Christianburg: Touted as being Linden’s first community

first_imgThe ancient community of Christianburg is prided as being the first settlement in Linden, situated in the captivating Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) area, with a rich history dating back to the early 1800s.Even before Linden, which now incorporates Wismar and Mackenzie got its name, there was Christianburg, and earlier settlers were said to be Dutch who initially settled down the Demerara River in a little community which they referred to as Arague.A view of the Katapulli creekThe churchThe old courthouse that was destroyed by fireThe waterwheelThe area now known as Christianburg was also said to be a vast sugar plantation nestled on the left bank of the Demerara River, now also referred to as the West Side. The picturesque area of Christianburg is officially known as the community’s first village, which was established during the Dutch inhabitancy.But the area was first referred to as Stabroek, until then Governor Christian Finnette settled there along with his wife, Burg. The area was actually renamed ‘Christianburg’ by Finnette who coined his first name along with that of his wife’s.There is much history and earlier beginnings in Christianburg, known by many today as the home of the famous waterwheel. In fact, Scottish Engineer John Dagleish Patterson, who had been invited to Guyana to establish and develop living quarters by the English, also settled at Christianburg back in 1803.Tasked with providing lumber for the construction of the huts and buildings, Patterson is said to have acquired the services of the earlier Dutch settlers, Amerindians and even slaves to work alongside his logging establishment.The difficulty of transporting logs in those days eventually led to Patterson’s establishment of the first sawmill at Christianburg, with the powerhouse being the waterwheel which generated hydro power from the nearby Katapulli Creek.These new developments had followed in the year 1855. In addition to generating power for the sawmill, the waterwheel was also a useful means of generating much needed electricity to the nearby huts and buildings under Patterson’s close-knit establishment.Patterson’s large house had also been constructed in proximity to the Demerara River, on that section of the river bank which would later be called Wismar. Years later the house which had become a popular landmark had also served as the Christianburg Magistrate,s Court, which was destroyed only a few years ago by fire.Being the first community to develop in the area, Christianburg was later referred to as a Seat of Government, containing a Police Headquarters, district emissary and dispensary. The Wismar area was later developed alongside Christianburg, followed by Mackenzie on the opposite shore.Christianburg todayThe Christianburg community today is very much alive with its rich history and remains a close-knit family-oriented area.A visit to the area would reveal that names of earlier settlers such as DeClou, Allicock and D’Anjou are still in existence. It is reportedly home to numerous centenarians, one such being Agatha Campbell, also known as “Mother Gathie” who lives at Stewart Path, Christianburg. Today, Mother Gathie stands strong at 104 years.Also to date, the famous waterwheel, although no longer in operation, remains one of the earliest landmarks in the Linden community. The Katapulli Creek is also one of the most pristine sites in the Christianburg community. As a matter of fact, as any Lindener would know, it is hard to talk about Christianburg without mentioning or sparing a thought of the Katapulli Creek.D’Anjou Alley, an area named after one of the earlier settlers, also to date remains. The quiet community now sports a recreational ground, health centre, cemetery, nursery and primary schools, with a few scattered family-oriented businesses. It also has an active Community Development Council (CDC). Gully like alleys are also a prominent feature of the community.On a sunny day, Christianburg with a majestic view of the Demerara River is the perfect spot for bird watching or quiet relaxation.As other communities later came on stream, including Mackenzie on the eastern shore of the Demerara River, Christianburg is known as the one which initially set the pace for numerous others to follow.last_img

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