Man-O-War Heritage Museum

Preserving History & Heritage on a tiny Island.

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Progress, Progress…

… Progress!
Look how far we have come!!  It hasn’t been an easy road, but as they say, anything worth doing, is worth doing right.  But we figured it was time for a progress report.

So……Since our last post about the building we have finished the sub floor, 

removed and replaced an entire wall,

 completed the coffee shop shell, 

installed windows and doors, made the building water tight and totally cleaned up the property! Whew… I’m tired just writing about it.  But it has been soooooo worth it

We have set completion dates and re-evaluated them based on the scope of work to be done, availability of contractors, supplies and the odd unforseen delays, but we have never lost momentum or commitment from our dedicated board or contractors.

We had a very successful back yard BBQ to help raise funds for the renovation and I have to say how proud I am of our little community.  So much support from the poeple of MOW in either food donations, monetary donations or just offering help.  It is very obvious that our community is ready to welcome the “new” museum and coffee shop to the island.

But all of this comes at a price, and we are running low on funds.  So we would like to encourage you to be a part of this community project by making a donation .  We have our U.S. Tax deductible exemption, or 501.(c).3 status and you can click here if you want to see that, our Bahamian  non-profit certificate, and we have also been put on the register for historical buildings in the Bahamas.  So if ever there was a question of legitimacy of long term investment, then this should help ease those thoughts.

We know the Man-O-War Heritage Center will be a welcome addition to the community and hope you will share in our excitement. So stop by and see our progress.  You are always welcome!


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Hey, Hey, Boat Launching Day!

It’s a great thing when your community wants to celebrate and embrace their heritage, and that’s what Man-O-War did April 1st. Our island is world famous for the craftsmanship of its boats, hard work, and integrity. It is also the boat building capital of the Bahamas. So why not have a day set aside to come together and celebrate our heritage.

The day started with a ceremony to unveil a monument dedicated to the island boat builders. Mr. Scott Weatherford was the Master of Ceremonies and he did an awesome job.


He  has a great way of telling stories and sharing memories.

There were poems recited written long ago, and the Man-O-War Primary School students sang a couple of songs for the crowd.


It’s always a treat to see the little ones participate.

There was even an old fashioned boat launching.


And of course a christening of the boat.


The boat launched was the restored boat originally built by Mr. Maurice who was Mr. Willards father.


And an unveiling of the boat builders monument. This shows a map of the boat yards once on the islands.


There was a small display of tools used in boat building and a movie was shown showcasing the boat building industry on Man-O-War.  The Minister of tourism also came and pledged his support.

No celebration would be complete without food and local crafts. It’s amazing to know how many very talented craftsmen and woman on the island.

It is my experience that every island in the Bahamas has its own originality. Something that sets them apart from the other.  Our little island is small but full of talent, past and present.

It was obvious that lots of hard work and many volunteers stepped up to make this a wonderful day.  And I thank each one of you.

But I must thank Charmaine Albury for the photos in this post.  She is an amazing photographer and always seems to get just the best shots! So thank you again Charmaine!

We hope you will help us preserve our past by making a donation to the Museum. It’s important we keep these memories alive and share them with future generations.

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IMG_7982 (2) BBQ gif

Who is ready for a spring gathering?!  WE ARE!!  Doesn’t it sound like a lot of fun to have an old fashioned BBQ at the Museum!  Everyone is invited and welcome to join us Saturday, April 8th @ 5pm.  This will be a fund raiser for us, so come out and support YOUR Museum.  If you can help us cook or bake, eat BBQ or donate…… we want you there !


Have you noticed the work on the new building has started again…. !!!   It’s very exciting to watch it all come together, and we couldn’t do all of this without YOU!  If you have already made a donation, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, if you haven’t yet….. what are you waiting for!  This is your opportunity to be part of something wonderful for the community we all know and love.  How cool would it be for you to tell all your friends that you helped make this happen!  Something that will be around for years to come.


**This is a sneak peak into the new build.  We LOVE the old green paint on the old building.  It adds such a warm and cozy feel to the “new” section**

People of all ages are making donations!  Meet Marley and Tanner Snyder!  These two cuties (with the help of their mom) have had a lemonade stand two years in a row and have donated all their sales to the Museum!!  We couldn’t be more proud of them or the project.

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So join us in making history!!

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please go HERE and follow the instructions on the PERC web site.  Any donation over $250.00 is U.S. tax deductible.

We are also an established Bahamian Non-Profit and have just recently been recognized as a Bahamian National Historic Site!!  Dr. Tinker of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation has been instrumental in helping us attain that status. We are soon going to be listed on the National Register.  Go to the AMMC web site and check out how they are helping to preserve our national treasures.

Thank you for your continued support and see you at the BBQ!!




Its almost Thanksgiving and around this time, even more than usual, I am reflecting on what the year has brought.  Its not always what I expected or wanted, but I am always thankful for what I have.  Its a hard lesson to learn to be patient while the wheels of progress are slowly spinning around you.  But patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait, right?  Well the Museum is a perfect example of patience.

It took us over 2 years, but we finally have all our ducks in a row.  The government has signed off on all paperwork, we have the loan in the bank, Peter has been paid and now the renovation has begun!!  Its been a LONG 2 years, but the pay off is a beautiful Museum that the community can be proud of for years to come.

