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Album of Old New Amsterdam

For those of you who might not know, this where I grew up in the 40s and 50s

Historic New Amsterdam

The town of New Amsterdam developed as a settlement beside Fort Nassau some 55 miles up the Berbice River. Around 1784, as a result of the fluctuating fortunes of Fort Nassau, the Dutch relocated the town to its present site at the confluence of the Berbice and Canje Rivers.


The name New Amsterdam was chosen because most of the colonists originated from the province of Amsterdam in Holland. Between 1785 - 1790, New Amsterdam was established as the seat of Government for Berbice. at that time the town was little more than a forest settlement, with a house there and a house there, no roads, no drains.


By the resolutions of an Ordinance dated 11 January 1791, plots of land were awarded to settlers along the river front. In 1776 George Pinkhard described the town as that of a wild country, only just opening into cultivation. It comprised an extent of wood and water, with small patches of land breaking into incipient tillage.


In May 1825 an Ordinance to establish a Board of Management for the town was passed. Subsequent ordinances in October 1825 and September 1838 resulted in the establishment of a Board of Policy; to be responsible for the affairs of the Town. In 1844 a Board of Superintendence was established for this purpose.


Under their guidance the town grew. The Board of Superintendence lasted until 1 September 1891, when legislation was enacted to incorporate the Town into a Municipality. The membership of this council consisted of members who had served on the Board of Superintendents and Mr. Neil Ross McKinnon, K.C. who was president of that Board, was appointed as the Towns first Mayor


The New Amsterdam Public Hospital: designed by Ceasar Castellani, a Maltese architect, employed by the Public Works Department of British Guiana during the 19th century, this edifice is one of the most beautiful structures in Guyana. Arranged like a Pavillion Hospital, with the wards placed end to end this edifice was constructed in 1878.


Mission Chapel Congregational Church: this edifice was constructed after the first Mission Chapel which was founded by Reverend John Wray was destroyed  by the order of the planters who blamed the missionaries for the 1823 slave insurrection. Under the ministry of Ebenezer Davies, the foundation stone of this structure was laid in 1841.


All Saints Scots Church was founded circa 1820 through the assistance of the Public Treasury. In 1838 the present structure was built when the Scots acquired a plot of  land to erect a church and later a school to cater for the population of New Amsterdam.


Ituni Temple: this elegant wooden building was constructed in the late 19th century. It is home to one of Guyana's oldest fraternity the Freemasons Lodge. Timber louvres and stained glass windows in the small tower with intricately designed fretwork are noteworthy features of this  edifice.


The New Amsterdam Town Hall: 

This imposing structure was erected in 1868 after the establishment of the Board of Superintendants in 1844. The tower encircled by a 'widow's walk is one of the main architectural features of this edifice.


Guyana's historic architecture reflects the country's British colonial past. Even current houses when made of wood still mimic aspects of the style. Many of the buildings in Georgetown and New Amsterdam were built entirely of local wood.

Stabroek Market is one of Guyana’s most prominent landmarks. A hive of activity, it is the central hub for taxis and minibuses, and for other means of transport of people and goods from towns and villages along and across the Demerara river.

Vendors go there to make a living selling a variety of items including clothes, jewellery, meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.


The market dates back to the late 1700s although the current structure was built in 1880. The building was designed by American engineer Nathaniel McKay and constructed by the Edgemoor Iron Company of Delaware, USA over the period 1880-1881. A cast-iron building with a corrugated-iron clock tower, was completed in 1881 and may be the oldest structure of this type still in use in the city.


St George’s Cathedral is described as the tallest wooden structure and largest in the world. 

The Cathedral was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield in the Gothic style and features typical elements of Gothic architecture. It is 43.59 metres high and was built mainly of greenheart. The foundation stone was laid on 21 November 1889 and the building was completed in 1899.


Parliament Building 

The building was designed by Joseph Hadfield and is located in Brickdam. It was completed on 21 February 1834. The Parliamentary Chamber contains a decorated ceiling designed by Cesar Castellani.


City Hall, Georgetown

is a nineteenth-century Gothic Revival building located on the corner of Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic in Georgetown, Guyana. The building was designed by architect Reverend Ignatius Scoles in 1887 and was completed in June 1889.


The High Court 

The Chief Justice of Guyana is the senior judge of the High Court of the Supreme Court of Guyana and is appointed by the President of Guyana. The High Court consists of the Chief Justice as President of the Court supported by several Puisne Judges.

There is a right of appeal from the Supreme Court to the Guyana Court of Appeal, which was established in 1966 and consists of the Chancellor as President of the Court assisted by the Chief Justice and several Justices of Appeal. Since 1966 the Chancellor has thus been the head of the Judiciary in Guyana.

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