Aruba history – austin electricity outage


Within three decades Aruba became an island with probably the highest standard of living in the West Indies. The illiteracy rate, for example, is exceptionally low. Today tourism has become the major factor in the island’s economy with many major hotel chains setting up in Aruba. In just a few short years, Aruba has become one of the most popular vacation spots in the Caribbean, with visitor figures approaching a million annually. Explanation on some name places in Aruba Oranjestad

Named after "Huis van Oranje" (Orange House), this was the name of the Royal family during the Dutch colonization. While this is the official name, the town people still call the capital of Aruba "Playa". This small town got her name Oranjestad in 1824 when the word got out that gold was discovered in Aruba, a big party was held in honor of the governor Cantzlaar visit. Rooi Frances, Franse Pas, Frenchmen’s Pass

Around 1620 a war took place between a small group of Indians and the Frenchmen. The Indians wanted to flee seeing only defeat and they hid in a cave. The Frenchmen found their hiding place, but it was difficult for the Frenchmen to get into the cave. The Frenchmen got an idea how to make them come out, so they started a fire at the entrance filling the cave with smoke, killing the Indians inside. Nobody knows if this story is true, but this is how the place got its name. Macuarima

The name came from a legend. The story tells of an Indian girl called Macuarima who lived at the edge of Santa Cruz. Macuarima was loved by everyone in town, she did her utmost to give a hand when needed, she was compassionate and she was very beautiful. When she met Pati Blanco an Indian boy, she instantly fell in love with him. He took her away on a boat to Venezuela. The Aruban writer Ernesto Rosenstand wrote the whole story in his book "Macuarima". Grot di Lourdes

On February 11, 1958 there was much celebration related to the appearance of Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. A San Nicolas preacher named Erkamp came up with the idea to place a statue of the Virgin Mary in the cave at Seroe Preto. A year later, Monsieur Holterman blessed the statue. Since then it is a favorite place to pray. Alto Vista

In the time of the gold discovery, the workers used donkeys to transport the gold and later a steam tractor. During a rainy day, the tractor got stuck in the mud and the men had to tie the wheels with a rope to get it out and running again. This was the talk of the day so the place got the name Marawiel, which translates in English to "tie the wheel". Boton

Boton translates in English to "button". At this place and especially on the nearby hill you could find thousands of small round shells with a small opening in the center. The size of these shells are not bigger then a 25-cent Aruban coin. People started to refer to them as "boton". Children used to bring a lot of them home since at the time it was trendy to use them to make a collar. Paardenbaai

Vader Piet is at the northeast coast of Aruba. In 1829 a man named Pieter Lampe lived there and he was a farmer and foreman. He was called Vader Piet because he was a beloved man and treated everyone with kindness. In an incident at the time, a slave killed Vader Piet and since then the place was named after him. San Nicolas

San Nicolas was named after a man who owned of a big piece of land there. This man was named Nicolaas van der Biest. In the early days owners of big piece of land are addressed by "Shon" with the first name after. So the people used to call him Shon Nicolaas. That later turned into San Nicolas. Some stories indicate that the Spanish influence had something to do with this. Willem III Toren

A fort that was also the first lighthouse built in 1869, and used an oil lamp. This tower also has the first public bell in Oranjestad. The lamp was lit for the first time on King Willem III’s birthday celebration, hence the name. Juan Irausquin Boulevard

A part of the L. G. Smith BLVD was changed in 4 July 1992 to Juan Irausquin Boulevard. This part starts from Tamarijn Beach Hotel to Holiday Inn Aruba. This is in honor of the person responsible for the infrastructure for the tourism industry in this area. In front of the post office, there is a statue of him. California Light house

There are two stories that explain the name: 1. A man called Flip Kelly was rejected by his girlfriend. He became suicidal and killed himself by falling in a tank nearby. 2. Flip Kelly was riding his horse one day and suddenly the horse tripped on the mud and went head on in the water drowning with Flip who was unable to untangle himself. Tanki Leendert

The story tells of the Spanish asking the Indians where the gold is. The Indians pointing in that direction telling "Aya para dera" meaning "we bury over there" (It can be a mispronunciation of the word "oro" with "morto"). The Spanish were very disappointed to find only bones instead. Piedra Plat

As many other small towns names came from the house of plantation like San Barbola, Mon Plaisir, Modanza, Montserat and Planterust. The same was for Washington’s Plantation. In 1914 Nadi Henriquez built a new house and gave it the name House of Washington. Grapefield

Grapefield originated its name from the grape trees which used to grow here. In the past the Exxon Company has dumped its waste here and most of the trees have withered and died. When the Exxon Company had to leave they removed the "Pitch" from the area before they left and the grape trees are slowly growing back. With a bit of luck the area will once again become flourished by them. Remnants of the pitch can still be seen on the field and many holes in the cliffs are still full with "pitch-dust”. Hopefully one day this area will be completely restored to its natural clean environment.