July 2017 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Bermuda's Mark Twain Tree

DSCN3195 copy.jpgOn the first of Mark Twain's trips to Bermuda--the last port of call in the 1867 voyage he chronicled in The Innocents Abroad--the author stopped to check out this tree. Yes, this very tree, a rubber tree (ficus elastica), was imported from Guyana and planted in 1847 by William Perot, the city of Hamilton's postmaster. According to Fodor's, "Twain lamented that it didn't bear rubbery fruit in the form of overshoes and hot-water bottles."

The tree still stands on the grounds of what is now Par-la-Ville Park, in front of the Bermuda Historical Society and the National Library of Bermuda.   

What other authors sought inspiration on this quaint and beautiful island? Playwrights Eugene O'Neill and Terrance Rattigan used a guest cottage on this $9.95-million estate as a "writing den," according to Sinclair Realty. (And it's for sale!)

Photo credit: C. Barry