years ago Bermuda was considerably more tranquil. Uncluttered
shorelines swept inland and vanished into cedar-dominated
landscapes; bicycles and horse-drawn carriages left their marks
along dusty roadways; and the island, rich with the scent of
poinsettias, lillies and morning-glories, was often called a
"playground for the rich." (Bermuda still isn't a cheap thrill.)
Its fabled beauty was legendary, leading one frequent visitor to
enthuse: "One's first visit to Bermuda is, indeed, an enchanted
holiday! But one's second, or third or fourth! With what
breathless eagerness one peers from the ship's porthole on the
early morning of one's subsequent arrival, incredulously
questioning, `Is it still there, that Lilliputian miracle of
Mrs. George Draper's personal observation in
1930 was a common reaction to an uncommon land. Bermuda's physical
beauty was, and remains, undeniable, making it one of the most
expensive pieces of beachfront in the world. And it would be wrong
to conclude that serenity is a thing of the past. Within the city
itself there are parks like Par-la-Ville and Victoria. Beyond
Hamilton's borders, beaches and quiet coves may have only a few
couples taking the sun or swimming languidly in the island's
fabled waters. But the island is more than just a pretty face.
Scratch the surface, and just beneath the "tranquil and
contenting" skin is a country that over the last twenty years has
evolved from an almost mythical sleepy hollow into a dynamic
international business hub.
The effect of this growth is reflected to
varying degrees in all of the island's nine parishes, each named
after a prominent shareholder in the Bermuda Company. The only
exception is St. George's Parish, which was named after England's
patron saint. Our parishes, originally called "tribes," were
surveyed and divided by English mapmaker Richard Norwood, who
began traversing the island in 1615, finishing the following year.
However, the designation "tribe roads" (and not "parish roads")
With the exception of St. George's, Hamilton
and Smiths, every parish has them. Running north to south, they
are public rights of way, and several are tiny, quiet lanes
opening onto major arteries like South Road and Middle Road.
Others are little more than footpaths.
In 1913 a Tribe Road Commission was appointed
to look into these off-roads that often meander through the most
unlikely places, some sliding past homes nestled behind stone
walls deep in the heart of rural Bermuda. Their origin is not
quite clear, though in 1620 the first government created specific
pathways to deter persons from trespassing through corn patches
and tobacco fields. Interestingly, the locations of these roads
were never recorded on any map, and the commission identified 31
such roads surviving out of an estimated 46. Today most serve as
shortcuts to somewhere else.
to go to Bermuda web site.