Montserrat Sugar Mills

Montserrat Sugar Mills

I don’t know the total number of Montserrat sugar mills. I’ve read that there existed 78 of them as of 1730. Somehow, though, I imagine that there were many more; that perhaps there still are many more. When I visited Montserrat in the summer of 2019, though, I only saw a couple Montserrat sugar mills. At first, I thought that the Soufrière Hills Volcano was to blame. After all, its cataclysmic eruptions in the late-1990s decimated Montserrat’s capital city of Plymouth. The same eruptions and subsequent volcanic activity also rendered the southern two-thirds of the island off-limits. Known as the “Exclusion Zone,” this broad swath of MNI remains off-limits to this day. When viewed from the sea, though, Montserrat’s Exclusion Zone reveals a few surprises. Among them: Montserrat sugar mills like the one pictured here. They poke out from among the verdant uninhabited wilds, persisting much like Montserrat itself in spite of it all.

Will we ever get to see these mills up close again?

Time and the Soufrière Hills will tell…

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