Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cayman Brac Historic House For Sale

The Spellman McLaughlin Home on Cayman Brac is up for sale. One of a few remaining homes built in the traditional manner, the Spellman McLaughlin Home once sheltered 133 people in the 1932 Hurricane and served as a medical and distribution center for scarce emergency supplies after the storm had passed. Priced at US $375,000, the home is located in the Creek district and includes the house and its adjoining lot, including a private graveyard.

In 1995, the National Trust awarded current owner Brunzil McLaughlin-Rivers, the Award of Distinction for the Preservation of Historic Places. With many such homes either being torn down to make way for modern developments or being left to decay, the house is amongst the few of its kind that has been maintained and is in good condition. 

Construction began in 1926, with Captain Spellman McLaughlin overseeing all aspects of the construction process, according to the National Trust. Largely built of imported wood from Mobile, Alabama, the home was completed in 1930 and Captain McLaughlin and his wife raised their four children there. When he passed away in 1991, he willed it to his youngest child, Brunzil McLaughlin-Rivers, who renovated the home and lived there with her husband and son until they left the island in recent months and put the home up for sale. The home covers 1,628 square feet and has eight exterior rooms built around a central dining room. It has a complete wrap-around verandah, and while modernised to accommodate television, internet and telephone service, as well as kitchen and bathroom facilities, the home has changed little since 1930.

According to the Trust’s Historic Programmes Manager Denise Bodden, they only have jurisdiction over homes which are donated to them and cannot financially afford to keep every historic home in the Cayman Islands under their care. Therefore, they encourage homeowners who live in historic homes to care for them. “I would suggest that those who have traditional Caymanian homes on Cayman Brac should try to protect them before development really hits the island,” said Bodden. She said that the Trust has recognised a number of homes on the island that should be protected under the law, particularly the Spellman McLaughlin Home, the Carter House and the Eldemire House, for their unique architectural elements, the fact that they are among the oldest structures on the island and because they survived both the devastating hurricane of 1932 and Hurricane Paloma in 2008.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cayman Brac Gets Twelve More Homes

With in excess of $600,000 in available funds, The Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation (SIAHDC) recently made a planning application to build 8 additional homes at the West End site and 4 homes at Watering Place.
SIAHDC is a government-funded, not-for-profit entity formed in January 2006 to build affordable housing for those applicants who meet necessary qualifications. Phase 1 (4 homes) of the plan was completed just prior to Hurricane Paloma in 2008, and Phase 2 (4 additional homes) was completed in April 2010. Local contractors won the bids to construct phases 1 and 2 for $365,500 and $413,031 respectively.
The Watering Place site can accommodate 15 homes and the West End property has room for 20 to 30 homes. 
Successful applicants own their own homes and land outright.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Post Office Finds New Home in Heritage House

After 3 long years of having to temporarily relocate,  the Creek Post Office on Cayman Brac has officially re-opened. The new location is the re-furbished heritage home of the island's first midwife, Petrona Connolly-Bodden, located at 5 Cantlin Drive.  The original post office suffered severe damage from Hurricane Paloma in November 2008. The building also houses the Sister Islands Sports Office.

Customers can conveniently top-up mobile phones for LIME and Digicel, as well as make WestStar payments. Post office hours are:

Monday - Thursday 9am-11:30am, 1:30pm-3pm
Friday - 9am-11:30am, 1:30-3:30pm
Saturday - 9am-11:30am

The official opening was attended by Minister of District Administration and Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Acting Permanent Secretary of District Administration Tristan Hydes, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary of District Administration Jonathon Jackson, Sister Islands District Commissioner Ernie Scott and Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow.