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Notes on the Geography of Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past

If the previous folder showed images of a new Trinidad, here is a set showing an older one.

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Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 1

Trinity Cathedral, commissioned by Governor Ralph Woodford and completed in 1818. Woodford, who was governor from 1813 to 1828--a remarkably long tenure, longer than any other governor in Trinidad's history--was largely responsible for building the town.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 2

Woodford had been appointed governor at the age of 29; 15 years later, he died at sea on his way to England. The cathedral has this statue of him, done by the eminent Francis Chantrey, a prodigiously successful sculptor responsible for work scattered across the British Empire.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 3

The most striking feature of the cathedral is these trusses. The building--from an era when men wore many hats--was designed by Woodford's colonial secretary, Philip Reinagle.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 4

Logo on the station building of the former Trinidad Government Railroad.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 5

The tracks leading to the station have been removed, and the wedge-shaped patch of ground is now a parking lot for buses.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 6

Nearby, the old building of Angostura Bitters, a company with a long history on Trinidad.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 7

A jewelry store.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 8

An elegant old Ford dealership.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 9

House, close to downtown.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 10

School.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 11

Another side of the building.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 12

Could be a jail, but it's the same school.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 13

The Queen's Park Savannah. on the north side of the city, was originally the Paradise Estate, a sugar plantation. Governor Woodford bought it in 1818 and made it a park "for the recreation of the townfolk and the pasturage of cattle."

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 14

Facing the savannah, this is Knowsley, built in 1904 for William Gordon Gordon, a Scotsman who arrived in 1864 and with a partner set up Gordon Grant & Company, still in the shipping and insurance business. The house was sold in 1956 to the Government of Trinidad and now houses the ministry of foreign affairs.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 15

Stollmeyer's Castle, also facing the park and also from 1904. The Stollmeyers chose not to move in, but their son did and lived here until his death in 1965. Acquired by the Trinidad and Tobago Government in 1979.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 16

Looking north to Chaguaramas, site of a U.S. Navy a base in and after World War II.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 17

The base originated as a Lend-Lease undertaking.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 18

Former entrance to the base.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 19

Farther east--east of Piarco Airport--is the old Waller Field, a major stopping point for airplaces heading to Africa during World War II. Adjoining it was a U.S. Army installation, whose west gate was here.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 20

Close-up. The Colonial Office in London published an Annual Report on Trinidad and Tobago for the Year 1946. Such reports had been suspended during the war, and so in 1946 the report summarized events since 1940. Speaking of 1941, the report states, "This was perhaps the most epochal year in the history of the Colony. It marked the commencement of a change in the economic and social life and outlook of the people. United States personnel began to arrive. The construction of Bases provided considerable employment at high wages.... A new El Dorado loomed on the horizon. This small and distant outpost had become the seat for one of the greatest experiments in international relationship.... The arrival of a token force of one hundred United States Marines on March 23rd heralded the advent of several thousand troops... in addition to countless other civilian workers who had been pouring in to construct the Naval Base at Chaguaramas and the Military Encampment at Fort Read...."

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 21

Quick snack en route to Toco.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 22

Warning sign. The Gulf Stream passes by, creating a dangerously strong current for all except those keen on a quick trip to the North Atlantic.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 23

Toco Light.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 24

The tower was built on the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession. Hence the "J," for Victoria Regina's Jubilee.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 25

Toco Point proper.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 26

Small shop at Toco.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 27

Highway stand.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 28

Serious yams, along with a solitary breadfruit.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 29

Lost in traffic: a marker at the start of the highway south to San Fernando. Despite the sign, the highway is popularly called the Uriah Butler Highway.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 30

In Chaguanas, a largely Indian town, this house has a sign reading: Anand Bhavan, House of Bliss, 1926, restored 2001.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 31

Restaurant downstairs; house up. The name Cow Heel King refers to an item on the menu, Cow Heel soup. The Hindu proscription on beef is widely ignored in Trinidad.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 32

Hotel in downtown San Fernando.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 33

San Fernando Public Library, 1916.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 34

Out in the countryside, road signs point to Ackbar Trace. Trace means "lane," but Ackbar (perhaps) refers to Akbar.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 35

Main refinery of the Sugar Manufacturing Company Ltd., east of San Fernando.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 36

This is one and same as the old Usine St. Madeleine, built by the New Colonial Company. In 1910, it made 16,000 tons of sugar, almost a third of the island's total production.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 37

"In the busy crop time the mills grind day and night without cessation whenever possible, for time is precious, the harvest must be gathered in and the juice extracted and converted into crystals before the wet season commences." From The Handbook of Trinidad and Tobago. For the Use of Settlers. Prepared by a Committee of the Board of Agriculture. J.H. Collens, ed., 1912, p. 61.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 38

The old Ste. Madeleine Staff Club.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 39

British colonial offices at Siparia, south of San Fernando.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 40

Trinidad's first Forest Officer was appointed in 1901. A decade later, 266 square miles of forest reserve had been demarcated.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 41

Young teak.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 42

One of hundreds of small settlements on the island. This is Jacob Settlement, west of Siparia.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 43

There are plenty of houses like this one.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 44

Another example.

Trinidad: Trinidad: The Lingering Past picture 45

Oil wells and pipelines litter the surrounding landscape.


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