Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: A look at Savan's economy from past to present
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00198
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Title: A look at Savan's economy from past to present
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: October 2, 1998
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00198
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
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asianC L.AI.t The Daily News. 10/02/98 p.24


A look at Savan's economy from past to present


This Second column will focus
on the economy of Savan as a
town. In the 1960s. Ruth M.
Mooleeaar was my peincipat and
teacher at Jane t Thit Elementay
School in Savan. She In now
hired. A few years back. Moole-
naat wrote a paper entitled
"Savannc." In one section of the
paper "Economy of Ibe Area,"
Molanar mentioned. the people
of Savanne were obligated t leave
their neighborhood to seek
employment* *
Many women from Savan made
their living by catyinyg baskets of
coal on their heads to ships at
Charlotte Amatli port. The coal
was used by the ships as fuel. Few


men also engaged in this coat
ocapatton. res were cut down
trem the forest especialty casha.

In those day. coal pit w
digga ot onf the pound bo ix
feet tMg. tra fete wide and Iwo or
three feet deep. The woods were
ked upon one another In the
e with dry gnum and din.
Then. the coal pit was lighted
The woods would bun for a few
days before the coal was harvested.
Believe me. this was hard work.
As a child. I helped my grandfa-
ther make crL Coal wu also used
by the Saan community and other
m aiden of the bland for cooking
food and washing clothes. Today. a


Our



hag of coal coms a loia. During the
development of Savan In the
O1700s. cal was only about 2 of 3
cnta per basket.
Tbe women of Savan also made
their living y washing uniforms
worn by gendanes. there was no
modern washing machine. They
scrubbed the clothes on their
hands. Prom there, they slapped
the clothes on rocks, boiled them
In big pans on the fire and
bleached them in the .un to dry.
Ironing the clothes with a charcoal
fired "goose" was also a tedious
job.
Other savanero women mind
their living by selling prttluo at
RothsKhild PFrncKi Market Squato.
Moolena. aiid it well thetI she
stated. "Some womnn caied a thy-
ing as undors in the Bungalow at
Market Square. now called the
Rothschild Francis Square, or ai
peddlers throughout the town. The
Bungalow vendors were a ditrete-
live group. Colorful in dicas and
epiriied in tempe.ament. they
add special flavor o the area.
l'ach woman had her nttltvdusl
spatl u itble, which 'he gctuded
jealously. At e group they regular.
ed prices and conformed i a unwil
lea norms an they bargamnd IhIIt
wa.ie of frcsh frusta. vegetlabmi.
herbs. spacee, fond and drnnk'
Savanero mWn made then h, Imp
as farmcre. fihcrmin, l.tetrie andt.
janitors. Some ment waci aloa
engage In ehte ihmnmg. ico.iklnp
drenmaking, cabinet neak ., Iur
niture repamm. laying hnlt -1t
stones. barbrmiag and nentll imiak
ng. Small et-ct war alIo rtpaul0a
among men in Savan Store lake
Maduro' Shop and ItM.etmme Slop
were same of the main stire piP
pie shopped in in the Savan u.cm
besides buying frcsh produce from
Market Silarc.
Savan was once a close knml
community. Many of the hoinee In
the area were built by ncolhbtlt-


helping neighbors. It was ilso tra-
ditionli for savncero women to
cook food while the men caused
cement for the foundation of
homes. There were no such thing
as contractors to build homes in
those days like today. Furthn
there wa no government hand outs
or health and human service pro-
gmat. OfrgniMzaiioa like the Unit-
d Brethren of the St. Joseph and
Beloved Sisters of Mary and
Joseph helped play a major role in
assisting people financially espe-
cially the needy.
Out of the Savan community.
many well known St. Thomians
comnributd o the island economy.
They were Allon Adams. Felis
Padill. Valdremar Hill. Rothschild
Francis. Herbert Brown Anmonio
larviM. Dr. Roy L Schneider. Dr.
Orville Kean. Eualie S. PeterSn.
Maduao. Schaltct.hfandl. tllley.
Milate W. Andule. and many ,th.

lEnlertainment also made up A
big part of sevancro culture
Savan wa known ft. a* hiM yaitI
vents where lhe iomnuiiani) amt.i'
together to have family cvnnt. slo-
rynelling, danced, reteed poems.
jokere, etc. The entcttainmnnt wan,
a form of tradilional educnaiun and
supporting the community noti


nominally. Politics also played a
major role in Savan communtt>
and thmw,hou the island. The Old
Ba Well in Svan. a landmark
now, was where many politicians
gave their fiery speeches.
Nevonhele. by the 19SO. the
close knit community in Savan
changed when many savaneroI
families bought homes in Tunu and
other parts of the island. However
many of them today still conosid,
themselves savancros. MoolenaAi
mentioned. "Today. people will
tools in Savanne can be counIme
among the society's legitlainue
doctors, lawyers, civic and rcl,
gious leaders and other pfrft. ...it
ala."
Today. Savan is home to oi-.,
eastirn Caribbecan island people
The once close knit sonmcly i1
Savan like in the day. of iter 171>
to 1960to h changed Tme evna
my in Savat where Iteopm ,
did toI them-elvae t nme hi,
mlrswg.
N e ellan e mcllllia llr l a]I i'.,
ta S1 ttl l t. i
and eeliy).
Thl net'fn atfl.s ;i1 .
0a1e- ais.uSI C.mT re h""e
arrivist and awitre whim ei, Wta i a
ter oftenI rrejr rx .ae t m.e.
agenremt and flre tf re'diic


Problem of the week for Oct. 2
The.e are many Probhma oC tihe Wee- Chtck every IE itim flo i n'.
problem and the solution 0 la l wk 't question
OUa With the Old. In With rThe Ne tM abr)l
At ihe edl of last trhoat. hath SSamny Sus.. and Mark MtG.wi, ti .i
hat f6 home runs durining the tilSt wumi Rm Alttogh 1otte it tn t0..
amc nurmnher, Mtcwimie egenrratly have gne .iLutie, -int l.-n -
In fact. One wehite at c I Fox Sp crtWs s cnt1in, mg Ih Il mttuiK* .1
lkc(fwaIre'e hwame run Ihlta >aai tndlr i hedl 1 Ml t a l.'l lt- 0 r, 1*-
IMaie tiurmI iaele s ema k mii)nllJ diltasi6e 1 *(l.6. trti
What was the aviatte dilutatc of a Mc .r;c hmt urn'u la M jau.,- .
Ithe !ami a tag. lhow manin y nm.re ime riun t-hll Mt' hit in 'reach the peak' o iveretf al 29.023 feet '
Answer to Sept. 18 question
Whatcha (;ol There?
In Iotal. the eport m. 25 + 230 140 = 445 paoe t I cngh Iti nI.,
rative epresnnts 280/445 63 penrcrm of the enimi report.




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