Historic Sites in the Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos National Museum
History buffs will want to head over to Grand Turk to visit our Turks & Caicos National Museum where there are interactive displays and a collection of artifacts from all aspects of the history of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Some subjects include: the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest European ship found in the New World; Lucayan Indian culture; Local culture; Slavery; Message in a Bottle Project; Royal Events; Sisal Industry; Salt Industry; Shipwrecks; the Space Race; Coins; Stamps; Plants; and the search and discovery of the Trouvadore slave ship.
The museum is housed in an historic building, The Guinep House on Front Street, which also has a museum shop, research facilities, an archive and a library. You may become a Museum Member to be kept informed of their work, special events and activities. The Museum is open weekdays from 9am to 4pm and Saturdays until 1pm. www.tcmuseum.orgA – Z: Contact details for the Turks and Caicos National Museum
The wreck of the slaveship Trouvadore has been discovered off East Caicos. Photo by Donald Keith courtesy of the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
It is estimated that there are over 1,000 shipwrecks in the waters surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Endymion and Molasses Reef Shipwreck have been properly recorded with information at our Museum and on their web site. Also of interest with on-going research: The RMS Rhone; US Schooner Onkahye; US Brig Chippewa; and recently identified the Slave Ship Trouvadore - www.slaveshiptrouvadore.com & www.shipsofdiscovery.org
Turks and Caicos National Trust
The Turks & Caicos National Trust is working to help us “Preserve our National Heritage.”
Fort St. George Cay - A boat charter can get you to Fort St. George Cay to see cannons, now coral encrusted in shallow waters, which were once used to protect the Loyalist settlement. (No entry fee.)
Little Water Cay - Home to the rare and endangered rock iguanas. They are found nowhere else on the earth. To view the iguanas is a short boat trip across Leeward Going Through.
Middle Caicos - Conch Bar Caves are one of the largest cave systems in the Caribbean region. There are pools, ponds and stalactites and stalagmites and colonies of bats. Over 15 miles of above-sea-level caverns are an interesting “must-see” local tour. Artifacts prove the caves were once a Lucayan indian shelter. Make arrangements for a local guide to enter the cave system.
On Middle Caicos you can hike the Crossing Place Trail, a breathtaking path along the north shoreline used to walk to North Caicos on a low tide. (No fee.) Several Loyalist plantation ruins, a Lucayan ball court and 35 documented indian sites occupy the island waiting for excavation.
North Caicos - Wade’s Green Plantation originally called Bellefield by founder Wade Stubbs, was established in 1789, the Loyalist era, in North Caicos. The field-road takes you along the entrance road and around the main ruined buildings. Here visitors can view the great house, the kitchen building, the overseer’s house, slave houses and surrounding walls. One can still find artifacts among the ruins today. Guided tours can be pre-arranged. TCI Ferry Service can take you to North Caicos.
Cheshire Hall Loyalist Plantation ruins on Providenciales
Providenciales - Cheshire Hall is one of the key historic attractions on the island of Providenciales. These former cotton plantations had a high reputation because Caicos cotton was believed to be the best in the world. There are signs erected by The National Trust to explain about life here during the late 1700’s through the mid 1800’s. Guided tours are offered.
Sapodilla Hill - Be sure to visit Sapodilla Hill, where there are rock carvings that are said to be left by sailors on watch. The site overlooks South Dock Marina where all of the goods arriving on Providnciales are off-loaded. Copies of the carvings can be found in the airport departure area, but kids love discovering the real things so much more! (No entry fee.)
Call The National Trust for guided tours. A nominal $10 entry fee to some of the sites helps to “Preserve our National Heritage”.A – Z: Contact details for the Turks and Caicos National Trust
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