Page 1

The Gathering Baobab Tree

Birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, 1755 Offices of NHCS

NEVIS HISTORICAL AND CONSERVATION SOCIETY P.O. Box 563 Charlestown, Nevis, Eastern Caribbean 00109

Feb. 18 – 24 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 29 March 15 Mid-May April 22 May 18 June 5 Mid-June Mid-July July-August

History & Heritage Week Annual General Meeting Annual Silent Auction at Old Manor Leap Year Annual House & Garden Tour CANARI/FAO Forestry Workshop International Earth Day International Museums Day World Environment Day University of Florida – The President’s Scholar Program San Jose State University Student Archaeology Program Culturama

Issue 81

Oct—Feb 2008

Nevis Historical & Conservation Society Mission: The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society exists to promote effective management of the historical, cultural and natural resources of the island of Nevis for the benefit of all of its people. Low Street Charlestown Nevis (869) 469-5786 Fax: 469-0274

FIRST CLASS MAIL

The Journal of The

nhcs@sisterisles.kn www.nevis-nhcs.org

New Hamilton Exhibit

Members of the NHCS were treated to a preview showing of the new Alexander Hamilton – the Man Who Made Modern America exhibit on the eve of his birthday celebration. A very large crowd assembled in the courtyard of the museum to participate in the preview ceremony. The speakers included the Honorable Joseph Parry – Premier of Nevis; United States Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, Mrs. Mary Ourisman; Dr. Izben Williams – St. Kitts-Nevis Ambassador to the USA and the OAS; Mr. Douglas Hamilton – 5th generation descendant of Alexander Hamilton; and Mr. Ron Gross – founder of the Friends of Alexander Hamilton and Descendants Committee. Continued on Page 5


Nevis Historical and Conservation Society OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD 2007- 2008 Marcia Myers Clara Walters Jenny Lowery Collin Walwyn Arthur Anslyn Terenz Wallace Joel Pogson Tessa Howell Ken Evelyn Janice Daniel-Hodge

President Vice President Secretary Treasurer Gov. Rep. Youth Rep. Lincoln Hoffman David Robinson Vince Hubbard Al Thompson

STAFF: John Guilbert Paul Diamond Gail Dore

Executive Director Senior Technical Officer Ag. Curator for Collections & Museums Gennifer Stephen Manager, Museum Shops Assistant Archivist Troylin Evelyn Shop Attendant, Membership Nicholette Walters Business Officer

COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS: Archives & Museums Marcia Myers Membership Services Miriam Knorr Finance Collin Walwyn Buildings and Grounds David Robinson Policies and Regulations Oral Martin Nevis Field Studies Centre Paul Diamond Historian Vincent K. Hubbard Environmental Education Miriam Knorr Fund-Raising Chris Thompson Historic Preservation Suzanne Gordon Youth Education Terenz Wallace Conservation & Bio-diversity Miriam Knorr & Captain Arthur Anslyn

Page two

NEWSLETTER: Editor Paul Diamond General e-mail nhcs@sisterisles.kn Web Page

www.nevis-nhcs.org

NEVIS HISTORICAL and CONSERVATION SOCIETY Low Street, Charlestown P.O. Box 563 Charlestown, Nevis, Eastern Caribbean Tel: 1 (869) 469-5786 Fax: 1 (869) 469-0274 Nelson Museum 1 (869) 469-0408 Fax: 1 (869) 469-0407 Marcia Myers mmyers@nevis-nhcs.org John Guilbert jguilbert@nevis-nhcs.org Paul Diamond pdiamond@nevis-nhcs.org Gail Dore gdore@nevis-nhcs.org Troylin Evelyn tevelyn@nevis-nhcs.org Gennifer Broadbelt gbroadbelt@nevis-nhcs.org Nicholette Walters nwalters@nevis-nhcs.org

Follow the trail to the NHCS… Become a member! You’ll receive: ...Newsletter emailed or snail mail directly to you ...An active voice in Nevis’ environmental future ...Free use of archives and library ...Free admittance to museums ...10% discount on gift shop items ...Staff expertise concerning environmental issues ...Opportunity to become an Executive Board member HOW MUCH does it cost to become a member? ( ) Single Member EC $50.00 (US $20.00) ( ) Family Member EC $75.00 (US $30.00) ( ) Corporate Member EC $400 (US $150.00) ( ) Life Member EC $1350.00 (US $500.00) Plus EC $13.50/US$5.00 for postage outside of Nevis

NAME____________________________________________________________ ADDRESS ________________________________________________________ EMAIL ADDRESS__________________________________________________

Are you an American taxpayer? If you are an American taxpayer, you can pay your membership fees and make a donation to the NHCS through NEVKIT, a charitable foundation established in 1986 for American taxpayers to support historical and conservation activities in the Eastern Caribbean. Please send your check, payable to NEVKIT with NHCS noted in memo section, for membership—cost noted in the box on the left (all but $5 is deductible) and a donation in the amount of $________for total check of $__________to: The NEVKIT FOUNDATION You’ll receive an acknowledgement from NEVKIT with our taxpayer identification P.O. Box 484 Charlestown, Nevis by return mail. Eastern Caribbean 00109 Page nineteen


