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Diary of a St. Martin Salt Checker : Written by Will Johnson, Based on the…

by Will Johnson

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As Bernadette moved some boxes piled in a corner of the basement of "The Vineyard,"- the old L.A. van Romondt mansion inherited from her aunts 'Miss Coxie (Coralie) and Miss Babe'-, out came an old journal with old yellowed paper and written in pencil by her grandfather Albert Buncamper, dated 1927. As she carefully browsed through its fragile pages, it became evident that she had an important piece of Sint. Maarten history in her hands. She knew that only her great friend of many years, - well known historian and political figure Will Johnson-, would be the most appropriate person to make sense of all the facts diligently recorded by her ancestor. Will, having written a book entitled "For the Love of St. Maarten", and in doing research for that book he had come across many interesting people who were more than willing to correspond with him. Also, he was raised in his early years on St. Martin and living at Capt. Hodge's Guesthouse on Frontstreet, where many of the elite families of the Dutch and French side gathered for social events, he was able to garner much history from the old timers that were his friends. Having worked in the Post office at a time when people had a difficulty with writing, the author use the skills to unveil the secrets of the journal and transcribed the diary over by hand. With his experience and knowledge he began to develop around the original journal, a historic perspective of what life was, the all importance of the salt industry at the time, as well as the transportation available to the people then to not only export salt but also to travel between the islands. Now we can enjoy a fresh perspective of the old St. Martin and the footprints of the salt industry.
  soualibra | Jan 13, 2020 |
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