming old bed and our built in cabinets to hold little treasures.

We were also gifted this beautiful old portrait. Can you guess who is in the painting? A little hint…. it’s one of the men who started the Ferry service in the fifty’s… Mr. Ritchie! It’s a wonderful painting. Unfortunately we don’t have anything in the Museum to represent the Ferry service other than 4 small tokens. So if you have any Ferry memorabilia, we would love to display it in the museum.

The other room on the ground floor is where we are showcasing the boat building on the island. Uncle Will and some of the other boat builders have photos and hand tools on display

Billy made a display case out of old ship windows to show our visitors pieces of the wreck the Adirondack. People are still finding items washed ashore or imbedded in the rock!

We had to get creative in where we put the stairs, but in the end it worked out well to have them in the room where the dresses are. They are in the same place as where they used to be, but on the opposite side of the building. And Doug Foust was the designer and builder of the stairs.

Upstairs is where the Sweeting children slept. 10 of the 12 children lived in this house with Percy and Venie.

The old softball uniform is from Michael Albury. I was pretty shocked to find out it’s made of flannel! Soooo hot! We also have some photos and history of our little all age school up there.

The items we have upstairs are not displayed as it would have been lived in. But is the best way for us to display them.

This flag, laid on the iron bed, is actually one of the original flags from the 1940’s with the motto from Sir Woods Rogers, the governor of the Bahamas at the time. Expulsion piratis, restitution commercia. Expel the pirates, restore commerce.

We also have the privilege of displaying Mrs. Lola’s sign and bread pans! She isn’t able to bake anymore, but Donny & Nancy Riley had those treasures and let us have them for display.

Just at the top of the stairs on the left is the hand made wooden tub from Martha Roberts. Her father Mr. Haziel made it for his children. I believe it is the only one on Man-O-War. We have had several school groups come to the museum, and the question I get asked the most is, “how did they not get splinters in their bottom when they bathed”! My answer is it probably had a better paint job than it has now. 😊

Tucked into the slope of the roof we have a few of the children items. The clothes are hand made from Edith Weatherford’s collection and the cute little yellow suit belonged to Glen Albury!

And I think that’s it for the guided tour. I have tried to include as many photos as I could and really hope you get a feel for the building. It has turned into a very quaint little Museum with an awesome addition of a popular coffee shop.

This project has been a long time coming. We have had hiccups along the way, but nothing we couldn’t handle. And now it’s a thriving busy place on our island, and somewhere I hope you want to come visit soon.

If you would like to make a donation to the Museum you can do so through PERC for tax credit, or contact us directly at P.O. Box Ab22955, MOW cay, Bahamas.