Pedro St. James was once the largest building in Grand Cayman. Now it not only serves as a historical site but also as a tourist attraction for all ages.
Local tour guide Stacey Eden Hurlston has worked at Pedro St James for six years and holds the site close to his heart.
“In 1780 Pedro St. James was the residence of the Eden family. Eden called it the St James house,” he said. His mother was born at Pedro St. James in December 1910 and was the last resident of the Eden family to live there.
“The attractions here are the regular movie every day and the tour around the house,” he said. We also have a brochure that we sell and it will allow you a tour here and going down to the Botanic Park for US$10 each,” Mr. Hurlston said.
He also mentioned another upcoming attraction, which will be the nearby museum. The building is being renovated and he is unsure of when the museum will be finished. He mentioned that the museum will hold pictures dating back to the ‘30s ‘40s and ‘50s.
Erdiana Welcome, who plays the role of the house slave at Petro St James, also said she enjoys her job and welcoming the tour guests.
What to expect
Once you arrive at the site, you are taken through the gift shop full of various souvenirs. The tour begins with a multi-media theatre production with special effects, including mist, flashing lights and many different sound effects. The group of children watching the movie on this particular day seemed captivated at times and a little scared when the theatrical thunderstorm started.
After the movie, viewers can see the castle itself, and the kids can enjoy the site’s donkey, which happens to be the only donkey on the island.
Mr. Hurlston said the part he enjoys most about his job is enlightening visitors about the history of Pedro St. James. Overall, he said, visitors seem to enjoy themselves on the tour.
“They say how nice it is and they didn’t expect to find this theatre here…they found it to be very interesting and they enjoyed it,” Mr. Hurlston said.
“I thought the show was very well done, and they really described this history well, and it’s kind of neat I think that the two people working here are family members who are descendents of the original family. That is unusual,” said John Prather, a tourist visiting the site.
Bethany Walton, a student at St. Ignatius, said, “I liked the donkey and the movie, too, and the effects from the movie were so cool … and right when the noises started I felt like the mosquitoes were biting me.”
One final note, in case you were wondering: When Mr. Hurlston was asked about the most curious questions he’s heard from visitors, he said some people ask if the building is haunted.