POINTS OF INTEREST
Tucker House is owned and lovingly maintained as a museum by the Bermuda National Trust. It was built in the 1750s for a merchant who stored his wares in the cellar (a space that now holds an archaeological exhibit). But it's been associated with the Tucker family ever since Henry Tucker, president of the Governor's Council and a key participant in the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot, purchased it in 1775. His descendents lived here until 1809, and much of the fine silver and heirloom furniture—which dates primarily from the mid-18th and early-19th centuries—was donated by them. As a result, the house is essentially a tribute to this well-connected clan whose members included a Bermudian governor, a U.S. treasurer, a Confederate navy captain, and an Episcopal bishop.
The kitchen, however, is dedicated to another notable—Joseph Haine Rainey—who is thought to have operated a barber's shop in it during the Civil War. (Barber's Alley, around the corner, is also named in his honor.) As a freed slave from South Carolina, Rainey fled to Bermuda at the outbreak of the war. Afterward he returned to the United States and, in 1870, became the first black man to be elected to the House of Representatives. A short flight of stairs leads down to the kitchen, originally a separate building, and to an enclosed kitchen garden.