WELCOME TO SHOPPE TALK

A message from the Executive Director...

by Gennifer Broadbelt "Step Into Our Gift Shop And Get The Best Prices On Your Souvenirs Today"

The NHCS in 2008

Looking for Cook Books -check these out!!! THE ABC of CREATIVE CARIBBEAN COOKERY (new)H MODERN CARIBBEAN CUISINE COOK BOOK (new/hard back)H

EC$ 50.00/US$19.00 EC$110.00/US$41.00

Childrens Books on Pirates: IBIS STEW? OH NO! (new hard back).. PIRATE'S EYE (new hard back)H THE BEST BOOK of PIRATES (new hard back)H PIRACY DAYS OF LONG AGO (new paperback)H Jessica - This conservative mermaid goes all out to help bring justice to a group of sailors who dump poisonous cargo into the sea.

EC$50.00/US$19.00 EC$50.00/US$19.00 EC$50.00/US$19.00 EC$57.00/US$21.50

I was very appreciative of the board listening to my concerns about the staff. They put a human resources committee in place and they were able to support the need for additional staff and some incremental pay increases for the staff. In August we hired an administrative assistant to help with the secretarial and museum attendant duties. Unfortunately, the person left us in October as she was sought out to be a manger at a tourist business. We have not replaced her as yet, but have not ruled that out some time during the year.

Pirate’s Eye - It is very annoying to lose an eye. This is the case of Pirate Captain Black who is determined to find his glass eye by hook or by crook.

We were also fortunate to bring in Paul Diamond as a consultant in September. He has helped with computer administration, website design and implementation, archaeological administration support and newsletter editor. With the addition of Paul we are better able to concentrate our efforts with the NIA’s Panning Ordinance of 2006. Paul; represents us on the Planning Environmental Committee and I concentrate my efforts on the Development Advisory Council, which makes decisions on all development in Nevis.

For the Environment: CORALS AND CORAL REEFS OF THE CARIBBEAN UNDERSTANDING THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN AND THE ANTILLES FRUITS AND VEGETBLES OF THE CARIBBEAN REPTILES AND AMPHIPBIANS OF THE CARIBBEAN SEASHELLS OF THE CARIBBEAN MARINE LIFE IN THE CARIBBEAN

As I stated last year around this time, “2006 was a challenge” and I was looking forward to 2007 as I envisioned a better year. I’m glad to report that I was correct! We did accomplish some of the training that we planned. The archives are better represented and our curation skills have improved. Gail was able to do a comparative analysis of the three St. Kitts museums; however, we did not get for her to go to Antigua as planned.

EC$20.00/US$ 8.00 EC$30.00/US$11.25 EC$40.00/US$15.00 EC$50.00/US$19.00 EC$48.00/US$18.00 EC$55.00/US$21.00

Now in stock are a variety of local craft items plus, jams, jellies, green seasoning and hot sauce • CLEANSERS which include coconut oil, shark oil, noni juice

We were the recipients of two grants in 2007 – the Nevis Patrimony Grant (oral history). Secondly, the Alexander Hamilton exhibit – The Man Who Made Modern America. We applied for another grant to assist solid waste management in their efforts to enhance their ability to do a recycling program. We are still waiting for the results. As a unit, the secretariat made it our business to improve the memberships of the society. Along with Mrs. Miriam Knorr, we were able to increase our memberships by over 100 persons. It was truly a good feeling for this achievement. I would also like to thank all of you for renewing your memberships and assisting us in identifying other potential members.

Members, remember, you are entitled to 10% discount on purchases!!!!

Fundraising was fun last year, because the results were great! Our fashion show was one of the best ever – as a program and financially. Our thanks to Tessa Howell for her leadership role, and to all the volunteers, models, and the Mt. Nevis Hotel who helped to make this a success. Joan Robinson did an exceptional job with the 2007 House & Garden Tour – it was another great success as an event and financial gain. Carol Willauer brought her fundraising skills to us in support of our Silent Auction. Our thanks to those of you who supported the H&G and either donated or purchased at our Silent Auction. (continued on page 4 ) Page three

Page eighteen


The NHCS in 2008

(continued from page 3)

Financially we were able to contribute significantly to our Endowment Fund. The returns on our investments are beginning to show up significantly in our general account. Fortunately, we have started out 2008 with donations that will again enhance what we accomplished in 2007. The transformation of our museums is coming along very well. The Museum of Nevis History is now located at Bellevue. The museum in town is now called the Alexander Hamilton Museum. There will be much more work to be done as we continue with this transformation throughout 2008 and beyond. We supported three main cultural themes in 2007 – The Abolition of the Slave Trade; the St. Kitts-Nevis History & Heritage week, and the Gli Gli Carib Canoe Project. All of these were well attended events where people had an opportunity to learn more about their culture and know that history is so important to our personal development as people and as a community. As usual, the NHCS takes a strong leadership role when it comes to the environment. We conducted another successful Environment Day clean up of heavy objects, and we out did our previous efforts with our beach clean up in September. The latter event was saddened by the loss of Joan. We led several efforts to bring the issue of lethal yellow to the public’s eye, however, there is still more work to be done. So, look for more on this issue in 2008. Personally, I feel good about our accomplishments in 2007. And I look forward to the challenges of 2008. As always, I look forward to your support and comments.

