Our Visit to the Eaton Park Great House
While the Fontabelle Great House sheltered a few of the world’s estimated 1 billion squatters, the Eaton Park Great House was yet another step removed from its glory days. The house is 5 kilometers south of the Oracabessa bus and taxi park on Jack’s River Road just before a bridge at the north edge of the hamlet of Eaton Park. Pass through the white painted concrete gate posts across the river, and the house is on the left.
The white Eaton Park Great House was probably the most “romantically decrepit” great house I had seen. Dry wood termites and wood rotting fungi have ravaged the structure over the years. Thick vines enveloped the barely-standing house as it continues to slip back into the earth from which it came. The roof, featuring a trio of gables in succession, give the house a unique architectural signature compared to other great houses. I could tell the existing house was not the original structure as it covered only part of the stone foundation. Further, large arches in the huge foundation suggested a much larger and heavier house once stood there.
I slipped into the house and took a few photos, being careful not to plunge through the rotten floor boards. Given the poor condition of the structure, the photos below could be among the last taken before the jungle reclaims the house for good.
From its perch atop a slight knoll, the remains of the house look down on a hardware store, which likely housed a collection of shops servicing the great house during colonial times. The shops, which once featured arched doorways, were constructed of stone and covered with old world ballast bricks. Someday, I hope to get more information on the Eaton Park Estate.