Mule Park and Market Square in 1910. Photos of Mule Park in Belize City from long ago, one from the 1890's. Also an oral history
Mule Park was its name given, because this was where the Mule & Carts were made available, to transport goods to any part of Belize City. You can see the mule and carts at Mule Park and the original Augusto Quan building on the right.
Any person in need of a transport, would come and negotiate with the various owners of these service Buggies. You wanted to transport any goods, you go to Mule Park. There were also some Mule and Buggies as Passenger transport. You used to be able to rent a bicycle cart from there in order to cart your Christmas tree home. Look at the cleanliness of that area. Do you know why? Because anybody who was caught throwing even MATCH STICK, would be taken to Court, where he would Pay a FINE. Behind those bushes was the Royal Bank of Canada.
Mule Park was in front of the Royal Bank of Canada, in Belize City. The Royal Bank of Canada had the services of "Mule Park," This was the largest Transporting Service in Belize City.
Later, this became known as, the place where the latest gossips ( news ) could be heard. Some called it "Shu Shu Park." Shu shu park da mi before the facey book.
The Mule Park was constructed in 1912. It has a triangular form fence made out of iron, 2 cannons were situated at both ends that were used in the Battle of St. George’s Caye. This name came about when mule & cart assembled between the Courthouse, Brodies & The Royal Bank of Canada, loaded with supplies from shops or warehouses for shipment of the coast. History tells us that elderly citizens used the park for recreational purposes on Sundays. It was also used for religious meetings a& gathering.
I remember there were two concrete double benches there. Each bench shared the same back (back to back benches). One bench faced Albert St. and the other faced Regent St. They were popularly known as Lazy Man Bench.
From a friend...
Just few years back Bowen and Bowen adopted it and renew it looking nice now and every year they light up a huge Christmas tree there. When I came to Belize in 1970 there were plenty of carts running around delivering supplies from customs warehouse to shops. Loved watching them and the men swinging the bridge in the am and pm.
We use to chase the Mule and Carts and ride them until the owner got mad at us and told us to get off!!!! I miss those days!!!
The area still has means of transportation although the mule & cart and bicycle carts are long gone, the means of transport today are the taxis that exist close to the bank, the famous Albert St taxi stand.
Photograph courtesy Hector Silva
Mule Park, Belize Oral History
In this "2 Cents Cam", we interview residents of Belize City to document the heritage and history of Mule Park.
Long Time Coming: Mule Park Re-Opens
Channel 7, September 6, 2011
The Mule Park in Belize City is at the heart of the old capital - dating back to the days before the motor car. But as times got more modern, it seems the place that used to be the hub of the city fell further behind, becoming a hangout for vagrants.
Recently though, it was refitted by the Bowen and Bowen Group. Now it's been spruced up and re-styled - as a sort of corporate raft for the Bowen group..
But it also looks classy and makes a dutiful nod to its proud past - as noted by the mayor at the opening today:..
Mayor Zenaida Moya:
"Historic because this is a historic Park and while it was once used really, even though it's all paved around and all that. It was once used just as what the name entails, to really park mules "alright" mules, can u believe it? Mules were actually here. You don't see mules around anymore, we are in the 21st century we don't see mules anymore, but yes that was the main mode of transportation....mules. We are not going to change the name because we don't have a right to change the name. That's what our forefathers called it "Mule Park" and that's what we should honor it by, by calling it of that name. Mule Park is a part of our history and it should remain a big part of our present and that is why we are all gathered here today, to keep, the history, the tradition alive, and while it may only be symbolic, it is a part of us, it's a part of our history".
Micheal H.M Bowen, CEO, Bowen & Bowen:
"The Coca Cola clock has been a fixture at this location since 1969, and we about Bowen & Bowen are proud of this clock, although at times it has not always told exactly the right time. Hopefully we fixed this problem, so far so good. Earlier this year, there were discussions about removing this clock, though the coordination of City Council and with the agreement of the Mayor; Bowen & Bowen was given the opportunity to not only to protect the clock but to restore Mule Park. As you can read on the plaque. Mule Park is been a central location of Belize City for when drayage of the day was the mule and cart. At that time it was a place where the mules can park under the trees for rest and the draymen would come and have conversation, incorporating Mule Park as an element of their daily lives. This central significance was exemplified when Karl Heusner recommended the placement of three cannons which represented proud moments of our history be placed at this location. Mule Park stands once again as a proud monument in the central Belize City. But in my opinion we are not here to inaugurate Mule Park, Mule Park has always been here, why I believe we are here today, is to honor the past and to look to the future. Looking at the restore Mule Park I see things we can do together when we focus on what can be done".
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