Transforming The NHCS in 2008 and Beyond The Nevis Historical & Conservation Society is undertaking a major transformation. The income analysis that we have conducted on the two museums clearly indicate that we need an ‘in town’ presence if we are to have our museums profitable. To that end, we were very eager to accept a grant from the United States State Department via the U.S. Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, Mrs. Mary Ourisman of a copy of the exhibit Alexander Hamilton – The Man Who Made Modern America. This exhibit acts as a spring board to other changes we feel are essential to continuously improve our overall strategic plan. What we have accomplished so far is 1). The relocation of the Museum of Nevis History to Bellevue. 2). The installation of the Hamilton exhibit on Low Street.. 3). the renaming of both museums – The Alexander Hamilton Museum in town and the Museum of Nevis History at Bellevue. 4). Put a task force in place to determine how and where we could have another physical presence in Charlestown, thus moving the museum at Bellevue to town. (Continued on page 5) Page four

The NIA Alexander Hamilton Tea Party The Nevis Island Administration hosted the Annual Alexander Hamilton Tea Party in the courtyard on the birthday of the American patriot who was born on Nevis. The event is held annually to provide scholarships to deserving students who are entering high school. The NHCS contributed to the fund, with several of its members making considerable donations. The total donations were approximately USD$4,000.00. Plenty tea part snacks and refreshments were enjoyed by all. The first form students who will benefit from the scholarship fund are Iyana Dore, Keithroy Merchant, Orencia Parris and Shienlka Maynard.

Nevis History & Heritage This year’s event, which is supported in Nevis by the NHCS, began with a lecture for 5th and 6th form students at the Culture Centre. The theme for 2008 is History and our Religious Heritage. Professor Barry Chevannes is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. He has done extensive research and authored or co-authored books on Caribbean religion and culture and on male gender issues. He is also well known for his public service and is the founder of Fathers Incorporated and PartProfessor Barry Chevannes adners for Peace. Barry Chevannes is a very likeable person, attuned to dressed 5th & 6th Form students young people and has also contributed to Jamaican folk and religious at the evis Cultural Center musical heritage and composed and recorded his own songs. He spoke mainly about our identity as people of African descent and the African traditions that still influence our lives. Monday evening was the official launch of the History and Heritage Week. The launch was held at the Nite Moves Restaurant, cotton Ginnery Mall. Mr. Gregg Phillip was the featured speaker, who spoke to us about how religion played a role in the lives of enslaved Africans and how Christianity has dominated and become the religion of choice for most descendants of enslaved Africans. He emphasized the heritage sites of Nevis that should be held in high esteem such as the Threshold where our ancestors crossed after surveying the Middle Passage and setting foot on dry land from Africa to Nevis. This heritage site has recently been covered over by 10 feet of fill and can no longer be viewed. There will be radio interviews and television interviews throughout the week and closing ceremony will be a gospel concert, again at Nite Moves on Sunday the 24th. Throughout the week and beyond you can view artifacts from 100 years of service for the Wesleyan Holiness Church at the Museum of Nevis History, Bellevue. We thank our sponsor, The St. Kitts Nevis National Bank for making the events of this possible. Page seventeen


Geographical Information Systems (GIS) The NHCS is currently investigating the possibility of adding the ability to use and offer Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to our list of services. GIS is basically the next generation of GPS computer mapping and surveying technology. It allows you to create highly detailed maps of specific areas, and is a technology much in demand by both environmental and natural resource management organizations. For example, By comparing and overlaying new GIS maps with older maps, such as this 1946 aerial photo of Charlestown taken by the US Air Force, its possible to track beach erosion, re/de-forestation, changes in land use management, agriculture, urban planning, even changes in the health of coral reefs. GIS training for NHCS staff and select students has been tentatively arranged for early this summer pending approval of project funding. By Paul Diamond

Transforming The NHCS

(continued from page 4)

