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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Travel

Rancho Rockyford, Isle of Pines, Cuba brochure

Posted February 12, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Travel.
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Old brochure for “Treasure Island” tropical paradise, Isle of Pines.

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Member Comments

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On October 30, 2004, R. Forsythe wrote:

At one time my grandfather’ brother owned some property on The Isle of Pines. This property was apparently lost when President Castro came into power.
I would like to know any information available concerning said property. I have always been told about this beautiful Island.
Thank you for any assistance you may provide.
R. Forsythe

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On September 06, 2008, Yolanda Hamby (formerly Diaz) wrote:

Mr. Forsyth, I lived in the Isle of Pines with my father, Armando Diaz, from 1957-1959.  During that time, I attended the American Central School where we had the curriculum in English. Mind you, I did not known any English, however, before long in about 2 month’s time, my English was very good..most of my friends were American kids..I loved the place. There were wild orchids, pines, of course, a beautiful river with nice homes on the shore where we used to water ski. The beaches were beautiful with lots of coconut trees. There was a black sand beach as well as a pink sand beach (the colors were a result of the marble stone hills which jutted out to sea). Beautiful!! The “moggotes” or small hills in town (capital, Nueva Gerona), were solid marble, so they were quarried(?).
There was such a cosmopolitan feel in the island. We had Germans, British, Cayman Islanders, Americans, etc…what wonderful times we had…where could a 13 yr. old girl drive her father’s station wagon right by the police department where the officers sat in rocking chairs on the station’s porch, and wave at them without fear of being stopped!!
I miss the place..the friends, the lifestyle. It makes me very sad that we could not still be there enjoying it..
There were many farms also..Americans, British & Germans along with the Cubans owned them..grapefruits were mainly harvested. There were clubs where a family could join (for Americans), however, everyone was welcomed.  Miss it, miss it!!!

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On September 07, 2008, publisher wrote:

Sounds like a great place.

Do you still think of it as the Isle of Pines or do you accept the name Isla de la Juventud?

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On September 08, 2008, Yolanda Hamby (formerly Diaz) wrote:

It will always be the Isle of Pines in my heart and my head! After all, that is what had been called more years than the last 49 yrs.!!
Yes, it was a wonderful place…great for all ages. Full of adventures, interesting characters, beautiful hot springs, wild orchids, river, beaches, etc.. it is in my heart forever. :(

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On April 05, 2009, JBD wrote:

Folks - My father, Jack,  a Hoosier who left home in 1932 at 18 with 6 months of watchmaker’s school under his belt landed in Nampa, Idaho (pop. 20,00) and made a good life running Bullock’s Jewelry Store. In Dec ‘58, he pursued his dream of retiring to the radium hot springs on the Isle of Pines by flying there on a recon mission just after Christmas. I was 9 and sick, so Mom & I stayed in Idaho. He hired a cabbie to give him a few day’s tour, took a lot of pictures and then returned to Havana.  He was scheduled to fly out the next day, but learned of an earlier flight and took it to Miami and on to Idaho.  His prankster friends at the local coffee club, eager to liven up his trip that day, sent a telegram to his Havana hotel reading “Generalissimo DeMotte -  Guns and ammo waiting offshore -  Viva la Revolution”.  Dad was home by the 4th of January, 1959 and the FBI paid him a visit a few weeks later.  The coffee club produced the original telegram, thus keeping Dad out of the fray and squelching his retirement dream. Thought you’d like to know that your piece wrenched my heart - to think that the “what ifs” of the day may have meant you and my dad might have met and I would have had a different life…..........TNX!! - John Buck DeMotte, Maj, US Army, Ret., Boise, Idaho

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On April 05, 2009, publisher wrote:

Interesting story. You’ll have to retrace his steps someday.

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On April 05, 2009, JBD wrote:

Seems like I may soon have that chance - however, after reading William Stimson’s account of his return a couple of years ago, I’m afraid it will not be the same - I would hope that the near future will change all that - but - please - no McDonald’s at the hot springs.

