Salt has always been a precious natural resource for people. The Arawaks named the island “Soualugia”, meaning land of Salt. When the Dutch moored on St. Maarten (1624) to repair damage they had sustained during their voyage, they soon “discovered” The Great Salt Pond. This was a major find, because now they had access to a vast supply of valuable goods. The salt was sold to traders in the Caribbean and “New England” in the USA. St. Maarten had become very important to them. The salt was stored at three locations in Philipsburg without protection from the elements. If, for a prolonged period of time there was no rain, the salt yields were very substantial. The salt industry was a very hard life for all those involved in it. During harvest season (6 – 7 months of the year) at least 500 people, including children and senior citizens, slaves and free citizens from the Dutch and the French side of the island, would work in different groups with each person having a special task to fulfill. The Dutch side stopped production of salt in 1949, to be followed by the French side in 1967. After which the salt industry came to an end on the island.
Ms. Leonides "BAHBA" Richardson
She was a political activist, Opinion leader and a longtime fighter for the rights of St. Martiners. She believed in and worked openly and selflessly for democracy and accountable government. She was a mother of 10. Because of her activism, her children could not find work on the island, and therefore emigrated to the U.S.
Her legacy is an inspiration to her children, who later returned to St. Maarten. Some entered politics, while others became well known businessmen
1917 - 1988
Mr. Milton Peters
M. Peters left St.Maarten at a young age, to find work ad earn himself an education in Aruba. After his return in 1952, he entered politics at the age of 63! with 16 consecutive years in the executive council and island council, he became the oldest ever serving politician on the island he was known as "the father of education"
due to his efforts and support in the field of education. he encouraged children to succeed in their life, and talked with students and teachers during his weekly visits in the schools the island largest secondary school complex opened in 1976, was named after him the "MILTON PETERS COLLEGE"
1891 - 1985
Arsene Huburt Hodge
"Captain Hodge" As he was called, was one of St. Maarten's finest seamen ever. He used to run the ferry service for passengers and mail between the dutch windward islands and St.Kits for many years. He was captain of the "Trixie", The "Grace A Dieu" and The "Blue Peter". Captain Hodge was praised for his courage at sea, especially when the "Blue Peter" was caught in a hurricane in 1953 and he managed to save the ship.
Government honored Hodge in naming the small pier in Philipsburg after him.
1900 - 1994
Beryl V. Richardson
Beryl Richardson was the wife of brigadier Elias Richardson,
And the Grandmother of well known Maysie Richardson.
in 1955 she was the first women to get on a political party's list: She appeared as #8 on the list
of the Democratic Party. Beryl set the trend for women to participate in local politics;
since then many women have followed in her footsteps.
1902 - 1969
Lionel B. Scott
Lionel B. Scott was known as a contractor, businessman, social activist and politician. "Brother Bo" as he was called, left the island for the Dominican Republic, where he worked in construction. After his return to St. Maarten in 1929, he used his knowledge and experience to the benefit of the island. He built the Mt. William hill road, and coordinated the construction of the first air strip in Simpsonbay.
he was employed as foreman for the windward island public works department for 20 years. After his resignation, he started his own business as Esso gasoline dealer for the island. As of 1951 he was actively involved in politics as an island council member. The L. B. Scott road is named after him; in 1974 a stamp was issued bearing his image.
1897 - 1966
Monica Mercedes Apon- Watkins grew up in Philipsburg.
From a young age she was determined to become a
career woman and there for took all opportunities
to study abroad to upgrade her skills. With hard
work and support from her family, she became one of the first women on the island who had a managerial position in the hotel industry.
with her strong leadership skills, influence in the community and dedication towards human rights for all in the community, she became the soul of
the women movement in her position as president
of the Sint Maarten women steering committee,
fighting for women's rights here and abroad.
she was honored for all her community work with
the gold medal of the house of orange in 1992
1934 - 1997
Gaston Emile Scot
Gaston "Gassie" Emile Scot born in 1910 attended the little bay public schools and
the S. Joseph school. He became a carpenter, cultivator and livestock owner.
He also grew a large variation of food products, bred horses and cattle.
Some of his cows were shipped to curacao for the butcher stalls while others
were used for local milk consumption.
he became famous as a baker, learning from young to use a small outside oven.
after being a shop keeper in cul-de-sac and Philipsburg, he opened his "Scot's Tasty Bakery"
in back street, providing households, hotels and restaurants with all types of bread and pastries.
1910 - 2007
Ms. Browllia Florencia Maillard
Ms Browllia, Better known As "Teacher" was a kindergarden teacher for 26 years. In 1920 she opened her school
"Princess Beatrix Kleuter School".
In addition to her contributions in education, miss browllia played an important role in the methodist church as a sunday
school teacher, president of the women's league, a lay preacher and circuit steward.
Miss Browllia adopted two children and raised many more. her home functioned as a boarding school for children from neighboring
islands studying in Sint Maarten.
A Mac school campus is named after her.
1902 - 1995
Joseph H. Lake Sr.
Jose Lake was a journalist, Politician, Labor Organizer, And a gifted orator.
After his return to St. Maarten from Aruba in 1959, he founded the "Windward islands opinion"
weekly newspaper. The motto of the paper was love and labor conquers all things,
Expressing lake's personal ethics in life.
his writings exposed government's neglect and corruption: he was at times the only
vocal and visible opposition to the ruling Democratic Party of Claude Whathey.
1925 - 1976