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In Smith Parish, is the small, privately owned Bermuda Railway Museum museum.
On the way back from St. George, we got off at the bus stop near the Railway Museum (route 10 or 11). This is a very small building about the size of a garage which is a former Aquarium Railroad station. The lady that ran it Ms. Rosa Hollis had a nice collection of maps, photographs and old Bermuda Railroad memorabilia from "Old Rattle and Shake," better known as the Bermuda Railway. They give us a glimpse into life on the island in the 1930's and 1940's when the Bermuda Railroad operated.
She has cats and Bob had a good time petting the ones that jumped up on the display cases. It has photos, seats There is a gift shop has interesting antiques and artifacts for sale which we bought a few of.
Now it is open by appointment only Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm weather permitting.
Updated Oct 22, 2007
We went to Spittal Pond for the 1 pm Friday tour. We saw Jeffrey's Hole, a cave named for an escaped slave who supposedly hid out here for several weeks with his girl friend bringing him food. We could look down from the bluffs to see parrot fish swimming below.
We saw plants such as Palmetto: formerly used as thatch for roofs, baskets, hats, and the Bay Grape: a native which produces grapelike edible fruits (used for jelly). The leaves have a waxy/ leathery/plastic feel, an adaptation they've developed to repel salt spray. Also the Cedar (endemic), Olivewood Bark (endemic), Spanish Bayonet (native), Prickly Pear (native), Buttonwood, Sea oxeye, Spiked Rush, Widgeon Grass, and Floppier / Life Plant (1813 brought in as a native of Asia).
We also saw birds such as the Kiskadee: introduced 1951 to control Anolis lizard, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron: reintroduced in 1976 to control crabs and the Longtail: native seabird, breeds in summer, mates for life, produces one chick per year, is on the wing all day only returning to roost at night, feeds on a diet of squid and even some non-native such as the flamingo which they said had been blown in from the zoo by a hurricane.
You can do the mile long walk on your own but it is much more interesting with the rangers.
The tour took a couple of hours and we just missed the bus afterwards. This bus route only runs about every 45 minutes.
From the website: Spittal Pond is the National Bermuda Trust's most important area of open space, containing Bermuda?s largest bird sanctuary and the oldest evidence of humans on the Island. Spittal Pond is part of the necklace of wetlands along the South Shore just inside the former sand dunes. The pond is administered jointly by the Trust and the Department of Agriculture.
Updated Dec 27, 2003
Phone: (441) 236-4201.
On top of a high cliff on the southern shore of the Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is "Spanish Rock". Carved into the rock is the date 1543 and some indecipherable letters, no doubt the work of a lone mariner
Updated Jun 1, 2003