Eden Browne Estate in Focus

By:Curtis Morton

Charlestown-Nevis-As the Community Development Department continues to celebrate in the month of May, various communities across the island are focusing on a variety of issues.
The Butler’s community day was celebrated on Wednesday 18th May and Center Manager, Cordelia Browne opted to focus on the nearby Eden Browne estate and its much toted ghost story.

On display were pictures of the ruins of the estate; a picture of Mr. George Sutton who was the last overseer of the estate and who actually lived to be a centenarian; historical documentation on the workings of the estate; a list of the slaves who worked on the estate; pictures of the other two centenarians in Butlers; works of art created by Sherry Sutton and Cordelia Browne herself.
There were also pictures of wedding ceremonies, assumed conducted at the Eden Browne Estate, when it was in its heyday.

According to Mrs. Browne, a fair number of individuals visited the community center to witness the display, which included school children.
She noted that they were all enthralled by the Eden Browne story but which she admitted has a few versions to it.
The version she shared went as follows:

A legend involves the estate of ‘Eden Browne’ in the Parish of St James, Windward on the island of Nevis. It involves a duel between members of the Huggins and Maynard families.
The story includes a ghost who is supposed to haunt the abandoned Great House.
In 1822 the Huggins family, who owned ‘Eden Browne’, and the Maynards, who owned a neighbouring estate, were gathering at Eden Browne to celebrate a forthcoming marriage between Julia Huggins and Walter Maynard.
Shortly before the wedding a quarrel developed between the best man, Julia’s brother John, and the groom. One
version has it that the quarrel was over a beautiful ‘mulatto’ slave girl.
In any event a challenge was issued and in the ensuing duel John Huggins was shot dead by Walter Maynard, although another version tells that both men were killed.
Julia Huggins is supposed to have been heartbroken at having lost her love and her brother and died years later, a grieving spinster.
It is her ghost which is allegedly haunting Eden Browne..
The exhibition ran from 9 am until 4 pm on that day.

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