Soon it started to get light; it
was now the second day of their adventure. They crossed a narrow road
and jumped over an old fashioned iron fence. There were miles and miles
of lawn, or so it seemed to the Cats, and huge old trees and, right in
the middle, a very large and ornate house made all of wood!
And.....wonderful smells of food came at them from all directions!
As they walked
towards the building and the smell of food a huge tortoiseshell cat
waddled towards them. "Welcome to Devon House, my name is Belisario. I
look after the property & I'm named after a famous artist who
did a lot of paintings & lithographs in Jamaica at around the time this
house was built."
Belisario," answered our travellers, "What are those lovely smells?"
very reason I'm a little overweight," replied Belisario. "Devon House
just happens to have five restaurants and, to be truthful, I never
"Sounds like my
perfect place," mused Lily, then a thought occurred to her "I hope it's
not health food?"
responded Belisario, "One is a juice bar but we also have a patty shop
which is in the original kitchen, a pub in the old coach house, a cordon
bleu restaurant & an ice-cream shop."
"I think this
is where The Woman gets those delicious shrimp patties!" exclaimed
"I think I
could live here!" added Lily and they followed Belisario to have
breakfast in the pub, which was called The Grog Shoppe.
breakfast, Belisario took them into the house & told them all about Mr
Stiebel who had built the house more than one hundred years ago.
was born in the 1820s to a Black mother & a German father. He didn't get
on well at school so he dropped out at 14 to become a builder's
apprentice. In his twenties his father gave him the money to buy a ship
which he used to transport goods between Jamaica & South America. With
the money he made from this, he purchased two more ships and started to
trade guns to supply the anti-slavery revolution in Cuba in the 1840s.
He made great profits from that venture but also got into trouble with
the law so he had to give up that enterprise."
"In 1851 he
married Magdalene Baker, a missionaries' daughter and they had two
children. Shortly after his younger child was born he was taking his
ships to Venezuela when there was a terrible storm and the ships,
including the one he was on, all sank! Luckily George survived but
almost everything was lost except for the money belt tied round his
waist. With that he started over in Venezuela, trading gold & eventually
investing in a gold mine. This made him very wealthy indeed. Bad fortune
again struck poor George when his son died in 1873 so he returned home
as Jamaica's first black millionaire!"