This would also create an opportunity for us to focus on a Nevis Heritage Centre in a downtown environment. The vacant building at Bell Vue would be the new home for the entire Secretariat, a research / laboratory center for students, visiting archaeologist and staff, as well as expanded archives. We believe that all of the above is achievable, and we believe that it would enhance and support a national trust if that was to take place. The physical work that we have already completed in preparation of the Hamilton exhibit is as follows: • Removed old exhibits; packed and moved them to Bellevue property. • Patched and painted the walls and floor of exhibit space. • Installed vanity, new plumbing fixtures and floor tiles in the rest room; painted same. • Relocated the shop (requiring two new bookcases and painting of the old desk and case). • Completed our own exhibit on Hamilton’s connection to Nevis; had wall exhibits printed and a case built to hold Hamilton and slavery exhibit. • Shipped, received and installed the traveling exhibit “Alexander Hamilton: the Man Who Made Modern America” • Briefed two ambassadors, the premier, and other speakers about the events; prepared remarks for the American ambassador; made arrangements for accommodations for speakers and their staff. • Arranged for the preview party, including tents, lights, public address system and music, as well as food and beverages. Designed, printed and mailed out invitations to members and dignitaries. • Arranged for two dinner parties to take place after the preview, aimed at perspective donors. Continued on page 10

The New Hamilton Exhibit By using old maps, aerial photos and newer satellite images it is possible to study changes in Nevis’s environment. Above is a 1946 aerial view of Nevis’s coast with a close-up of Charlestown. Notice how Pinney’s Beach extends all the way into town on both sides of the old town jetty?

US Students to study on Nevis this summer The Burnett Honors College (University of Central Florida) is pleased to announce the Summer ‘08 President’s Scholars Study Abroad Program will take place on St. Kitts & Nevis. Twelve honor students will take part in experiencing first hand issues of biodiversity and other ecological programs, as well as the history, politics, economics and culture of St. Kitts/Nevis. The students will be led by Dr. Martin Dupuis, Assistant Dean, The Burnett Honors College and Associate Professor, Dept of Political Science. The NHCS looks forward to working with Dr. Dupuis and his students, especially on our biodiversity and other related environmental projects.

(continued from front-page)

John Guilbert was the MC for the event and NHCS President, Marcia Myers gave an overview of the grant received from the United States State Department. A list of ‘thank yous’ are posted in this newsletter. This transformation of the Museum of Nevis History, at the Birthplace of Alexander Hamilton to the Alexander Hamilton Museum is just the beginning of several more changes that we have planned. The Museum of Nevis History is now located at Bellevue. Our strategic plan is to eventually have both museums in Charlestown along with a heritage center. The Bellevue location would be used as general offices, laboratory, research center and archives. We will keep you all informed as we move forward.

The new Alexander Hamilton Exhibit consists of eight large panels detailing the life of The Man Who Made America Page five

Page sixteen


Archival Action… By Gail Dore, Ag. Curator, collections & Museum

Preventative Conservation can be defined as measures taken to offset damages or to reduce the potential of damages. It focuses on the collection rather than individual objects or documents, and non-treatment rather than treatment. In practical it deals with the handling, storage and management of the collection and also includes emergency planning. It is the most efficient and effective form of conservation and not only does it applies to archives but also to museums and libraries. Preventative conservation reduces the need for the treatment of objects and documents. Thus it also reduces expenditure and personnel time.

Users for the Archives since our last Newsletter Names Anne Huggins Chevaugh Claxton Bona Soanes Kerry Hendrickson Anthony Thurston Alvin Richards Jacqueline Hendrickson Walter Morton Esther Brooks Dorson Ottley Walter Ripley Janelle Hobson Trevor Huggins Robin Lathan Daphne Hobson Fr Ernest Flemming Tashron Tyson

Address Materials used USA St. Paul’s Baptismal Record Nevis Golden Rock Plantation USA/Nevis St. Thomas Baptismal Records Nevis Bath Hotel USA St. Georges Baptismal Records St. Kitts Preserving Charlestown Heritage Nevis Beach Monitoring Reports Nevis The History of Cricket in Nevis Nevis Small Island Large Questions Nevis D.R. Wallwyn Plaza USA Clay Ghaut USA The Christena Disaster USA Huggins genealogy /A West India Fortune USA Jewish History Nevis Photo Archives Nevis St. Pauls Baptismal Records Nevis Beach Sand mining in Nevis

A look back in History In 1903- Nevisian migrated to Panama in search of work and joined the working class at the Panama Canal. So many persons migrated that the representative for Nevis took to the council in St. Kitts and tried to passed a law to prevent migration because it was creating a shortage in the labour force. However the government and the council said that the free movement of people could not be restricted.

Plants & Animals of Nevis in 1720

(continued from page 14)

