Tue | Jun 6, 2023

'There is no place like Locust Tree'

Published:Saturday | January 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM
The Baulk Wesleyan Holiness Church is one of nine places of worship that can be found in the communities that make up the district of Locust Tree in Westmoreland. - Photo by Mark Titus

WESTERN BUREAU:This serene community, according to the locals, was once a sugar estate owned by the Hopwoods before it was sold as housing lots. The community's name was derived from a locust tree that was located about 15 metres from the town square.

The next generation of youngsters in Locust Tree will not see the landmark, which gave the Westmoreland community its name after the tree died late last year.

"The tree, by itself, was like a part of us. All my life, the tree was there, but it died some weeks ago," Mavis Grant told Western Focus on Tuesday.

"The tree held an unheralded special place in everyone's heart, being around us for so long, and everyone who enquired about the reason behind the naming of the town, we would just point to the tree."

Added Grant: "Children normally go there and play, so it was of great significance to the area. Some call it 'John Crow tree' as well."

There are mixed views as to what constitutes the geographic area of Locust Tree as some residents say it is limited to the town square near the former landmark. Others are of the view that all the surrounding communities including Prospect, Fellowship, Red Hill, Barham, Burnt Savannah, Prospect, and Town Head, make up the village.

"Locust Tree was all about sugar in the old days, very peaceful no trouble, a lot of girls," recalled senior citizen Albert Craft.

"The younger ones don't understand, but Hopwood owned all the lands, but sold out the property as lots cheap, cheap. You could get land for 24 pounds per acre."

Checks at the Westmoreland Parish Library could not provide any further information on the community. But for those persons speaking on behalf of the more than 3,000 residents, landmark or not, there is no place like Locust Tree.