Built on stilts of local ironwood, out of imported pine shiplap and featuring hip or gable zinc roofs, many of Cayman Brac’s historic homes survive to this day, exuding charm appreciated by residents and visitors alike.

“The older houses on the Brac are notably not made of wattle and daub, with one exception being the Carter house, which is built of wattle and daub on the first storey and wood on the second. That’s because most of those much older homes were either destroyed or damaged in the great storm of 1932,” said volunteer Simone Scott.

The house designs that emerged after the great storm developed an eclectic aesthetic, aside from the common building materials that were used. Ms. Scott explained when the Brac men went to sea to work on ships, they brought home with them ideas for house designs that translated into the local landscape.

Hendenburgh Dixon at his house. - Photos: Jewel Levy
Hendenburgh Dixon at his house. – Photos: Jewel Levy

According to the National Trust’s historic homes database, Taylor Foster’s single story house in Northeast Bay was built in 1933 by his brother Medley Foster. The material is believed to have come from Florida, and the interior features high ceilings and a kitchen in the back, separated from the main house. The old caboose (outdoor kitchen) is located outside, behind the kitchen, in another little house.

Algie Ryan’s single story bungalow-style house in Stake Bay was built circa 1938 by Isaac Ryan and Jimmy Ryan, constructed from shiplap timber and with a zinc roof.

Constructed a few decades later, Hendenburgh Dixon’s house was built circa 1957, and features a charming three-gabled facade that hearkens back to the buildings of the Brac’s earlier days.

The Algie Ryan house
The Algie Ryan house
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