The New Student's Reference Work/Trinidad
Trinidad (trǐn' ǐ-dǎd), the most southern of the West Indies, lies off the coast of Venezuela, nearly opposite the mouth of the Orinoco. It is 50 miles long and from 30 to 60 wide, and includes 1,754 square miles. The two channels to the harbor are called the Dragon's Mouth and the Serpent's Mouth. On the northern coast are forest-covered mountains, one with two peaks, called Tamana, while the rest of the island abounds in fertile valleys and plains. There are some good-sized rivers and several fine harbors. A lake, with pitch floating on its surface, is one of the curiosities of the island. (See Asphalt.) The most important products are cocoa, sugar, rum, molasses, coffee, cotton, cocoanuts and oil. There are 250 public schools, with 40,956 pupils, many private schools, Queen's Royal College and a Roman Catholic College, with a total of 427 students. The chief town, Port of Spain, originally built of wood, was burned in 1808. The new town, built of stone, is one of the finest in the West Indies. The island was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and named Trinidad, because he first saw three mountain-summits from his ship. In 1797 it was taken by the British from the Spanish, and in 1889 Tobago was annexed. It has 81 miles of railway and 1,147 of telegraph and telephone. There are steamship lines to England, Holland, North America and Venezula. Population 330,074.