Our stroll down Main Street continues; however, today we shall focus on the Rothschild Francis Square, our turn-around point.
Better known as Market Square, it has long been a center of activity on the island of St. Thomas. In fact, the remains of a significant pre-Columbian settlement were uncovered near there in 2014 when a Main Street construction project turned up 2,000-year-old pottery and many other artifacts.
The square has a dubious reputation as the site of many slave auctions in the 18th century and was later the site of much economic, social, and political interaction.
The cast iron bungalow, named after vendor Miss Sanderilla "Miss Sandy" Thomas in 1984, that dominates the square was constructed in about 1904 and was rebuilt after being badly damaged by a truck in 2003. The bungalow was populated by spirited local women in their bright and colorful headdresses and skirts while selling their fruits, homemade pastries, local drinks, and goods. It was rare that male vendors would sell under the bungalow. French farmers and fishermen selling functional straw crafts, fish, and produce were once commonplace at the Square; they sold their goods from the perimeter of the Bungalow.
Today the Square several farmers and fishermen still carry on the tradition by selling their wares there each weekend, with Friday and Saturday mornings being most busy.
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