Now 176 years old, Queenstown is quite possibly the largest and oldest community on the Essequibo Coast, and is home to many historic buildings which still mark the village today.
The beautiful, well-populated and family-oriented village of Queenstown can be found nestled between the villages of Little Alliance to the east and La Union to the south in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
Christened so on September 25, 1841 after Queen Victoria, Queenstown is also bordered to the west by the picturesque Lake Capoey and Garvey Bush.
What adds to the village’s popularity is the famous St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church which was constructed in 1849s, and which was originally a coffee logie before it became a place of worship. Located in the centre of the village, the historic building was said to have been constructed by the blessed hands of slaves. History shows that St Bartholomew’s was once a Primary School. Today, the church walls still stand firm, testimony to the lives which have been saved.
Apart from this famous landmark, there are other places of worship in Queenstown including Seventh Day Adventist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Brethren and Full Gospel churches. Although the village is densely populated by Afro-Guyanese, today’s residents reflect a diverse cultural mix. A Mosque and Mandir also call Queenstown home and here, residents engage in congregational worship on the weekends.
The village is currently divided into three sections, Mocha, West Field and Dageraad, where three individual estates or plantations existed. These were owned by Mr Carberry, the first individual slave owner to purchase a plantation in then British Guiana. At the end of the apprenticeship period, after 1838, salves pooled their resources and purchased lands in the three areas. In 1847 the Queenstown Village Council was formed and worked tediously to build a strong economic base through Agriculture.
In 1849, through the efforts of the Anglicans, children in the village began to receive formal education. By 1892 Queenstown boasted a fully elected Local Government with overseers and in 1961 the normal educational institute was established by Edwin Burnett.
Today, the community is fully equipped with a community centre, health centre, post office, village office, play field, both primary and nursery schools, the popular Oasis Hotel and lots of pubs.
Travelling from Supenaam one is sure to be amazed by the extent of development which has transformed Queenstown since the days of slavery. Today, residents are fortunate to have access to modern utilities such as potable water, electricity, phone services, and paved roads.
Many children from Queenstown attend leading secondary schools while many doctors, nurses, mechanics, businessmen, engineers, beauticians and religious leaders are products of that community.
The Queenstown Development Association was formed to coordinate the celebration of the community’s rich history; and residents usually gather on an annual basis to celebrate the successes of the village.
Reflecting the changes that have swept through the village over time, residents explained that in the early years, there was only mud dams and only ‘rich persons’ used gas lamps. Back then, Saturday nights were highly anticipated. It was a time when families came out in their numbers to shop, socialise and play a game of cards or dominoes. The weekends were said to be a “selling day” when persons would peddle the produce harvested from their kitchen gardens.
A few of the popular families residing in the areas are the Walcotts, Hubbards, McKenzies, Slowes, Daintys, Mentis’, Baboolalls, and the Alves’.
The oldest female in the village is Ursella Corbin, 95, while the oldest male is Keneth Walcott, 78.
The charming village of Queenstown is cloaked in simplicity, serenity and peace, and welcomes all with the cool breeze from the mighty Atlantic.