Aerial view of Southside in Belize City from South Street going south, long ago
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May 8, 2022

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This aerial view is before Hurricane Hattie. The large building to left of government house was destroyed in Hattie. Also, the Bird's Isle island is not in this photo. The island that is at the bottom left is not Bird's isle and is no longer there.


Entrance to the Belize River. The Bird's isle of the 70's, 80's was about twice the size curbing more towards the back of Government House. I used to swim from behind Governor's House to Bird's Isle as a kid. The channel was about 100 feet wide. In this photo Bird's Isle is a little way off to the left.

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Aerial view of Southside in Belize City from South Street going south, long ago

I love this aerial view of Southside because it shows many of the buildings that were in this area that are no longer there and the photo is clear enough whereby you are able to zoom in and see the buildings closer.

Things to point out in the first photo:

1. You are able to see the entire Yarborough Cemetery which includes the original section which is still there and the second section which is no longer there. You can also see the number of graves. Most of them are no longer there.

2. We could see the entire Government House property which includes all of the buildings up to Palm Lane.

3. You can see a very large building in the ACC school yard.

4. You are able to see some of the old buildings along Regent's Street, Foreshore and Albert Street that are no longer there now.

Top photo, forefront left, row of buildings to right of St. John's Cathedral is St. John's Primary School, in same yard and to the left was the headmaster's house. Bird's Isle is the patch of land in the sea at the end of Albert St. St. Hilda's College is the building to the right of St. John's Cathedral in the same compound. My guesstimate is these photos are late 50's or early 60's. You can see St Ignatius where south street ends. Nothing behind St. Ignatius.

From a spatial growth perspective, the city at this time appears to have stopped at the Collet Canal. What can be seen to the top right appears to be Cemetery Road leading out to the Western Highway, and to the top left, a major canal which now merges with the Collet Canal before Yarborough Bridge. My understanding is that the only development beyond the canal was the slaughterhouse. North Creek was not man made, it's an actual creek.

After Hurricane Hattie only three islands were there. One is today's Birds Isle. One was in front of Wesley College (it no longer exists). And one was in front of Tut's Bay (it no longer exists).

What is now Belize City was originally Mangrove swamps that were created bt the runoffs of two rivers. A thin strip of the south side of the city was created by sand that came out of the Sibun River. This sandy area ran all the way from the mouth of the Sibun River, along the coastline right up to Birds Isle. Check out Belizean Beach. Also an area on Pen Road. Then the runoffs from the Belize River, which was silt formed the ballance of the swamps.

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