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Balcony House

History from 1775-1851

Since the late eighteenth century, when it is believed that Balcony House was first built, the property changed ownership a number of times. A brief history is chronicled below:


The years 1775 - 1783 saw the coming of a new immigrant group to the Bahamas, the loyalists. It was also about this time, we believe, that this structure, which today we refer to as Balcony House, was constructed.


The 1788 plan of Nassau identifies lot numbers 14 & 15, with a structure on it; the property, at that time, was owned by a Mrs. Mary Hardy who lived there with her husband, Dr. William Hardy, and their three daughters, Sarah, Cicely and Ann.


A copy of Mrs. Hardy's will, dated 1795, shows that she left the property to her three daughters who were all married at the time.


In 1816, the property was sold by auction, by Provost Marshall, Mr. William Baliss, to Mrs. Isabella Deane and Mr. Roger Moore who later married and took up residence.


In 1841, however, Mrs. Isabella Deane-Moore and her husband, Roger Moore, sold the house to Mr. Stephen Dillet, a native of Haiti who came to the Bahamas with his mother, Hester Argo, and his two brothers. The son of reputed French Army officer, Ettienne Dillet, Stephen made a great impact on Bahamian History. In 1833, Stephen Dillet became the first coloured person in the history of The Bahamas to win an election as the representative for the Town of Nassau, winning seven consecutive elections.


In 1851, Mr. Dillet was appointed to the post of Post Master General, as well as Inspector of the Police Force, at that time the highest ranking position in the Force. Mr. Stephen Dillet was also a leading figure in free masonry, heading what is now known as the Royal Victoria Lodge. He was also a vestryman in Christ Church Cathedral, a community leader and successful businessman. At one point, Mr. Dillet also served as the Coroner of the Bahamas.

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