Images from the Past and the Stories They Tell

I had a few photos that have not made it into a post for lack of a “theme;” some were pictures of things that were intriguing or from a day that didn’t really fit with anything else. Or I just never got around to it.  Today, after two months in Hope Town, we visited the Wyannie Malone Museum, and it occurred to me that I could gather a few things together for a single post, about things from the past. I do not want to make this a history lesson, but only want to share a few images that represent a time, a place, or people that are no longer here.

It begins with a little kayaking excursion we took earlier this week. We brought our kayaks with us and have finally had time to use them here. We have also shared them with other cruisers we have met – it is nice to see them be used and enjoyed. This time we left the harbor and headed south along the western shore of Elbow Cay.

The island is really a rock -- the current has eroded  it from underneath so that there is a distinct overhang along the edge.

The island is really a rock — the current has eroded it from underneath so that there is a distinct overhang along the edge.

Kayaking in the Sea of Abaco

Kayaking in the Sea of Abaco

We passed Frye’s Mangrove and came upon a place we had spied from our dinghy and from the big boat when passing on our way south. We had been told it was an abandoned resort. Seemed like a good place to stop for a little rest.

We beached our kayaks on this sandy spot.

We beached our kayaks on this sandy spot.

From what I can tell through a little googling, this opened as “New Hope” in 1954 as an alcoholic rehabilitation center, and later became  “Elbow Cay Club Resort”, operating as a typical out island inn in the 1970’s. It is now abandoned and has fallen into neglected state. We were curious and took a look around. It was a curious place to stumble upon – almost like a scene from the old tv series “Lost.”   Well, maybe not quite that. I have an overactive imagination.

These are the sights that greeted us, buildings in various states of disrepair.

These are the sights that greeted us, buildings in various states of disrepair.

Upper left - a pool bar with sunken tables and stools Lower left - a female sculpture in the ground Upper Right - the resort's name formed in shells and overgrown Lower Right - outdoor dining area

Upper left – a pool bar with sunken tables and stools
Lower left – a female sculpture in the ground
Upper Right – the resort’s name formed in shells and overgrown
Lower Right – outdoor dining area

elbow cay club old

This old photo (for sale on eBay!) seems to be the front of the resort where the name is now overgrown with vines. It doesn’t look like quite the same structure – perhaps there were modifications over the years?

Elbow Cay Club dates

Engraved in the concrete to the right of the words “Elbow Cay Club” was the date – we think it was October 20, 1978, followed by names.

Back in 2009, this property caused a stir and  a division among the population of Elbow Cay. A South Carolina development company put it under contract for development as a new resort and marina. “A groundswell of local opposition rose, creating much ill feeling in this small, close-knit community.” Hope Town Becomes a Battleground Over Out Island Development.  Most of the objection was to the scope and scale of the project –  homesites, townhouses, a hotel/conference centre, six staff apartments, and a large marina. Obviously, that never happened. We have heard that Haitian immigrants have moved into the buildings as squatters.

On our walks around Hope Town we have come across markers of the past, memorials and cemeteries. One of our favorite places to sit and look out over the ocean is the Memorial Garden (photos in The Rainbow Before the Rains post.)

The Memorial Monument atop the hill, across form Wine Down Sip Sip, overlooking the ocean.

This is the Monument that stands atop the hill across from Wine Down Sip Sip, overlooking the ocean.

In the 1850’s, the tiny community of Hope Town was exposed to the Cholera epidemic. This highly contagious and incurable disease spread rapidly through the community resulting in one hundred lives being lost.

Final resting place for the people who lost their lives in the cholera epidemic

Final resting place for the people who lost their lives in the cholera epidemic. Today the graveyard remains in existence at its original site, but with no gravestones marking the graves.

The Settlement Cemetery sits high above the ocean at the other end of  Hope Town, with incredible views of the sea. We stopped there one day and quietly pondered the names and lives of the people named; Malone, Lowe, Sweeting, Albury.

The Settlement Cemetery

The Settlement Cemetery

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Sand, wind and rains have taken a toll on these final resting places.

Hope Town Cemeteries Restoration Project

Hope Town Cemeteries Restoration Project – a community that cares about its people, past and present.

First Loyalists marker

On the little beach near a town dock, is this small plaque, marking the Loyalists arrival in 1785.

The Wyannie Malone Museum

The Wyannie Malone Museum

The Wyannie Malone Historical Museum was definitely worth the visit. For more detail than I will provide here, just use the link (blue highlight.)

The museum traces Hope Town’s history from the Lucayan Indians to the British Loyalists who settled here after the American Revolution. The building itself is a typical home form that time period.

The museum is staffed by volunteers who graciously greet you. Upon entering, you are also met by this timeline of Hope Town historical events and time periods.

Upon entering, a volunteer graciously greets you. You are also met by this timeline of Hope Town historical events and time periods.

First floor "birthing room". After giving birth, a mother and child would use this room until the baby is old enough to sleep alone and join everyone else upstairs.

First floor “birthing room”. After giving birth, a mother and child would use this room until the baby is old enough to sleep alone and join everyone else upstairs.

The second floor is mostly a large dormitory. I think our boat has more privacy.

The second floor is mostly a large dormitory. I think our boat has more privacy.

 

Dining room with displays of glassware, dishes and other artifacts discovered.

Dining room with displays of glassware, dishes and other artifacts that have been discovered or donated over the years. Like many homes from earlier times, the actual cooking was done in an outdoor area to prevent fires from burning down the house.

Display of antique nautical instruments.

Display of antique nautical instruments. We really appreciate our modern day electronics on the boat!

This is an early version of a look bucket - called a "water glass."

This is an early version of a look bucket – called a “water glass.”

A shelf of old bottles, a glass float and pieces of glass and old pottery

A shelf of old bottles, a glass float and pieces of glass and old pottery

This wall hanging is, well,  outdated; don't you think??

This wall hanging is, well, outdated; don’t you think?? Hmmmmmm. No more comment than that!

Let’s end this post with the wall art display created by visiting artist, Teleri Jones, as a gift to the museum, and made from shells donated by people from the community of Hope Town.

The stairway in the museum is decorated with this shell artwork.

The stairway in the museum is decorated with shell artwork. You know that we loved this!

 

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