September 30, 2011

An 1880s Description of Grand Turk Island

This one comes from The Mountain Signal (the precursor to the Mt. Vernon Signal) of Mount Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky on February 24, 1888.  In this issue, in the "Of General Interest" column, appears a brief description of Grand Turk Island in the late 19th century:

The Mountain Signal, Feb 24, 1888
Turk's Island, one of the West Indies, is only 7 miles long and 1 1/2 miles wide.  It contains 2,500 inhabitants, three-fourths negroes.  The only product and export of the little island is salt and sponges.  Of these it sends out annually 2,000,000 bushels and 2,600 bales of sponges.  Two-thirds of the salt goes to the United States and the rest to the Canadian provinces as fishery salt.  The best part of the salt is piled up outdoors in stacks of 15 to 20 feet high.  It is pure, dazzling white and trying to the eyes; in fact, so much so that those who work at the salt usually wear goggles.

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