Our next talk: Thursday, 2nd December
“Excavations at the Farquarson Plantation, San Salvador”
by Dr Jane Baxter.
Please note the later time.
Jane Eva Baxter is Associate Professor and Chair
of Anthropology at DePaul University. She completed her doctorate
degree in 2000 from the University of Michigan where she wrote her
dissertation on the archaeology of childhood, a topic on which she
continues to publish. Dr. Baxter began working on the island of
San Salvador in 2004 with her project co-director John Burton where
they have excavated at Polly Hill Plantation, Kerr Mount Plantation,
and most recently at Prospect Hill (Farquharson's) Plantation. She
also has an ongoing project on historical and industrial archaeology
of the Pullman Community in Chicago. Her most recent book is Archaeological
Field Schools: A Guide for Teaching in the Field (Left Coast Press
2009) and she is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Bahamas
Between 6pm and 7pm we will have a Bahamas Book
Christmas Sale ....we can save you a few dollars. We will serve
refreshments from 6pm and fellowship again after the talk with eats
The 2010 Journal of the Bahamas Historical Society
was mailed this morning to all paid up members. Thanks to the assistance
of Postmaster General Leslie Cartwright and to Mr Greg Carroll of Nassau
Paper for their generous donations to the Society.
Thanks also are due to Christopher Eve and wife Frances for their kind
donation of an artist’s impression of the Cotton Gin designed by
his great great grandfather, Loyalist, Joseph Eve. Pictured below are
the Eves presenting the artwork to President Jim Lawlor, flanked by Craig
Mortimer and Janet Johnson of Ministry of Tourism. (Thanks to Andrea Major
Here are the youtube links to the presentation by Christopher
Eve and his wife last week Thursday. (Thanks again to Robert Dorsett our
faithful camera man)
One of my previous newsletter credited Joseph Eve with
building St. Matthew's Church. Paul Aranha writes: “While this might
be a basic truth, the church that one sees today looks very different
from the structure that Eve erected. Eve's church had no steeple and,
as reported in 1886, the present appearance of St. Matthew's is thanks,
not to Eve, but to my great grandfather: - F. J. Aranha was awarded the
contract to build a new chancel for St. Matthew's Anglican Church, extending
the original building to the east, the north and the south. The laying
of corner stone was reported in the May 8, 1886 edition of The Nassau
Guardian & Bahama Islands Advocate & Intelligencer."
After the choir had sung "The Church's one foundation ... the trowel
was handed to the Bishop by Mr. F. J. Aranha, the Contractor ..."
These fresh young smiling faces are the students of DePaul University,
Chicago, who visited The Bahamas Historical Society Museum on 1st
Dr Jane Baxter (green shirt) and Dr John Burton (red shirt) were
the hard task masters, who created a museum quiz to ensure the students
learned their lessons.
The students buckled down to the work!
And actually enjoyed themselves doing it.
Other students, who have enjoyed a visit to our museum this
27th October – St Andrew’s Grade 3 – 60 students
27th October – St Andrew’s Grade 6 – 63 students
25th November – Kingsway Academy – 61 students.
Hopefully these visits will foster a new awareness of our rich history
in young people.
We had a wonderful evening last Thursday Evening 2nd December. A good
crowd came out to celebrate our Christmas Fare and Book Sale (which we
have held open for another week).
Pictured below with President Jim Lawlor are Dr John Burton and Dr Jane
Baxter, who described their archaeology research on San Salvador in general
and on the Farquarson Plantations.
We had an appreciative audience. (Thanks to Andrea Major for the photos)
And we really enjoyed the food and drinks aferwards thanks to the Management
Committee led by Beryl Strachan.
And thanks also to June Maura, Sarah Oenbring and Cora Carey
for their hard work on the book sale.
And another expression of gratitude to the volunteers who keep the museum
during the year
Here are the links to Jane Baxter's and John Burton's presentation last
It might be of interest to know that the Dictionary of Bahamian English
by John Holm and Allison Schilling is now on line.
Hobby Horse Hall
The museum of the Bahamas Historical Society is a magic mirror to the
past. The outer reflections on the walls are the bones of history but
in the inside the draws and cupboards we glimpse the folk and the world
they lived in.
I recently unearthed these images that not only show our historical past
but evoke strong emotions from the memory of an entertainment facility
that gave employment to many people.
