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Realtor sells a piece of the past - Little Boarding House, Harbour Island.
COLDWELL Banker Lightbourn Realty sales associate Robert Arthur has sold a piece of Harbour Island history.
Arthur sold The Little Boarding House, the island’s first or second establishment of its kind, to Bahamian Tracey Barry Tyler and her husband, Toby Tyler, owners of the island's elegant Landing hotel.
The seller was a non-Bahamian and long time visitor to the island.
Visitors to Harbour Island are familiar with the charming yellow house on the corner of Bay Street and Murray. Now a private residence, Little Boarding House is over 200 years old. In the 1940s, Ms Hattie Thompson and Ms Marion Johnson owned the boarding house. Ms Johnson was headmistress of the primary school on Harbour Island. Ms Thompson managed the little hotel. Both were instrumental in getting The Roman Catholic Bishop to build a church on Harbour Island, somewhere around 1922. It’s said they held the first Catholic mass on the island in their homes.
Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty president Mike Lightbourn has fond memories of Little Boarding House. He and his family spent summer holidays in their vacation home two doors away, and ate breakfast and dinner at Little Boarding House every day. The island was a child’s playground with the gorgeous, three mile Pink Sand Beach and a fishing boat, Pieces of Eight, at their fingertips. On the corner to the south of Little Boarding House, Mr Lightbourn recalls, Capt. Harry Albury had the first generator on the island and supplied electricity to a large area. The drone of the engine was a new night sound. Transport was by foot or bicycle. Unlike today, there were no golf carts or vehicles. However, there were lots of simple pleasures, such as homemade coconut ice cream sold at the square at the top of Murray Street at four o'clock every afternoon. The winds of change started to rustle through Harbour Island with the introduction of amphibious craft from Nassau. The population grew, and Bahamian and non-Bahamians discovered the island as a second home destination. Today’s Harbour Island is still graced with many charming structures of old, such as Little Boarding House, which speak of that magical era.
For Coldwell Banker’s Robert Arthur, the sale was particularly satisfying. Arthur ranks in the top one percent of an international Coldwell Banker sales force of 116,800. Although not one of his most significant sales in terms of dollars and cents - the home sold for $775,000 with some trade elements - Arthur was thrilled when his friends, The Tylers, bought the property. ‘Not only are Tracy, Toby and I good friends, but I know that Little Boarding House will be maintained to the highest standard and that this important piece of history will be preserved,” Arthur said. And he's pleased that the seller will continue to visit Harbour Island.
The Tylers own the historic Landing hotel in Harbour Island. Prince Charles’ goddaughter and Ralph Lauren Safari model, India Hicks, until fairly recently had a minority stake in the traditional Colonial-style 1800s hotel. The Landing is a magnet for the rich and famous. The Duke and Duchess of York are among the list of celebrities who’ve stopped in to enjoy The Landing’s gourmet meals and sample their fine wines and cigars. The guest list reads like a Who's Who. Prince Pavalos and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, Mick Jaggar, Richard Gere, Elle McPherson, Diane Von Furstenberg, Barry Diller, Christianne Amannpour, Ed Bradley, Bette Midler, Collin Farrell, George Hamilton, Daryll Hall and Jack Nicholson, along with super models and many others have enjoyed the ambiance of The Landing.
The Tylers plan to make Little Boarding House their family home, give it a facelift and build a cottage in the backyard, retaining the period of the home. It's this timeless quality that makes Harbour Island so special.
Toby and Tracy Tyler with Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty SALES ASSOCIATE Robert Arthur (right) outside the Tylers new home, the historic Little Boarding House in Harbour Island.
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