Mountain Cabbage: “They are called Mountain Cabbages at Nevis, because they always are found pretty high in our Mountain there; and if any of them did formerly grow in out lower Grounds, they are now entirely destroyed. One singularity of this Tree is, that it is full as big when it first arises out of the Earth, as when it is thirty years old: I have seen them thicker than my Body, when they were but three feet high; and you will easily suppose, that the Boughs are then proportionally short, and of course must naturally lengthen, just as the Tree advances in age somewhat smaller in the middle; its colour is of a pale Brown, and the Bark smooth. The Boughs are of a most lively yellow strait, and tapering like an Angle Rod; having two rows of green leaves that are very narrow though a foot long apiece, (except for a little ways toward the smaller end) and close set together the whole length of the Boughs. The Nuts hang at the top of the Body in about a dozen in a Cluster, and may I believe weigh fifteen pounds, or better; The stringy substance which holds them being wondrous tough, and thicker than my middle Finger.” Seagrapes and Belle-Apples: “Sea-side grapes grow on large bunches near the Sea-shore, upon Trees about the size of English Appletrees; their Colour is red but their Taste is far too sweet. Bell-Apples are the size of a smallish Golden Pippen, of a deep yellow colour, and taste very like a Gooseberry, having small Seeds in; them just like English Gooseberry Seeds.” More to follow soon, as we have the Reverend’s writings transcribed and posted online at... www.bio-diversity-nevis.org/nevis_circa_1720.htm

A Call to all NHCS Members The Biodiversity and Conservation Committee is looking for volunteers to help us in our enormous task of recording the entire biodiversity of Nevis. Simply put, we want to document as much as possible of the flora and fauna of Nevis before it's gone. Our first focus is on wetlands as these vital ecosystems are disappearing fast. We are looking for volunteers of all kinds, are there any birdwatchers out there for example? Anyone with photos or willing to take photos of local plants and animals and put them on our website? Additionally, we are asking if anyone has any old photos of Nevis, as we would like to feature them on the website, "Nevis: Then & Now". Channel 8 (local info) is very interested in running this photo series on TV as well, and photo credits will be given.

Biodiversity Committee members and volunteers are organizing field trips to local wetlands to conduct surveys of plants/animals, take photos and even construct maps and test water quality

Page fifteen

Page six


Local Students Take Part in ‘Video Webcast’ Form 4 students Davica Brathwaite and Stefan Murrell of the Lyn Jeffers school, Nevis will be featured ‘foreign correspondents’ in a video webcast news show, to be broadcast on the internet at the end of this month. The webcast news is part of the Global Coalition Project, which is organized and produced by teacher Bill Reilly and his students at the Bethlehem Central Middle School in the town of Delmar, New York. Every month they put together a video news show using students all over the world who send in their own stories, videos and photographs; it’s a bit like CNN for kids. The submitted video clips and photos tell people about the projects and things that students are doing in their schools and countries. For example, The Lyn Jeffers students discuss the Lethal Yellow Disease that is killing all our coconut tress and the establishment of the Sea Bridge Car Lyn Jeffers Students Davica Ferry. You can see the video webcast at... Brathwaite and Stefan Murrell, evis http://bcsd.k12.ny.us/middle/Global/global.htm video news correspondents This is the March 2008 Broadcast - and in addition to this video they also have news and videos from students in Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, Mordovia, Russia, Belize, The Philippines, France and the U.S.A. Over 15,000 students in 40 countries regularly view this webcast, so we hope that Nevis studentswill become regular participants.

Plants & Animals of Nevis in 1720 (continued from page 13) Smith briefly describes it as: “The Indico Plants grow wild, that were about three feet high. Branching out from the main Stock divers ways; their roundish Leaves (as broad as a Six-pence) as well as the Stock and Boughs, were of a dull, but deep Green Colour, inclining to Brown; The Bush is cut up, then bruised, boiled, and put in a cistern of water, in order to extract from it the pure indico, which will settle at Bottom.” The fact that indigo was growing wild at the time would indicate that it was not being grown commercially since every piece of land was used for growing cane. Although most clothing at the time was imported from England here was undoubtedly much use for the local dye by the slaves who made most of their own clothing. Today synthetic dyes have made indigo almost obsolete and it has completely died out on Nevis. Other plants from Smith’s book that are not now found on Nevis are: Mulberry: “A parishioner of mine sent home for two Mulberry-trees; they grew indeed, but did not thrive; they bore but once, and then but one single Berry, which came to perfection, and had a good flavour.” The flora found on Nevis today that was in existence during 1720 was described in some detail by Smith. Just how many of these were brought to Nevis by the Europeans or were introduced earlier by the Amerindians is not known. However, we hope that someone may have the time to find the origins of each species of flora which should give us some idea of those that were indigenous and those brought in. (continued on next page) Page fourteen

