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January 10, 2014
Historical Notes St Vincent and the Grenadines

Fri Jan 10, 2014

St Vincent in 1932

Kingstown (Population in 1931, 4,269)

“Kingstown, the capital, is picturesquely situated in a fine bay, which travellers declare, bears a favourable comparison with the Bay of Naples. Its red roofs and varicoloured buildings nestle amidst the tropical luxuriance of palm, flamboyant, coconut, mango, breadfruit, and other interesting trees, making a beautiful picture. The three principal streets of the town run parallel with the shore, and extend for a mile…{{more}}

Bay Street: Opposite the Landing Jetty is a magnificent stone structure, with a central cupola. This building contains the Police Headquarters, the Treasury and the Customs Office. Along this street, going up (in a S.E direction) are the great mercantile houses and steamers’ agencies, the

Pelican Hotel and the factory and warehouses of the St.Vincent Cooperative Arrowroot Association. Going down the street from the jetty you come up immediately with the Cold Storage Building and the Market. As Kingstown is now lit with electricity, Bay Street at night presents to the harbour a very fascinating scene, because of the open shore and because, too, of the additional coloured lights from about half-dozen advertising media and the large ruby-coloured light in the cupola of the Police Headquarters looking like a gem in a crown.

Middle Street: This Street contains the principal Dry Goods Stores and Groceries and the Kingstown Club.

Back Street: Here are the principal residential houses of the town, Public buildings and Churches. Through a wide cross- street almost direct from the Landing Jetty, the tourist arrives at the Courts of Justice, enclosed in well shaded grounds. This building approximately divides Back Street into two halves.

Along the upper (S.E) half are the Telegraph Office, Home Industries, Post Office, Government Office, Barclays Bank, Public Library, St.Vincent Agricultural Bank, Kingstown Cotton Factory and the Church of Scotland. Along the Lower half are the Methodist Church, the Anglican Cathedral, the Roman Catholic Church, the Girls High School. Behind the Courts of Justice is the Electric Power-house and Station, reached by a cross street, and at the foot of the street are Victoria Park and the General Hospital. The principal garages are also along this street- S.O Jack, S.G DeFreitas, G.Providence, G.Pollard, D. McDonald, O. Nanton. One other garage- C.Patterson is in Bay Street…

Government House: This is the residence of the Administrator, situated at the top end of the Botanic Garden, in its own private grounds of 12 acres, 315 feet above sea-level. The house was built in 1886. In the garden is a camphor tree, one of the only two in the island. These trees were obtained from Japanese sources, but are of the kind that yields camphor only in oil, not in grain.

Permission can be obtained to view the grounds by special arrangements with the Chief of Police at Headquarters…

The Government Cotton Ginnery: – about 60 yards from Back Street at the beginning of Murray (New) Road, with its 9 cotton gin for separating lint from seed, and its oil and soap plants for the manufacture of oil and soap from the cottonseed. The oil is clear, lustrous, golden; it is edible, and is considered to be quite the equal of the olive oil of Mediterranean lands.” (GUIDE BOOK TO ST.VINCENT by A.J Archer, Boy Scout Secretary, St.Vincent; Author of “In a Blue Summer Isle”, “An Isle of Romance” and “ A Western Elysium”; August 1932)