The old decaying Sugar Mill we went to check out today (April 23, 2016) is located on the south eastern-ish lower area of the tiny smaller island of Nevis. There are several of these old sugar cane mills in different levels of decay and ruin all around the Caribbean, as they were a source of export (and exploit) of the local available crops to the rest of the world.
This particular one is from the 1700’s from what we were able to find out, though very little actual history is known about many of these, and even less is posted for tourists to learn about.
The more I learn about this country, I will share with everyone. I realise it is going to be a lengthy process to discover all the hidden gems and incredible share-worthy stories, but I’m seriously hoping to make this a permanent home base.
The hubs saw the tall brick smokestack shape he recognised from his time living in Antigua (pronounced with the ‘u’ silent) as being an old Sugar Cane Mill.
We saw a Heritage Trail sign at the lane entrance, and decided to head down to check it out. What we found gave us loads to talk about, and we will likely go back again.
The first thing we noticed, is that someone is being careful of this landscape and the maintenance of the actual buildings. They are being properly kept up, at least on the facades, and there is a general cleanliness to the area.
I wish we knew more about who was there, so I could properly share their names and stories with everyone. Suffice to say, from what I do know of sugar cane milling, it’s grueling, sticky, and thankless work for people to have something nice in their tea or on their cereal.
The one thing that caught my attention was this HUGE old tree that looked like a giant hand reaching over the stone wall area. It’s a fascinating tree to look at, and I wonder how many stories it could tell if it could talk. How many pictures have been taken on, around, or even with it in the background. How many hurricanes it has survived. When did it officially breathe its last gift of air for the Nevisians?
It was interesting to us that there were no guardrails, no signs to DO NOT TOUCH, and no protective barriers or blockages anywhere I could see. There were handrails leading up to the milling floor, but those had been put in as a kindness, not a necessity. What is interesting is that people obviously come here from all over the world, including northern North America (technically where I’m sitting right now is still part of North America), and yet there are no barriers. Clearly they are able to not be litigious down here (yes, the cynicalpixie is roaring right now, shhhh, let her have her moment). They see the rust, and the giant protruding spikes, and don’t get cut because they know enough to not touch. *sigh* If only they could retain that ability when they went home to their cities.
I love discovering Nevis. The little hidden gems are still buried for now, and without a guide, we’re hopelessly stumbling around, getting stuck on hills with no flat areas, hanging out in old Sugar Mills, and making memories where the tourists come. Soon, I’ll be able to shed that “newbie” coating, and when people come to visit us (looks like our first guest will be coming sometime in early fall, and another two possibly in December, and a… yeah, we’re getting booked up fast), we’re going to be able to show them those hidden gems when they want real local GOOD cuisine. But that’s for another day.