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Islands with Plantations

Old Jul 13th, 2011, 04:30 AM
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Islands with Plantations

I'm working on a photography and writing project about the plantation era in the Caribbean. I spent some time in St John USVI photographing the ruins there.

I am looking for recommendations for other islands to visit that still have plantation ruins.
I'm particularly looking for ruins that are very old, and have NOT been reconditioned, or only minimally so.
Any thoughts?
Here is a link to photographs from St John. I'm looking for sites in similar condition.

Thank you.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 04:41 AM
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Nevis and St. Kitts have lots of Plantation ruins.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 05:18 AM
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Do you know the names or locations?

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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 06:02 AM
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They're not hard to find. Both islands have main roads that circle the island--you'll see ruins from the main road, or venture down some of the side roads--you'll see them.

Look for the abandoned windmills, some still have the equipment inside. Talk to the tourism offices when you get to the islands and they'll give you a map and can direct you. One of the Nevis sites is Brick Kiln (I think), on the Eastern or windward side of the island.

And do visit the plantation inns. They can give you an insight into the variety of buildings and uses.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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Yes, they are all over both islands. Tourist oriented road maps are readily available from car rental companies, hotel concierges, and even most rental villas will have a supply handy. Many of the ruins are clearly shown on the maps.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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Can you tell me, are these "reconditioned" ruins, for tourists to walk around, or are these more or less untouched?

I'm trying to decide on which island to visit this winter for the purpose of photography, and I want to pick an island with a wealth of untouched ruins. I assumed Jamaica and the Dominican Republic would have an abundance, because of their size and the number of plantations that once operated there. But it is difficult to get a sense of what is left after time and development.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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I would also check out St. Croix.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Montego Bay Jamaica has planations and are open for tourist tours.

We saw a few banana planations in St. Lucia from a distance.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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On Nevis there are a great many vacant/abandoned/unrestored plantation ruins (probably close to 100 - more if you count the individual structures rather than building clusters) around the island. Some are hidden so deep in the rain forests that you'll need a guide to help you find them. In addition there are numerous old chattel homes that are in various states of disrepair that might make interesting photo subjects. Simply put, there are a lot of "neat things" on Nevis.

St. Kitts has their fair share also although I'd hesitate to give you a count. since I'm not as familiar with that island.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 06:40 PM
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I stayed often at Rawlins Plantation in St. Kitts before it was sold a few years ago. It was a former plantation. A short walk away, across a dirt cane field path was a windmill ruin. Had probably never been touched. These are scattered all through St. Kitts. There was even a larger "ruined" complex walking towards the water in nearby St. Paul.

You should contact the historical societies on both islands--the St. Kitts Heritage Society: and in Nevis: the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society:

Google images of the islands that you're interested in and see if there are ruins. I know there have been archeological studies in Nevis in recent years--not necessarily for ruins but there are people out there who have looked at this. You don't have to proceed blindly. Check books written on the history of the Caribbean and go from there.

Just looked at your photos and I've not seen a building like that in St. Kitts or Nevis. Basically there are ruins of windmills and smaller out buildings. These are former sugar plantations and look older than your house photo. The SKN buildings are made of volcanic stone. Very picturesque especially now that they are surrounded by overgrown sugar cane fields, since the industry has stopped.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 06:46 PM
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This is a typical view of ruins in St. Kitts:
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Old Jul 14th, 2011, 12:56 AM
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Bettys Hope in Antigua is a sugar plantation with mills which are restored but it's on an estate with various ruins. There were lots of abandoned sugar mills all around Antigua bit like the photo in the previous post in St Kitts.

I'd research Guadeloupe and Martinique, they have beautiful restored plantation houses,don't remember any abandoned ones but there must be some.

Arnos Vale Waterwheel in Tobago is abandoned and overgrown, although its still listed as a tourist attraction,it's definitely not open. It was part of a sugar factory apparently.
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Old Jul 14th, 2011, 03:58 AM
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perhaps you should consider going to maya riviera or belize to photo the ruins. many are unrestored.
this is an easy to get to example:
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Old Jul 14th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Thanks all.
I'll look into these suggestions. I have been doing research, but it's hard to tell what is still there on the ground with development of the islands ongoing. St Croix may be interesting. Any suggestions for Jamaica or Dominican Republic?
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 05:41 AM
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My research shows that the islands with the most number of plantations in the colonial era are, in descending order: Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, St Vincent, Trinidad, Bahamas, St Kitts, Dominica, Virgin Islands.
Any recommended locations for plantation ruins on Barbados, Antigua, St Vincent or Bahamas?
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