The first floor of the Old Government House Museum is ready to reopen to the public following three years of renovations carried out after the building sustained extensive damage in Hurricane Irma, the Governor’s Office announced Tuesday.
During a small ceremony last week, museum board member Ermin Penn shared some of the history of the building, which welcomed visitors daily from 2002 to 2017.
“We are very pleased at this time to offer the first floor, with a history of the house and information about the forts in the territory,” she said.
She added that other items on display, including a mural and historic photos, give a sense of what Road Harbour was like before extensive land reclamation began in 1966. Also during the ceremony, Governor Gus Jaspert said he was thrilled to see the completion of renovations to the first floor of the building.
“I know a huge amount of hard work and perseverance has gone into this reopening and I am very grateful to all the individuals who have made this possible,” he said, adding that museum board members “generated incredible community support and voluntary funding to restore the museum at no cost to the government of the Virgin Islands.”
Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley, who represented Premier Andrew Fahie at the ceremony, added his thanks to the National Parks Trust for its work on the gardens surrounding the building.
The museum contains a wide variety of historic items, including photographs, journals and antique furniture dating back to the 1880s. The board hopes to continue the restoration on the second floor in the future, according to the Governor’s Office.
The office did not provide an opening date, but said the first floor would reopen soon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and would be available for bookings for private functions on weekends and evenings. For more information go to www.oghm.org.