Mitchell House Museum

The Mitchell House Museum

The Mitchell House Museum

The Mitchell House Museum

If anyone were to write a song about the iconic Mitchell House Museum, we think it would be called ‘Stairway to History’.

The Georgian ‘welcoming arms’ of the house’s front steps ushers all the visitors who enter to take a trip into the past. Mitchell House was built in 1730 and its original architecture has largely been maintained over the centuries. Mitchell House was acquired in 1920s by the recently formed St. George’s Historical Society and from that point on it became the Mitchell House Museum. 

The Mitchell House

The house was built by the wealthy St. George’s merchant, Major Walter Mitchell, for his nephew William. There have been many different residents and owners of this property but the most notable  owners were a successful black couple, the Archers, in the 19th century. The couple ran a restaurant in the town of St. George’s called The Gun Tavern, which was very  popular with sailors and soldiers. It was very rare for Black business owners to reach this level of success in the 1800s. This property is therefore included on The African Diaspora Trail.

Also included in The African Diaspora Trail is the ‘Stephenson Window’, now sited on Featherbed Alley. Reverend Stephenson was a Methodist preacher who was jailed for preaching to enslaved people. He continued his preaching through his jail window when enslaved people gathered outside. When the original jail was being re-purposed the window was relocated to its present site.

As the house changed owners, various additions were made to its original 18th century structure. It has been a home to families, has been used as a small school for girls, as well as a hotel and tavern. ‘

The Museum

The house now stands as a museum and inside you will find a colonial-era kitchen with various cooking implements that would have been commonly found in an 18th century home. Among them are examples of traditional Bermudian utensils used by the early settlers like palmetto baskets and calabash dipping gourds. In the garden, you will find a well that was likely used by residents of the town of St. Georges.

The Printing Press

The cellar is home to a vintage printing press and a gift shop. The replica Gutenberg press is still able to produce printed material. A printing press was imported to Bermuda in 1783 by Joseph Stocktdale, which he operated from the cellar of his house on Printer’s Alley. It was the first printing business of Bermuda, and published the island’s first newspaper, the Bermuda Gazette in 1784. You can see early editions of the Bermuda Gazette on display in the museum.

The Gift Shop

A gift shop in the cellar is located in the original site of the workshop of Marie Gleeson, famous for her banana-leaf dolls. Today’s shop still features hand-crafted dolls made from local materials as well as other craft items.

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