Note: This section is archived from 2002 and is offered for historical interest.
Today Basil Jones, North Ambergris Caye, ranges over about a two mile area, starting approximately twelve or thirteen miles north of San Pedro, the area consists of a seaward beach ridge, facing the barrier reef and leeward mangrove swamp with a broad intervening plateau of palm thicket. One unique aspect of the geography is midway up Basil Jones, the land and barrier reef begin to come together, at Narrow Point, and eventually a mile or so up the beach and reef actually meet.
Parts of the area are covered with a rich black soil said to have been cultivated by the Maya. For many years very little changed, the old coconut plantations or cocals, were left unattended and coconut trees grew over much of the area and where they didn't, the jungle and mangrove took back over. A few people carved a life for themselves along the isolated beaches, but there were no roads or electricity.
But in 1997 and 1998 things started happening, Nova Shrimp was given the go ahead to build their shrimp hatchery, at the south end of Basil Jones, where they had good ocean access through the Basil Jones cut in the reef and also from the old airstrip built in the fifties by Gulf Oil. Since then Nova Shrimp has grown into a successful enterprise. They've also cleared road to the airstrip and recleared and now maintain the 1,800 foot airstrip.
At some time Jim Blake's estate that covered much of North Ambergris Caye and the Basil Jones area was passed on and divided amongst his five children. Basil Jones ended up belonging to Blake's daughter Nella Reid, who subdivided her large tract of land, allowing Nova Shrimp to purchase enough for their hatchery.
The remaining land was split into many subdivisions, some now partially developed and others still remain covered with coconut trees and jungle. When and if all the subdivisions are filled with their proposed and potential dwellings there will be hundreds of families, vacationers, business owners, and support staff living at Basil Jones.
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