For me the first visit to the plantation of Fontein, for most of the others a repeat visit. The group was rather small because of vacation of a number of other participants. Fred, Michèle, Eddy, Hetty and I were present as was a special guest, Jasmijn, Hetty's daugther who is currently on vacation in Curaçao.
After checking with the guard at the entrance of the newly built village on part of the former plantation Fontein we got permission to enter the plantation by car; we were allowed to drive into the uninhabited part of the area.
The fact that we could drive to our planned destination made it possible to search the area more thoroughly. First we drove to the location where a grave is marked on the topographical map of the beginning of the 20th century. Fred had been here before and had a waypoint of this grave in his GPS. That made it easy to find it, because, although it is close to the dirt road, it is absolutely invisible from the road. The size of the grave suggests that 2 people are buried here. But it is unclear who is/are buried here.
There is a symbolic fence around the grave to prevent accidental damage to the grave by a bulldozer when clearing the area. Apparently that has happened in the past.
From there we drove further till an area in which we expected to find remnants of a village, the former plantation house and the magazina (large storage building near the plantation house). On the topographical map the former village is clearly visible; there is no sign of the plantation house or magazina on the map except for a written text Ruin.
There is a path cleared by Uniek Curaçao in the past. Although It is partly overgrown it made it rather easy for us to find our way in this area. Soon we found a strange structure; strange in the sense that we have never seen such a structure before. There are walls that form a large rectangle. This area is divided in two by a low wall. One half is further divided in two and from that one half is once again divided in two. These three containers are all made watertight with a plaster made from roof tiles. Apparently these three containers were used to store some liquid. We know of structures with three watertight containers to process indigo but these have a different setup. The purpose of the setup that we found here is not known to us. The structure was so interesting that we cleared it from the vegetation to get a better look but we are still puzzled.
The puzzle became even greater when we moved on. We found another remains of a watertight structure. The part that was left from the original structure had a curved wall. Could be a well but we never saw a well with this kind of plaster on the inside.
We continued in the direction of the former village. As soon as we reached the location of the first house on the map we found a foundation and also some artifacts. But our main target was the magazina and the plantation house so we returned. First we found the ruin of the magazina. An impressive building. All four walls are still present. Only the roof is gone and there are no tiles on the floor so probably these are reused somewhere else. The walls are very thick at the bottom and smaller at the top. Strangely enough we found in the plaster of one of the walls several primitive drawings of sailboats. They look old to me.
Inside the magazina we took a rest and ate an apple. And when it started to rain we sheltered as good as possible close to the wall. Luckily there was no heavy rain because without a roof it was not so useful as a shelter.
There was also an extension to the main storage area which was accessible through a large portal.
Then we focussed on finding the remains of the plantation house. There was a large building visible on the topographical map so that is where we went looking. Close to its location we found several foundations with plaster and also a large area with parts of a thick floor. The area covered by the foundations and the floor is quite large so most probably this is where the plantation house was located. Apparently not as solidly built as the magazina because there were no upright walls left. We found several artifacts in the area and a large number of roof tiles. It would be worthwhile to clear this area and do a thorough archaeological survey here.
From there we came back at the strange structure with the watertight containers and then we went back to the cars.
A journey with a lot of interesting finds. If someone can shine a light on the purpose of the strange structure please contact me throught the contact page.
No rights can be derived from this report
- In blue the track the we walked; the map is from the beginning of the 20th century In blue the track the we walked; the map is from the beginning of the 20th century
- The (double) grave The (double) grave
- Hetty next to the grave Hetty next to the grave
- Next stop, the area near the plantation house and village Next stop, the area near the plantation house and village
- Several artifacts on our path Several artifacts on our path
- The first foundation; probably a house The first foundation; probably a house
- A part of a tile in the foreground A part of a tile in the foreground
- Two kind of snails on the bark of a Palu di Sia Two kind of snails on the bark of a Palu di Sia
- A thick wall of a strange structure with embedded IJssel bricks A thick wall of a strange structure with embedded IJssel bricks
- Part of the wall of the strange structure Part of the wall of the strange structure
- Outside of the wall of the watertight containers Outside of the wall of the watertight containers
- After clearing the area we have a good view on the part with the three watertight containers After clearing the area we have a good view on the part with the three watertight containers
- In the front the large 3x2 m area; in the back the area with the three containers In the front the large 3x2 m area; in the back the area with the three containers
- Fred and Hetty are measuring the structure; Eddy is taking notes Fred and Hetty are measuring the structure; Eddy is taking notes
- The second surprise; another structure with watertight plaster from IJssel bricks and tiles The second surprise; another structure with watertight plaster from IJssel bricks and tiles
- The outside wall of this second structure is curved The outside wall of this second structure is curved
- Blue colored porcelain Blue colored porcelain
- A gin bottle next to the remnants of the wall of a small house A gin bottle next to the remnants of the wall of a small house
- Jasmijn standing in the portal of the large magazina Jasmijn standing in the portal of the large magazina
- Michèle enters the magazina Michèle enters the magazina
- Look carefully and you will see several drawings of sail boats Look carefully and you will see several drawings of sail boats
- A corner of the magazina A corner of the magazina
- Inside the large magazina Inside the large magazina
- The large opening to the extension The large opening to the extension
- Very thick walls Very thick walls
- The extension of the magazina The extension of the magazina
- The destructive power of a tree growing on top of the wall The destructive power of a tree growing on top of the wall
- Outside of one of the sloping walls Outside of one of the sloping walls
- Only the plaster (top and bottom of the picture) is left from the original wall Only the plaster (top and bottom of the picture) is left from the original wall
- Apparantly there was a thick floor here Apparantly there was a thick floor here
- Lots of bricks and tiles on the floor Lots of bricks and tiles on the floor
- Another section of the floor Another section of the floor
- A large piece of the former floor A large piece of the former floor
- The side of a wall with plaster The side of a wall with plaster
- In this wall red bricks or tiles are used In this wall red bricks or tiles are used
- Yellow IJssel brick Yellow IJssel brick
- Old kitchenware Old kitchenware
- A corner in the floor A corner in the floor