|North Caicos: A walk through history|
|Thursday, 28 July 2011 09:08|
Turquoise waters and sandy beaches are what the Turks and Caicos Islands are known for, but there are other treasures which lie inland waiting to be uncovered.
Throughout history, the islands were discovered over and over by explorers who landed on its shores. Finding challenging vegetation and limited water supplies, they moved on in search of richer plains. But in the late 1700s, England offered the soil of the TCI to British Loyalists in the United States who found success in reaping what they sowed.
In 1789 Loyalist Wade Stubbs was granted more than 800 acres by the Queen on the island of North Caicos as compensation for loss of his land in Florida after the U.S. won independence from the U.K.
Wade, and later his brother Thomas, thrived on the opportunity developing cotton plantations which initially brought them much success. Along with the help of hundreds of slaves the brothers grew “sea island cotton,” creating an industry for the island which was at that time bare.
Stubbs created such a successful cotton trade that after the independence of Haiti in 1799, the British government built Fort George on a small cay just southwest of North Caicos to protect the cotton industry.
At the time of his death in 1822, Stubbs owned thousands of acres of land on North and Middle Caicos as well as Providenciales. His estate was turned over to the family of Stubbs, including a namesake cousin who lived at Wade’s Green until about 1850.
Today the rich history of Wade’s Green Plantation is protected by the National Trust, which encourages tours of the property.
Walking down the long path leading into the estate under the cover of native greenery, one can feel the significance of the surrounding.
The remains of the plantation have been embraced by the natural vegetation, with trees hugging the walls that once housed the people whose descendants today populate the islands.
A well marked path allows for a peaceful two-hour expedition through the plantation, exploring many of the old plantations ruins.
A visit to Wade’s Green offers an incredible journey through time, set against a beautiful backdrop of the greenery that the plantation has been named for and the island is known for.
To visit Wade’s Green Plantation from Providenciales, take the TCI Ferry to North Caicos. Rent a bike, car or take a taxi to the plantation just a few short miles from the marina. The site is available for touring Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., plus other times and holidays by appointment.
Tickets are just $5 per person and can be purchased from the National Trust Office on the road leading from Kew to the plantation. You can also pick up a guide to the plantation at the trust office. For more information call 243-0179 or 941-5710.
The paths are well marked within the plantation and easy to walk — an ideal adventure with children. Be sure to bring water and snacks, which can be purchased at the marina.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:06|
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