Jockeys weighing in at Hobby Horse Hall
(Photos Freddie Maura c1945 and the pictures were donated to the Bahamas
Historical Society by Mr Soldwedel)
At about this same time last year Harold Munnings wrote
a group letter that brought response from some individuals:
In 1937, my grandparents' horse, Morning Star, won the
Duke of Kent Cup at Hobby Horse Hall. On Sunday I went rambling about
the old race track and took these pics. I've been wanting to do this for
His pictures reflected his thoughts
Approach to the grand stand. I'm somewhere near the spot
where the prize was presented to my grandmom I think
Standing under the balcony
Overgrown stairway entrance
It was deathly quiet but there was lots of evidence of
crack addicts using the place
View down the main straightaway. Decaying steel girders
overhead and in the deathly quiet I kept listening for sounds of collapse.
A rusted and broken spiral metal staircase led to an observation deck
above the roof. Even I was not crazy enough to try get up there.
View from the stands
And I am sure one year later Harold’s greeting
is still valid - Best wishes to all the Christmas and in the coming year.
The good old days are good and gone.
Cheers, a toast to the good times past. Robin Roberts
I have been looking at these ruins for years and always
wished to explore them as my father, the late Basil North and my cousin
Angela Archer Scott rode in the gentlemen's and ladies' races at some
point and I think that my mother , the late Audrey Isaacs North used to
work there part time as many Bahamians did in those days. The next time
you go exploring there let me know.
All the best for the New Year.
My maternal grandfather, Johnny Saunders,was a horse
owner and avid patron of Hobby Horse Hall.His horse was named Anne , after
one of my cousins (his granddaughter) and his jockey's colours were red
and white in recognition of St. George's Sporting Club which represented
"Out East PEOPLE".
Further, one of the first jobs my wife, Sandy, got was at the race track
where her bosses were the late Reg Labosky and Garth Kemp.
Hobby Horse Hall holds a lot of memories for many Bahamians as it opened
employment opportunities for many Bahamians as horse owners, horse trainers,
jockeys, veterinarians,HANDICAPPERS,ticket sellers and a range of activities.
In essence it created a sustainable industry and acted as well as a social
outlet for thousands.Hobby Horse Hall represented an era-an epoch ,which
,in many ways, came to an abrupt end.How sad?
Maybe there should be a "movement" to revive the Aura of a new
Hobby Horse Hall.
AND there were a more longer letters from Jackson Burnside
and Larry Smith
Here is a good one for Hobby Horse Hall Memorabilia...
From Chrisopher Goodfellow
My mother, Ann Treglown Goodfellow on left, Errol Flynn (Orginal "Robin
Hood") and my Aunt Betty Treglown Goodfellow on right.
I believe the date was 1952 or1954 but cannot be certain.
I have another photo of Alexis Nihon, my grandfather, WIlliam Treglown
and my mother as well somewhere and I will try and dig it up.
My family's association with Hobby Horse Hall goes back a long way. My
father, John Tiliacos, owned stables of race horses, many of them cup
winners - among them Venus and Mr. John. I still have the first cup my
father's horse, Venus, won, as well as a photo of him with the horse and
trophy during the presentation. My sister, Irene, also has a trophy from
I spent many a long afternoon down at the stables with my father and the
trainers and jockeys. In the 60's and 70's my father, along with the late
Si Amoury and George Ageeb owned ATAC racing stables. They built new stables
for their horses down at Hobby Horse Hall. I can remember going to the
races with my father and sitting in his box in the stands. It brings back
such happy memories.
My father really had a passion for horses and horse racing. I can even
remember the first Hobby Horse Hall, before it burned down. I believe
it was rebuilt late 50's early 60's.
Ann Marie Tiliacos Hanson
Jim, I worked at HHH in the early 1950s . I will find
the time to write about some of the experiences. My dad also worked there.
J. Barrie Farrington, CBE Sr. Vice President – Administration Kerzner
International Bahamas Ltd.
From Juliana (Esfakis) Horne
Hobby Horse Hall was where The Bahamas Pony Club was formed in 1961. One
of the original members was Linda Hensler, now deceased, myself and others.
Our first meetings were held there and we rode horses that that track
no longer considered racing prospects. Lady Greta Oaks gave the club use
of a piece of land behind the Hobby Horse Hall by the swamp - there we
kept horses for the club and club members.
Diane Plummer (Taylor) was the District Commissioner of the Club. She
lived in the Westward Village neighbourhood, and often in heavy rains
had to move the horses to her back yard.
The club remained here until 1964 when Huntington Hartford offered us
space in the barn at Paradise Island. Several of the grooms from Hobby
Horse Hall also came to Paradise Island to care for the horses and watch
over the club members, Otis Gray and Cubby, are two I remember. A few
years later when the club moved its quarters to the old pig sties at Orange
Hill, where Fawlty Towers now is located, Otis Gray came too. The club
folded in 1967 after many of the original group had gone away to college/university.
I have some old photos of the club members and sure there are some in
my father's photo and film collection.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!