NHCS Heritage Fashion Fushion 2008 This year’s fashion show fund raiser was truly magnificent! We did not know how we were going to top the past shows conducted by John Warden, but our chairperson, Ms. Tessa Howell, really came through for us. Tessa was able to include fashion with cultural entertainment to make this a very exciting event. She also was able to include some of John Warden’s fashions that were raffled off at give-away prices. There was local entertainment throughout the show, such as folk dancers from the Rhythms Dance Theater, Moko Jumbie Dancers, I-Afrikana Drummers, and” The Mighty Inspirer” . The accompanying music by Vaughn Anslyn helped to paint a picture of elegance. The designs included Caribbean, African and European clothes for both men and women by local designers, Her Best (Queen Zhinga – Esther Brooks) and Njanbi D-zines (Empress Yejide Parry) All in all, it was a great show. We would proudly like to recognize and thank the following donors and volunteers: Arnold Warden for John Warden outfits & buttons Models- Mika O’Brien, Skyla James, Dianne Hobson, Candi Freeman, Cyndee Anslyn, Many local designers and models and presented Caribbean, Kamara Lee, Shanecia Deming, Carlotta African and European clothes for both men and women Archer, Anastasha Elliot, Carlyn Lawrence, Edris fellows, Tasha Arthurton, Carol Curtis, Carol Phillips, Rhonda Maycock, Ervin Weekes, Paul Challenger, Carlyle James, Shonroy Ceasar, Vaughn Anslyn, Jan Grell-Hull, Suzanne Pollard, Israel Thompson, Maureen Lupinacci, Deborah LaLouch, Kamara Louisy. Dancers- Davica Braithwaite, Sabrina Brandy, Shacoya Flanders, Paula Pemberton, Malika Maloney, Phillicha Hobson, Leon Julius. Moko Jumbies- Clivey & Denhi I-Afrikana Drummers- Sooty Byron, Lester Liburd, Sharvane Sutton, Reece Liburd, Janno Gilfillan, Karim Herbert, Keoma George, Clinton Pringle Jr. Calypso King – The Mighty Inspirer – Husani Parris 1787 Restaurant, Golden Rock Hotel, Oualie Beach Hotel, Nevis Spring Water, Nevis Bakery, Hermitage Hotel, Mems Pizzeria, Mount Nevis Hotel, Benny Hodge/Carib Brewery, Pauline Njuri, Observer, Leeward Times, Rhythms Magazine, Choice FM, Winn FM, ZIZ Radio, Kittivisian Newspaper

Page seven


We appreciate our donors: We continue to acquire new books and documents for our Archives and Specialized Library Collection. We say a very special thank you to the following persons who continue to contribute to the growth and development of our collection. Stephen Sutton – A Bill (used for cutting sugar cane) Susan Gordon – Searching For Sugar Mills by Susan Gordon and Anne Hersh Carl & Eleanor Sachs – A peculiar Service- a Narrative of Espionage in and around New York during the American Revolution Knudsen Estate – Fire and Brimstone – The Story of the Brimstone Hill Fortress St. Kitts 1690-1853 by Victor Smith. A Plate – The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11June 2nd 1953. Model shovel inscriptions ‘Nevis Resort Estates.’ Caribbean Sea shells by Germaine L. Warmke. The Scotia Bank Story by Joseph Schull. Caribbean Styles by Suzanne Slesin. A post card of Brimstone Hill/1991. Admiral Horn blower in the West Indies by C.S. Forester. 1812 – The Captain From Connecticut by C. S. Forester. The Life of Nelson by Robert Southey. In Miserable Slavery by Douglas Hall. St. Christopher and Nevis Independent Magazine. Lydia Bailey by Kenneth Robert. Wealth From the Coconut by W. V. Pieris. And Society Grows- Poetry from the heart by Tafari Ayinde. Vince Hubbard- Hurricanes of the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, 1492-1800 by José Carlos Millás Mr. and Mrs. J. Slainbury - The Pursuit of Victory Joan Robinson – Photographs of 2006 Agriculture Food Fair and Meet the Authors (book signing event). A Guide to Gravestones and Graves Rubbing by G. Walker Jacobs. A straw basket. Pottery of St. George’s Church and two frogs. If the Irish ran the World, Montserrat 1630-1730 by Donald Harman Akenson Nevis Public Library – Rhythms of the Ghetto by Ken E. Ballantyne Nigel Sadler- Slave History ion the Turks and Caicos Island Lornette Hanley – Marketing the Mu8seums by Fiona McLean. The Educational Role of the Museum (second edition) edited by Eilean Hooper –Greenhill. On Collecting – An investigation into collecting the Traditional European by Susan M. Pearce. Interpreting Objects and Collections edited by Susan M. Pearce. Museum Management edited by Kevin Moore

Photographs of Nevis in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s have been donated to the Nevis Archives by former Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) Don Ferneyhough and his wife Maureen, to who met while working on Nevis. Wow! This is a photo of the southern end of Pinney Beach taken by Don Ferneyhough in 1968. Notice that the beach isn't eroded and all the coconut trees are healthy?