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On April 05, 2009, Yolanda Hamby (formerly Diaz) wrote:

JBD and other readers, I must agree with Billy Stimson who by the way,  went to the same school as I in the island, the American School…I lived in the capital of Nueva Gerona and Billy and his mom and other brothers/sister lived on the road to the school, a few miles out of town. We passed by Billy’s home every day. Of course, we stopped and picked him and I think other brothers as well.
Yes, things will never be the same…no matter what…the properties have either been destroyed with hurricanes or not properly maintained…I googled the hometown where I was born, Sagua la Grande in the Las Villas province and roamed the streets thru the net. It’s cool, but sad at the same time. The facade of the homes & buildings are all decaying, in need of repairs, painting, etc….it’s a shame because it was a very beautiful colonial type of town with great architechture…it is crumbling to the streets, etc….as are many other homes & buildings in Havana…although I learned that the Spaniards have put a lot of $ in restoring some of those magnificent buildings, homes, etc. from colonia times that were built when the Spaniards came and conquered Cuba by killing the native Hatuey and Tahino Indians. They only kept some to toil the land, etc. then they imported Africans to do the hard, hard work.Thus, Cubans are a people of many shades…we have lily white blondes in my family..then we some a bit more latino looking. My dad was very white with green eyes. My mother’s family came a few generations back from the Canary Islands (Spanish owned islands off the western coast of Africa), however, they were not black, but Spaniards. Now I am 65 and I would love to see my island one more time before I die…I just hope my health holds out, but I must tell you, it will be very emotional and traumatic to see the changes (for the worse)...

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On June 02, 2009, Jerry Anderson wrote:

My grandfather ans sisters also owned land (hectors) on the Isle of Pine, Cuba years ago.  I have letters, maps, etc of the property and also would like to know more information about this.

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On June 03, 2009, Yolanda Hamby (formerly Diaz) wrote:

Jerry, I knew some Andersons on the island..we went to the American Central School..I wish I remembered the first names. I was friends with them and my dad was friends with the parents. Let me know. Thanks.

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On June 23, 2009, Mikki wrote:

I am looking for information about a pineapple plantation owned by a Platt FROST and his wife Frances Lucinda PEARSALL FROST, and their children Peter Isaac FROST and Anna FROST. Peter Isaac married, what happened to Anna FROST?

Also, seeking information on any cemeteries there and where the records might be kept now. They seem to have moved back and forth between the Isle of Pines, Cuba and Valley Stream, NY between 1880 and 1930.

Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.

Platt FROST b 5 May 1834 died before 1927
Frances Lucinda FROST b 1844 Lawrence, L.I., NY d 13 Feb 1913 Isle of Pines, Cuba

Peter Isaac FROST md, wife Sarah HOWSON FROST, and they had ten children:

Peter b 1864 d 1033
Sarah b 5 July 1865 Brooklyn, NY d 13 May 1942 Suffolk Co., L.I., NY
Elwood Percy FROST b 16 June 1885 Isle of Pines, Cuba
Lillian Estelle FROST b 16 Jul 1888 NY
Mable Gertrude FROST b 21 Dec 1890 died 6-8 yrs.
May Crosby FROST, b Nov 1892
Arthur Platt FROST, b 16 Sept 1985 Isle of Pines, Cuba
Edwin Wood FROST b 1 May 1897 Isle of Pines, Cuba
Edith Beatrice FROST, B 28 May 1898 Isle of Pines, Cuba
Baby Boy FROST1 b 21 Oct 1901
Baby Boy FROST2 b 1904
Gladys Marie FROST b 23 Nov 1904 Valley Stream, NY

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On June 23, 2009, Mikki wrote:

Correction to date of death for Platte and Peter:

Platte is thought of have died sometime after his wife’s death in 1913,
probably at Isle of Pines, Cuba, too.

Peter’s death yr
d 1033 s/b 1933

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On July 30, 2009, Scott Griswold wrote:

Like many of you, my grandfather, Clarence Scott and his friend George James, of Cleveland, Ohio purchased property on the Isle of Pines in 1952.  I saw beautiful pictures of the land and fishing opportunities.  I know that losing that property was devestating to them both.  I, like many, have all the information in my possession and would like to gain for information and explore the area.  If you recognize the names or can offer me many suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.  Scott Griswold

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On August 22, 2009, Kathleen Blumenschine wrote:

I am also interested in the cemeteries on the Isle of Pines.  My greatgrandfather’s sister Elizabeth Morrison Haines owned land there and raised grapefruit.  She married a second time to William F. Pack.  She died on the Isle of Pines in November of 1928.

Does anyone know how to access records for cemeteries there?

Kathleen Blumenschine

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On August 22, 2009, Yolanda wrote:

Jerry Anderson, are you related to Derek Anderson? What about Nurys Anderson? Nurys was one of my best friends in the island. We had fun together. She also attended American Central School. Derek was also a friend and school mate. If you go to Facebook, there is a site for the Isle of Pines as well as this site. This site is a lot simpler to get in & out of and more personal. I like this.

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On June 23, 2011, Marcia smith wrote:

For info on Elizabeth Ann Morrison Haines Park, you might check on ancestry.com. She was the mother of Mahlon N Haines, the “shoe wizard” and he is a distant relative of mine. Hope that helps!