Cotton Ginnery Restoration
Established in 1901, Spooner’s Cotton Ginnery was the first ginnery on St. Kitts and the only remaining ginnery on the island today. Since it closed in 1970, the ginnery has laid abandoned – until now. Thanks to a project of The St. Christopher National Trust and the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation, the ginnery is being restored and the site transformed into a new cultural attraction for visitors and residents alike. Help us bring this historic site to life and tell the story of our island’s agro-industrial past by making a donation today!
Tucked away across St. Kitts’ lush green landscape are physical reminders of the island’s agricultural past. Brick chimneys and remnants of aged buildings can be seen peeking out from amongst overgrown vegetation. While most of these architectural ruins bear homage to St. Kitts’ once-booming sugar industry, Spooner’s Estate serves as a reminder of one of the other crops produced during St. Kitts agricultural past: cotton.
Located along the island’s northeastern shore near the town of Cayon, Spooner’s Estate was originally a sugar cane plantation that later converted to growing cotton. Established in 1901, Spooner’s Cotton Ginnery was the first ginnery on St. Kitts. It is also the only remaining ginnery on the island today.
For decades, the ginnery buzzed with activity, as workers harvested the fluffy plant and the factory churned out soap, cooking oil, animal feed, and of course – cotton. The ginnery operated until 1970, when it closed its doors. Since then, the factory and plantation laid abandoned and forgotten – until now.
Bringing St. Kitts Agro-Industrial Past To Life
With St. Kitts’ economy now dominated by tourism, Spooner’s Cotton Ginnery is a relic of a time long past. However, thanks to a multi-phase project of The St. Christopher National Trust, the rich history of this site will not be lost. The project aims to restore the estate, including the great house, the cotton ginnery factory, and its original equipment and machinery. The ginnery will be refurbished into a working museum with an interpretation center and gift shop, along with a botanical garden, artisan shops, and a cafeteria.
Funding raised for this project by the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation will support the development of the museum and gift shop to provide visitors with a culturally-immersive experience. The museum will tell the story of this historic site, so that visitors can learn how cotton was processed and discover the significance of the places they are standing. After touring the museum, visitors will be able to purchase locally-made Kittitian crafts and products in the gift shop.
The restored ginnery will be a new cultural attraction that offers tourists and residents a glimpse into St. Kitts’ past and brings our island’s rich agro-industrial heritage to life. The revitalized site will provide new employment opportunities for local communities, while fostering an increased sense of cultural pride. Residents who spent their younger days working in the ginnery will be able to show their families this part of their life and pass down their history to future generations. In addition, we hope that this new heritage site will lead to a more culturally-robust visitor experience, increasing tourists’ awareness of St. Kitts’ past.