Dominica

Picard

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History

A former plantation that dominated Prince Rupert's Bay at Portsmouth and which is now subdivided into housing, port facilities, a medical school, hotels and small agricultural plots. It first appears on the maps of Dominica in 1765 as the name of the main river in the area, River Picard or River Picart. The earliest known owner of land there was a Frenchman, Jacques Blanchard in an area still called 'Blanca' today. It is believed that Blanchard, who came from the French region of Picardy, named the river after his home district. When the British took over Dominica in 1763, lots were sold to British owners such as, Porter, Baldwin and Neave. Fifty acres around the mouth of the river was reserved for the British Navy for watering its ships. Hot springs along the riverbank were also used by sailors for bathing after ocean voyages. In 1827 Picard Estate was worked by 75 slaves who produced 111,000 lbs of sugar, 1,000 gallons of rum and 3,900 gallons of molasses that year. During the 19th century, the estate was owned by the Glanville's (who gave their name to Glanvillia), then the Davies' and then the Potters before being sold to the firm of chocolate manufacturers Rowntree & Co., at which time it totalled 1,278 acres. The site of the private Rowntree jetties eventually became the main shipping port for the north. The last single owner of the estate was the banana company Geest Industries Ltd., which subdivided and sold out its land from 1978.



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Last modified: October 17, 2004 Created by Petr Hloušek
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