As Steve and I were driving around the island of Tobago I saw Nutmeg Grove on the map we were given. Of course, I was intrigued and wanted to see it. The problem is that the map was wrong, and it seemed like none of the locals had even heard of Nutmeg Grove, much less where it was. We even drove to the very end of this one road that it was supposed to be on and had to cross a wooden bridge that was very safe, but felt sketchy. On the other side was a really nice boutique resort. We got out and started walking around thinking we found the place, but then the owner, who was super nice, asked what we were doing. That is when we found out it was the wrong place.
We finally gave up and chalked it up to something on the map that was either gone or an advertisement. We moved on and started driving to Hillborough Dam, which I will talk about on Wednesday, and then guess what? We ran right into Nutmeg Grove!!!! Talk about stepping back and getting a new perspective. Turns out Nutmeg Grove is off Easterfield Rd, which you turn onto from Northside Rd in Mason Hall and it is within a mile.
Historically speaking, Nutmeg Grove was named for all the wild nutmeg trees in the area. The earliest record of the estate is when James and Thomas Lucas and John Evans bought 400 acre in March 19, 1767. There was an infestation of sugar ants between 1776-1780 that ended sugar production and Nutmeg Grove turned to cotton. If that was not enough, the plantation was reduced to ashes when the French invaded Tobago in May 1781. Then a hurricane damaged many of the houses and outbuildings, but not the sugar factory itself, on Oct 11, 1847. Apparently sugar production started back up, because the machinery has a nameplate showing it was manufactured in Dumfries by Stakeford Foundry and George Fletcher and Co in 1856.
Now a days Nutmeg Grove is sugar factory ruins with a very cool watermill remains (I used a photo of it yesterday as a photo of the day). Outside of the watermill there is not much left, but the watermill is so photogenic it makes Nutmeg Grove worth stopping at.