National Geographic : 1941 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Barrels of Molasses Make Life Sweet in Barbados Without the sugar industry the people of the island would have little means of livelihood. Bridgetown laborers tightening hoops on the casks and wharf workers loading the shipments into lighters to be rowed out to cargo vessels resemble Mississippi River roustabouts in everything except their language. They speak with a pronounced English accent, some with a Cockney twang. "very agreeable, but by ill custom or wt .. . affect the Negro Style." Today a cream-colored brick house flaunts the sign "George Washington Guest House." It is here that George Washington is supposed to have lived. Compared with the modern homes, formal gardens, and sleek star boats of another of the island's coastal districts, the native life at Speightstown is an interesting contrast. At Farley Hill and Six Men's Crossroads, we watched the ground being plowed with yoked oxen. Here the clear, vivid green of sugar cane sweeps the countryside. Windmills punc tuate the sky with Old World charm. Until the institution of modern mills with their gigantic machinery, the milling of sugar was carried on by wind power. Even today Barbados probably boasts more windmills than any other country outside of the Netherlands. It also possesses many modern mills which have increased the average annual production to 90,000 long tons. The old mills are used now mainly for fancy molasses (page 36). One Sunday morning we attended services in the chapel at Codrington College. Twice destroyed by hurricane since its opening in 1745, this college shrine is a tribute to the institution which it serves. Massive mahog any sanctuary rails and gates are all that remain of the original altar. The present pedestals in beautifully grained native woods are the modern work of a local cabinetworker. Codrington College, affiliated with Durham University, is the only institution in the West Indies where an English university degree can be obtained. Numbered among its alumni are many of the bishops, chief justices, and planters of the colonies in the Caribbean. The old Mansion House in which the founder, Christopher Codrington, passed the last years of his life is now the principal's lodge.