Page eight

The Plants & Animals of Nevis in 1720 A Survey of the Natural Resources of Nevis & Recommendations for Conservation Action. By David Robinson, Nevkit Foundation, Sept 1988, (as transcribed by Kathy Remmel, Jan 2008) The first listing of Natural Resources for the Island of Nevis took place in 1720 by a Reverend William Smith who at the time of writing was the Anglican priest for St. John's Parish. His book was entitled ‘The Natural History of Nevis’ and covered such topics as the flora, fauna, birds, sea life and geography along with many poetical and religious passages. His observations of Nevis make for fascinating and informative reading, especially his descriptions of the plants and animals he saw around the island. We have included selections of his observations on here with the intention of making his complete book available online. We also hope to compare them to current surveys of local flora and fauna. Who knows what we may discover...species that though common on Nevis in 1720 and now either extinct or endangered after all, a lot could of changed in 288 years! The writings of Reverend William Smith, The Natural History of Nevis, which was written about 1720 identifies most of the plants on Nevis at the time and revealed some interesting facts about their use. He also described various plants that are no longer seen on Nevis such as the Dogwood and Indigo, but can still be found in the Caribbean. Of all the plants Smith described, Dogwood, known also as the fish poison tree, was given a considerable amount of discussion. He said: “ Nevis produces a tree called Dog-Wood; and when seven or eight Gentlemen have an inclination to divert themselves with fishing (of more properly speaking with Fish-hunting,) they send each of them a Negro Slave to the Woods, in order to fetch some of the Bark which grows upon its Roots: this Bark is next morning pounded very small with Stones, put into old Sacks, carried into the rocky part of the Seas, steeped till thoroughly soaked with the Salt water, and then well squeezed by our Negroes to get out the Juice. The Juice immediately colours the Sea, and stains it with a reddish-hue; and being of a poisonous nature, will in an hour’s time ( that is to say about eleven a clock in the forenoon, ten being the usual time of beginning with this diversion) make the Fishes such as Groopers, Rock-fish, Old Wives, Welchmen &c. so drunk or intoxicated, as to swim on the Surface of the Water quite heedless of the danger; the Gentlemen then send in their Negroes who pursue ( both swimming and diving) the poor Fishes, till they catch them with their hands; they themselves standing by on high Rocks to see the Pastime. The poison kills millions of the small Fry; and indeed I can assign no reason why they should not likewise destroy the Shell-fishes who lie at the bottom and of course are less qualified to escape its effects by passing in the adjacent purer Water; besides, they must naturally die in considerable numbers every year; so that in short it is no wonder at all, if in our Hurricane Months, viz. July, August, and September.” Whatever happened to all of the Dogwood trees on Nevis? Another extinct plant on Nevis is Indigo a native African plant which was grown for its dye. Early in our history indigo was worth more than sugar cane. (continue on Page 14) Page thirteen


Visitor Volunteers at NHCS Mrs. Kathy Remmel from Maine, USA came to visit Nevis for a week specifically to work as a volunteer with the NHCS. She has spent her career as a scientists and teacher working in the fields of chemistry, marine biology, human genetics, bioethics, and earth sciences. This is what she worked on the week of January 21, 2008, as you can see we did keep her busy! I typed "A Survey of the Natural Resources of Nevis and Recommendations for Conservation Action" by David Robinson (1988) for the biodiversity website. The Flora section was completed and I then started typing the Fauna section. I wrote a draft of an updated description of the two museums for NHCS brochure and for a British filmmaker who was filming at the museum for a website on Nevis. I met with Diane Hallstrom and Andrea Kaye at the museum on January 22 to discuss refurbishing the Amerindian and Nelson exhibits and reducing the space for the Nelson exhibit. On Saturday, January 26, Diane, Andrea, and I worked at the museum implementing the plans we made which included unpacking Amerindian artifacts and adding them to the exhibits. Rearranging and reducing the size of the Nelson exhibit. Work still to be done include the following: moving the grandfather's clock to be next to the planter's chair after removing the small Plexiglas case; securing the Italian cart back to the wall; removing the large, now empty glass display case; removing empty Plexiglas cases from the walls; moving the small "Victory" cross section to the end of the showcase with the large "Victory" full size ship; refurbishing the pipe collection; further reducing the space for the Nelson exhibit; deciding which exhibits to add to the Nevis collection. I attended and took notes on Dr. David Smith's presentation to local contractors to local contractors on Wednesday, January 23 on a proposal for "Nevis Building Codes: Coastal and Marine Development". I attended Joan Robinson's memorial service on Thursday, January 24. I read the draft case statement for purchasing the new building and began inquiries on possible grant funding. I worked as a volunteer at the Heritage Fashion Fusion show on Sunday, January 27. I look forward to returning to Nevis and the NHCS. It is a wonderful organization. The mission is impressive and critical to Nevis and above all the people who work there are kind, dedicated, professional, and wonderful fun. Warm wishes, Kathy

Oral History & Patrimony The Nevis Historical & Conservation Society in association with the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO are pleased to announce the establishment of a new UNESCO funded project to collect, record and preserve materials related to Nevis’s “Oral History and Verbal Patrimony”. UNESCO has awarded Nevis and The NHCS the sum of $20,000 US for the purchasing of specialized audio/ video equipment and technical assistance in support of this project. The public launch of this project was Tuesday, December 11th at 10am, on the grounds of Hamilton House, Charlestown. Senior officials of UNESCO’s National Commission, The Nevis Island Administration, The Department of Education, The NHCS and members of the public were also present The project calls specifically for the audio and video recording of our senior citizens, so that the triumphs, the sacrifices and the general observations and life experiences of our older citizens will not be forgotten, but rather be preserved for posterity. The “Oral History Project” will be housed within its own dedicated area of the Nelson Museum and contain digital audio/video recording and editing equipment. In addition it will have the ability to produce its own short films and documentaries and create DVD’s, both for archival and commercial purposes. The project is being supervised by the NHCS’s Oral History Committee, consisting of John Guilbert, Halstead Byron, Almon Dasent, Gail Dore, Esther Brooks and Paul Diamond. For more information on this project, you can contact The NHCS at 469-5786 By Paul Diamond

