Welcome! My name is Patrick Shavloske, and I have the privilege of being CEO of Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Within this haven you will experience the coastal environment of a barrier island -preserved and enhanced by the people who have lived here -and become acquainted with the ecology and history of this unique 35-acre estate.
Hugh Taylor Birch, a Chicago lawyer and real estate investor, was drawn to the solitude and beauty of South Florida's coast when he came here in 1893 to seek coastal property.
Frederic Clay Bartlett, a renowned American artist, married Birch's daughter Helen in 1919. Birch gave them a sizable interest in the land, and Bartlett designed the house. Helen Birch died in 1925, and in 1931 Frederic Bartlett married Evelyn Fortune Lilly. Frederic, Evelyn and Mr. Birch lived here together until 1940 when Birch built a house for himself on the 180 acres across Sunrise Boulevard that he later gave to the state for the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
The Bonnet House and Birch Park acreage comprise the only remaining natural coastal environments in Fort Lauderdale.
I hope you will enjoy this self-guided tour through this whimsical home of the Bartlett-Birch family. When you finish, be sure to follow the steps indicated to provide feedback on your visit. Your comments are appreciated and valued. Thank you for visiting Bonnet House.