Category Archives: Stories of St. Martin

Stories for Today

Lately, it feels like the world of storytelling has opened up. It is a moment we have waited on for far too long, and we still have a long way to go. But it seems to be happening. Could a black director get a huge budget to film an afrofuturist blockbuster? Yes, and Black Panther became an …

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Changing Stories

The fisherman with his catch. It is a classic photo, taken countless millions of times from the days of black and white film to the smartphone selfie era. We have scanned dozens of photos of fishers and fish on St. Martin from days gone by. Aside from the grain of the film and the faded …

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Changing Stories

The fisherman with his catch. It is a classic photo, taken countless millions of times from the days of black and white film to the smartphone selfie era. We have scanned dozens of photos of fishers and fish on St. Martin from days gone by. Aside from the grain of the film and the faded …

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Mystery Spring

The Old House in French Quarter was formerly known as the Spring Plantation. Perched on a dry hilltop it looks out to the Atlantic Ocean. One thing that is not there is a spring. The source of the name Spring is a bit of a mystery. Researching in the 1980s, Henri and Denise Parisis didn’t …

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A Salt Story

It is an incredible privilege to learn local history from someone who lived it. In a recent interview, Elise Hyman from French Quarter described the salt work done on Salines d’Orient in the middle of the 20th century, a time when the industry was coming to an end on St. Martin. She set the scene …

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Stories Come Together

If you pull on the thread of almost any story, it will lead you into the next. On St. Martin, this is especially true. People know each other—cousins, aunts, friends and classmates. A conversation about salt turns into one about bush medicine or walking across the island to go to school. A handful of old …

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Built Here

On St. Martin, Hurricane Irma tore off roofs and damaged many houses. But pretty soon, the air was filled with the sounds of hammers and saws as the rebuilding process began. Still, many homes remain damaged and open to the elements. Without repairs, the rain and tropical sun will bring them beyond the point of …

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Life at the End of an Era

Many of us grew up thinking of history as the story of ancient times. We learned about the ancient Egyptians and the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the American Civil War. They all seemed like very distant things, and they were. On St. Martin, we don’t have to look so far back in time to …

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Salt Worker Names

Below are names transcribed from a series of journals documenting salt production and trade in Orient Bay, St. Martin. Read about the journals here. It was challenging to transcribe many of the names due to the age of the documents and, at times, the handwriting. Please let us know if you know any of these …

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Pieces

At the former Old House museum and future site of Amuseum Naturalis, there is a collection of sugar cane processing equipment in the front yard. There are massive coppers for boiling down cane juice, and a number of enormous rollers for crushing cane. They are items of clear historic value, but I was unsure how …

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