We started the renovation with putting in a cistern.  The existing cistern was very small and inadequate for our needs.  Bill Albury had his workmen up there for several weeks digging, framing and pouring it for us.  I had the opportunity to watch these guys work and they are a well oiled machine.  The cement pouring was pretty exciting.

2 weeks ago Bill’s crew framed up the coffee shop, and I have to say that was REALLY exciting.  I know this is going to be a welcome addition to the Island.  I cant even count the people that have stopped to give us encouragement and very positive comments.  It will offer a place for people to meet friends, sip some awesome coffee and tea, enjoy the garden and check out the visitors center.


We hope to have most of the businesses and entrepreneurs on the island represented in a section called the visitors center. Their involvement will be totally voluntary and they are taking advantage of this special opportunity.

We also took the floor up over the weekend.  Something that needed to happen so we can put down new support beams.  We also found a couple of treasures!  We have quite a collection started.


Over the weekend we cleaned up the yard.  Its a beautiful piece of property with mature landscaping.  Look at that amazing Frangi Pani Tree.


And this week the crew is starting the roof!  Lots going on here and we cant wait to have you come by and check it out.

We are very excited with the progress that has been made in the last couple of months, but we couldn’t do it without your help.  It has been wonderful to open the mail box and find donations from all over the world. We have gotten so much support that this shows us just how excited everyone is to be part of this.

If you want to donate to this exciting project, and the continued history of our beloved Man-O-War Cay,  you can check out the PERC website here for instructions to make a tax deductible donation, or you can mail a cheque to us at MOW Museum, P.O.Box AB 22955, Man-O-War Cay, Abaco Bahamas.

We hope you are as excited as we are with this project.  Man-O-War is such a special place, and it is important to keep the history and way of life on our island alive and thriving.




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The long and winding road…

…..That’s certainly what this journey has felt like.  People to please, hoops to jump through and stacks of legal paperwork.  BUT… we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. Well, the governmental tunnel that is!  As of May 31, we now officially have Central Bank approval to complete the sale of the property!! applause, applause

Renovations have already started and thank goodness we have a project manager!

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***She is the cute one in the middle, Barbara***

That’s us knocking down a portion of the wall in front.  This old wall was so wobbly and unstable, it really needed to come down, plus we were told kids used to stick firecrackers in the cracks of the wall!  I’m surprised its still standing anyways!


***Even Peter got in on the fun!***

We officially started the renovations with cutting holes in the floor to see what we were working with.  On first glance it didn’t look too bad, but with all renovations, on closer examination…. well lets just say, its going to be a lot of work.


In early June our Contractor started with the cistern.  There is an existing cistern but it is very small and probably not enough to meet our needs.  So two guys have been digging that. Whew ! What a job.


It doesn’t seem like much, but this is a couple months of hard work.  And as I said in the beginning, I will try to keep everyone up to date on our exciting progress.

This project is more than preserving the history and heritage of Man-O-War, it is also teaching the next generation about their ancestors, something very few of them know about. But with the help of our Education officer Mrs. Burrelle Meeks, and all of the hard working volunteers, we well keep our history alive and well on Man-O-War Cay.

We hope you will join us and be part of history in the making.  You can make a tax deductible contribution by following the instructions  at the PERC website, or contact me directly at Man-O-War Heritage Museum, P.O. Box AB22955, Man-O-War Cay, Abaco Bahamas

Lots going on with our little Museum!

Stay tuned………


If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands!

I think it’s safe to say that I’m HAPPY!!  Insert theme song  here ! 🙂

The board has worked tirelessly to make this a reality and it’s all starting to come together.  Let me curb my enthusiasm a bit to bring every one up to speed.  There is so much legal red tape that this project has taken 2 1/2 years to get to this point and we couldn’t be happier!

Banner with Barbara Chana and Ann (2)

We have given Peter Sweeting another $30k  installment and he has allow us to take over the building and begin renovations. But first…. the demo!  It’s a little bit of a painful process because there is extensive damage to this 75+ year old house, but with some skillful maneuvering and construction work, I think we will be able to save the integrity of this building

Here is the house with the back pergola off…


This is where the kitchen and dinning room used to be…


and the roof is now off…


and now the entire back section is gone…


We cleared out everything and stored what we thought we could keep and use in the future.  Most of the Sweeting family were able to go in and take mementos and reminisce of old times.

Linda and Gerry at house

It was very important to us that they had this time with each other.  They have told us several times how much they support our efforts to restore their family home.  It’s a very humbling feeling and we are honored to do it.  And that is another reason we feel that this project is so important.  Preserving history is important for everyone, unfortunately most people wait until it’s too late to do it.  I’m just glad we have begun!

The contractor is going to start removing the floor and when that is done, we will assess the damage under the house. At that point we will figure out the best way to move forward.

The government is still “in the process” of approving our loan so we are in fund raising mode.  I’m very happy to say that we have raised over $70k to this point, but that hasn’t covered the purchase price yet. So we will be having a fund raiser in April and we ALWAYS accept donations!!

If preserving our island history is important to you, then contact me at We are an accredited 501 (c)(3) and have earned non-profit status from the U.S. and the Bahamas. You can also check out our web site at

I hope to be writing regularly, now that the project has begun, so… stay tuned…..!

But before I go, here is a sneak peak at the beautiful area upstairs.