On the edge of Par-la-Ville Park  in a trio of rooms inside the Bermuda National Library is the charming little Bermuda Historical Society Museum (Queen St., tel. 441/295-2487, apbermingham [at] logic [dot] bm, May–Oct. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri., Nov.–Apr. 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri., admission free).
The Bermuda Historical Society Museum is run by knowledgeable volunteers, including some published historians, on behalf of the Bermuda Historical Society, a nonprofit group dating back to 1895 that promotes interest in the island’s past.
Par-la-Ville, the 1814 building that now houses the library, was once a gracious Georgian homestead, like many that lined Hamilton’s  streets in the 19th century. It has remained intact, its wooden veranda today overlooking the crush of traffic on Reid Street.
Outside, the landmark giant rubber tree also survives; it was planted in 1847 by the merchant William Perot, who built and lived in the house. The Bermuda Historical Society Museum’s prize artifacts include original “Hogge” money; 18th-century cedar furniture including a cradle and prayer chair; silver flatware made in Bermuda; oil portraits of key figures, such as the island’s founder, Admiral Sir George Somers; and ceramics and glassware that once belonged to local sea captains.
Be sure to take a look at the exquisite etched-glass hurricane shades in the dining room and the carved palmetto seats of the Queen Anne cedar chairs.