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The Old Fig Tree
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Page 1 of 1Total of 5 messages
Posted by:Jan 30th 2012, 01:30:17 pm
ColinGreat story and how fabulous that the old fig tree -- center of so many celebrations -- was itself born of one!

Posted by:Jan 9th 2012, 04:55:01 am
KifFound this on the Marie J Thompson:
The roughly 160-foot ship was the largest ship ever built in the Bahamas and was constructed at the request of Norberg Thompson, a Key West tycoon who ran sponging, fishing, shrimping and ice making businesses and a cigar box factory. He sold gourmet turtle soup, shipped pineapple and guava, and ran barge and truck lines.

The vessel was named after Thompson's daughter, who later married Key West real estate mogul Ed Knight. Marie Thompson, who went by the name Joan, died in 2000.

Very little else is known about the Marie J. Thompson. The only public reminder that the ship was here is an old photograph at the Monroe County Public Library's Key West branch and a painting of it by David Harrison Wright that now hangs at the Key West Yacht Club.

Malcom has combed through what few newspaper clippings and old letters there are on the ship. Norberg Thompson wrote in a letter in April 1919 that the schooner he was building was "160 feet on the keel and will have four masts." Malcom and Kincaid had been told the ship was either damaged or not built correctly and had numerous structural problems over the course of its life. The ship eventually may have been taken near Calda Channel, stripped and burned, Kincaid and Malcom said.

The ship did make some transatlantic crossings, carrying fruit between Key West and England. It primarily carried wood for Thompson's cigar box factory, Malcom said. The ship was made from the wreckage of other ships.
Posted by:Jan 9th 2012, 04:49:01 am
KifThank you.
Posted by:Jan 8th 2012, 06:34:38 am
Fig Tree News TeamWe have heard through the grapevine that the original tree was planted on central Bay Street in 1922 to celebrate the launch of the Marie J. Thompson, The four-masted, wooden schooner was the largest sailing vessel ever constructed in the Bahamas.

By the 1800s, Dunmore Town had become an active ship building center. From the 18th century until World War II, ships built on Harbour Island plied the seas of the world, and Brilanders built everything from dinghies to three-masted schooners.

Also in the 1800s, Dunmore Town become a noted sugar refinement center, which gave Brilanders an important second industry. When alcohol was outlawed in the United States, Dunmore Town went into full production, refining sugar and producing rum.

By the 19th century, Dunmore Town was the Bahamasí second city, exceeded only by Nassau in population and wealth. Today, Harbour Island is a sleepy community of 2,000 people.
Posted by:Jan 5th 2012, 08:39:10 pm
KifDoes anyone know how the old fig tree came to be? Was it planted there? If so, by whom?

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