The Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a historic estate located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Purchased in 1895 by a settler Hugh Taylor Birch, the grounds of the Bonnet House have endured many years of Florida history. Today, visitors can explore the estate and its lush grounds and view numerous pieces of artwork. The estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.


  • Gorgeous water-front view of part of the Bonnet House
    Gorgeous water-front view of part of the Bonnet House
  • The 1893 Chicago World's Fair inspired Frederic Clay Bartlett to become an artist, where examples of his work are now displayed in the Bonnet House studio.
    The 1893 Chicago World's Fair inspired Frederic Clay Bartlett to become an artist, where examples of his work are now displayed in the Bonnet House studio.
  • The gardens are a place of tropical tranquility, where it houses five distinct ecosystems. One of the most popular of the gardens includes a large collection of orchids due to Evelyn Barletts' passion for them.
    The gardens are a place of tropical tranquility, where it houses five distinct ecosystems. One of the most popular of the gardens includes a large collection of orchids due to Evelyn Barletts' passion for them.

Hugh Taylor Birch purchased the house in 1895 but gave the property as a gift in 1919 to his daughter, Helen, and her husband, Frederic Clay Barlett. They soon began to reconstruct the house into their dream winter retreat, coming to an abrupt halt after Helen died a few years later. In 1931, Frederic married his new wife, Evelyn Fortune Lilly, and they continued to reconstruct the property with the flattering elements that visitors get to experience today. 

In 1983, Evelyn gave the Bonnet House to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Today, visitors can embark on the beautiful grounds and feel the history left behind, including Frederic's artwork and Evelyn's botanical gardens. Along with her love for orchids, she matched each ecosystem with her delight for animals, including squirrel monkeys, Amazon parrots, and gopher tortoises. 

1. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Historic House, Garden & Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved October 04, 2016, from http://www.bonnethouse.org.

2. Design, T. R. (n.d.). Florida Trust For Historic Preservation | About The Trust | Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from https://www.floridatrust.org/about-the-trust/bonnet-house-museum-gardens-fort-lauderdale.

3. Fiore, J. (2016, September). Bonnet House Museum and Gardens Florida's Bohemian Paradise.

4. Heist, L. (2008). Bonnet House is full of wildlife, whimsy and wonder. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/southflorida-dot-com/sfl-bonnethousestory-story.html.