April 3, 2016

2431-2435 UNITED KINGDOM (Turks and Caicos Islands) - The former life in Turks Islands

2431 Grand Turk - Barrelling salt for export

The Turks Islands were not fully colonised until 1681, when salt collectors from Bermuda built the first permanent settlement on Grand Turk Island. They were drawn by the shallow waters around the islands that made salt mining a much easier process than in Bermuda. Since then, the salt industry sustained the Turks and Caicos Islands until in the 1960s. During the 250 years, the infrastructure and methods were gradually improved.

2432 Turks Islands - Sponges and Crowl

At the height of production in the early 1900s, about 92 hectares of salina was being utilized on Grand Turk. The average annual export of salt during the period from 1888 to 1907 was 1,630,314 bushels, of which 77,6% went to the United States, and 16,1% to Canada. In 1916 the export of salt was valued at about 100,000 USD, forming nearly three quarters of the total exports. In those times were also exported, in much smaller quantities, sponges, that grew in the shallow waters

2433 Turks Islands - Cocoanuts and Guinea Corn

In the 18th century, huge numbers of trees were felled by the Bermudians to discourage rainfall that would adversely affect the salt mining operation. This deforestation has yet to be repaired. In essence, the modern landscape is the product of human activities going back thousands of years. Among the plants introduced on the islands is Guinea grass, introduced from Africa as cattle fodder. Anyway, on early20th century, Grand Turk was one of the bleakest and barrenest islands imaginable.

2434 Grand Turk - Front Street in Cockburn Town in 1900s

Before the WWI, TCI had 5,615 inhabitants. Almost 1,700 of them lived in Grand Turk, of whom not less than 1,400 were of African descendents. The only settlement on Grand Turk was Cockburn Town, situated on the western coast and containing practically the entire population. There was no harbor, and visiting vessels were obliged to anchor in an open roadstead. As any low-lying tropical coastal settlement, the Cockburn Town was often devastated by hurricanes.

2435 Grand Turk - Saint Thomas's Anglican Church

The majority of the population of the Turks and Caicos Islands were and are Christian of different confessions. The Grand Turk's oldest church is Saint Thomas's Anglican Church, located on the edge of Town Salina in Cockburn Town, and dedicated in 1823. Built by Bermudan settlers, it was considered too far to walk to the centre of the island and Saint Mary's Anglican Church was built in 1899 on Front Street, known also as Duke Street.

About the stamps
On the postcard 2431, 2432 and 2435
The first stamp is part of the series Shells and Marine Snails, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of a series of eight issued on 2012 to commemorate 100 years since the sinking of Titanic, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 2433 and 2434

The first stamp is part of the series Royal Baby - Prince George of Cambridge, issued on October 1, 2013:
• The White Rabbit - It's on the postcard 1586
• The Jack - It's on the postcard 2434
• Alice - It's on the postcard 2433

About the second stamp, dedicated to James Alexander George Smith McCartney, I wrote here. The last stamp is part of the series Shells and Marine Snails, about which I wrote here.

Turks and Caicos Islands - Wikipedia
Turks and Caicos Islands - Visit Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies, by Theodoor de Booy - Geographical Review, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jul., 1918)

Sender 2431-2435: Denise 
2431-2435: Sent from Providenciales (Providenciales / TCI), on 15.04.2015

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