Harold Michell.

An introduction to the geography of Sierra Leone online

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just over 100 in number.

These schools include all denominations of the
Christian religion, and the Mohammedans are accom-
modated in five Madrasas with an attendance of about
700.

Besides these, there are four Secondary schools, a
College affiliated to the Durham University, and a
Government school.

Other people in Freetown and the Colony include the
Kroomen, from the Liberian Coast ; these are chiefly
engaged in the shipping industry, working the cargoes
between Freetown and the ports on the Guinea Coast :
Mendes and Temnes from the hinterland chiefly
engaged as carriers and messengers, and Mandingoes,
Fulahs, and many others from outlying borders of the
Protectorate, engaged in leather work and the kola
trade.

There is a large colony of Syrians who, besides petty
trading, practically monopolise the kola trade, and
there are also a few Indian traders.

The white population is small, and these are either
engaged in trade or are Government officials. Naval,
Military and Civil.

A large proportion of the Civil officials are accom-
modated at Hill Station, the average height of which
is about 900 feet above sea level. A mountain railway
five and a half miles in length connects this residential
area with the town, and the trains are run chiefly to
meet the convenience of the residents. There is also a
good motor road which connects Hill Station with the
town.

From the hills there are splendid views of the town
and harbour, and although not very high, there is some
relief from the stifling heat of the town, and at all
events the nights are comparatively cool.

Waterloo, in the Colony proper, is situated on
Waterloo Creek, and at one time was a very busy trad-
ing centre, scores of canoes bringing their produce from
the "Rivers." Consequently boat-building was an



•IS An InLroJuctiun to the

important indiistiy, but the railway carries much of the
trade past Waterloo now and it has lost much of its
importance as a trading and boat-building centre. A
good deal of farming is done in the neighbourhood, and
much of the produce sold in Freetown,

It is the headquarters of the District Commissioner,
whose residence is perched on one of the hills overlook-
ing the town, and is a landmark for many miles. The
district administered from here includes all the
Peninsula without the Freetown Police area.

Hastings is a village nearer Freetown than Waterloo
and on the main line. It is the centre of a farming
area, and much of the ginger of the Colony is produced
in the district.

York, a seaside village, is chiefly concerned with
fishing, boat-building, and some farming. The village
wdiich is under the administration of the District
Commissioner has a headman and native court. It is
connected by roads to Waterloo and to Kent. Near this
village is a cave from wdiich pure drinking water is
obtained and called Foray water.

Kent, another seaside village, is chiefly engaged in
fishing, and the manufacture of cocoa-nut oil in a crude
way. This place w^as once the headquarters of the dis-
trict and possessed a Customs house, but it has lost its
importance.

Hamilton is a small seaside village, named after one
of the earliest Governors (1824), but it is more often
given its original name of Cambay.

Aberdeen, a seaside village, is cut off from the main-
land by a creek. An unfinished bridge bears testimony
to the efforts once made to connect the village with the
mainland. Near Aberdeen is Cape Sierra Leone, at
which point there is a lighthouse. There is a large
Mohammedan element in the town.

In the hills around Freetown are many mountain
villages, such as Leicester, Gloucester, Regent, Bathurst
and Charlotte (famous for its beautiful falls). The
chief industries are gardening, coffee growing and
laundry work, and the garden produce is sent to Free-



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Online LibraryHarold MichellAn introduction to the geography of Sierra Leone → online text (page 4 of 10)