Plans to Digitizing the NHCS Archives The NHCS is currently investigating the possibility of digitizing the Nevis Archives currently housed in the Nelson Museum. The National Archives of St. Lucia recently started to digitize their historical records with a grant from UNESCO that supplied both specialized equipment and training, and they have been extremely helpful with advising us on the processes involved. The Nevis archives are becoming increasing popular with both members of the community and with researchers of various kinds and for this reason we hope to transfer the original source materials into a digital format to minimize wear and tear on the collection. The evis Oral History & Verbal Patrimony project was officially launched Dec 11th, 2007 Page twelve

Page nine


A Special Thanks to the Following Volunteers and Donors Physical Improvements and the Exhibits John Guilbert, Dave Robinson, Hudson Hoen, Paul Diamond for dismantling & removal of old exhibits. Lloyd Hezekiah for doing the lion’s share of the painting, assisted at times by Suzanne Gordon, Marcia Myers, John Guilbert, Dave Robinson and Kathy Burzynski • Dave Robinson and Hudson Hoen for building bookshelves and upgrading the bathroom • Nevis Island Administration for a new door. • Lincoln Hoffman, for providing a truck and driver to move gear to Bellevue • Suzanne Gordon and Marcia Myers for preparing the exhibits pertaining to Hamilton in Nevis, and supplying the materials for the bathroom • Vishal Sukh for building the exhibit case and patching plaster • Carol Lynford for putting the finishing touches on the exhibit

• •

The Nevis Biodiversity Project Starting in October 2007, NHCS has established a dedicated online web presence to list the complete biodiversity resources extant on the island. When completed, it is hoped that the project will contain a complete catalogue (photographic and text) of all flora, fauna and marine organisms found in and around Nevis. In addition to the website (www.bio-diversitynevis.org), we also hope to establish a dedicated ‘Biodiversity Research Centre’. A walled off area of the Nelson Museum has already been established to house the proposed research centre, though there are already plans to expand and modernize this area as part of the NHCS’s ongoing expansion and moderniza- CSS 6th Form Students Downshea Powell, Roann Eution plans for the museum facility over the next sebe, Romel Gaskin and Krystan Springette are taking an year or so. active part in the Nevis Biodiversity Project

Preview Party

• • • •

Miriam Knorr and her committee for arranging for food and beverages Junior Parris of Caribbean Roots for providing steel pan music Angelica Elliot of the Premier’s Ministry for loaning of potted plants The Department of Agriculture for the use of the tents

Fundraising dinners The Hoffmans and Chris Thompson for co-hosting one of the dinner parties Helen and Brice Marden for hosting one of the dinner parties and for Pam Barry, for handling the arrangements for the party

• •

Miscellaneous

• • • •

Lincoln Hoffman for providing accommodations for Ambassador Ourisman’s two staff members Clara Walters for doing the invocation at the Preview Party Carol Lynford for chauffeuring on of the special guests Carol Willauer for updating “What We Do”

Page ten

Having already established the biodiversity website’s basic frame work and structure we have also started to involve local 6th form students in the both the establishment of the project as a whole and in the maintenance of the project’s website in particular. Currently, in our archives The NHCS has a wealth data from both previous and ongoing scientific studies, reports and surveys detailing many aspects of Nevis’s flora and fauna. It is our goal to make them all available on-line in an easily accessible format, particularly by involving students directly in key project support roles. It is also our intention that the students be actively involved in working with local and visiting biologists in conducting field collection trips and such to learn first hand, new scientific skills and expertise. In addition, students will be expected to take part in giving public demonstrations regarding their work on behalf of the project, both within the new Research Centre, at local schools and other community venues, and ultimately at off-island events, such as workshops and seminars. Participating students will also be offered both classroom and field training in Geographical Information System (GIS). This a new branch of mapping and survey technology that is much in demand within the region, especially within the fields of environmental science and resource management. We have recently conducted extensive on-line research on the biodiversity topic and have contacted numerous individuals and organizations within the Caribbean requesting their input and advice. We have discovered that our biodiversity website project is perhaps the very first of its kind within the region. Given the regional and indeed global increase in awareness and understanding of the importance of biodiversity and its links to monitoring climate change, we hope that the ‘Nevis Project Model’ if successful can be easily adapted for use on other small island states, both within and without the Caribbean.

Page eleven

NHCS Newsletter Feb '08  

The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society exists to promote effective management of the historical, cultural and natural resources of th...