The iconic Eldemire House has become a symbol of Cayman Brac’s strength and heritage and has remained a central gathering point for the community for decades.
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands tasked their Historic Advisory Committee with the preservation and upkeep of this home to ensure its original beauty and legacy will remain woven within the fabric of Cayman Brac for years to come as a national heritage site.
Constructed in 1928, the Eldemire House was one of 11 homes in Cayman Brac to survive the 1932 hurricane, saving the lives of the 38 people sheltering within.
The home was donated to the Trust in 2005, but was damaged by Hurricane Paloma in 2008. In 2012, extensive renovations began on the home, supported by donations from local businesses.
The planned renovations include cosmetic repairs, replacing the flooring and restoring the historic catboat in the yard.
Once restored, the Trust hopes to reopen the home as a heritage site where residents and visitors can learn about Cayman Brac’s history and culture.
The Trust raised CI$15,000 towards the restoration of the Eldemire House, and recently Dart donated an additional CI$10,000. However, the National Trust still needs further support to complete the full restoration of this home, which it hopes to do over the next few months.
Ellen Lazzari, the chair of the National Trust’s Historic Advisory Committee, said the substantial donation from Dart was appreciated.
"In this 90th anniversary year of the 1932 storm, it is even more important that our built heritage is recognised," she said. "This house survived that storm, sheltered 38 and was used as a community aid distribution centre. The Dart donation will allow the National Trust to continue needed repairs.”
Dart is a long-standing supporter of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands through both financial donations and volunteer hours. One of Dart’s key areas of focus for community development is an appreciation for the physical environment, including both the natural environment and the built heritage.
This article was originally published in the March 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.
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