Hogg Island windmill to become part of tourism product

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, February 27, 2017

The Ministry of Business which has responsibility for tourism, is assessing the Hogg Island windmill with the aim of making it a part of the tourism product that Guyana has to offer.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, on a recent  visit to the  Island in the  Essequibo River, Region Three revealed that it is the only known surviving brick windmill structure once used in sugar estates during the period of colonial rule.

The Hogg Island windmill

Minister Gaskin, describing the historic structure as “beautiful and one which would make a wonderful tourist attraction,” noted that a trip to Parika, Leguan and Hogg Island will make a wonderful tourism day tour package.

The Draft Tourism Policy makes provisions for the delineation and upgrading of heritage trials/districts in Georgetown, Essequibo and Berbice.

Minister Gaskin noted that within this framework, the Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Business intends to work closely with the National Trust of Guyana and other bodies to bring prominence to aspects of Guyana’s built heritage that have value as tourism attractions.

The Minister said that the tourism sector remains a priority, and government will look at all avenues to enhance it.

The National Trust of Guyana has conducted site visits, and field research to restore the structure as a historic heritage site. In 2010, the Trust restored the windmill; it also erected a fence and constructed a footpath at the site.

Windmills were important for sugar production and widely used in British Guiana and across the Caribbean region to crush cane to extract the juice. The cut cane was brought to the mill by slaves, donkey or cart. Inside, more slaves fed the cane through rollers to extract the juice.

While there is no record of the date when windmills were introduced into British Guiana, these structures were used in the Caribbean by the latter half of the 17th century.

When the Dutch settled on the island, they named it Varken Eiland, for the numerous wild hogs found there. Varken means hog or pig in Dutch, while eiland means “island”. After the colony came under British rule in 1803, the English translation to Hogg Island was adopted.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

The Hogg Island windmill

A view of Hogg Island from the top of the island’s windmill

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