Dublin is 11 miles long and 1.3 quarters miles wide with seven hills and seven beaches and a population of 842 (2012).
Dublin is full of backyard gardens, big breadfruit trees and rare and delightful butterflies. In the morning, you will be greeted by beautiful sounds of strange and beautiful birds.
Dublin was once controlled by infamous slave traders, the Caulker family. They were an Afro-Anglo family, descended from a chief’s daughter and her husband, an Englishman who worked at the nearby slave factory on Bunce Island. They married sometime in the 1700s.
It served as a transit centre for slaves from different parts of the Sierra Leone. Slaves who were deemed fit and healthy to travel were sent on from here. Those who were considered too weak were stacked in a deep hole on top of one another and left to die. We can show you these “slave holes” as they are still present on the island.
Look for the canons used to fortify against illegal slavers when slavery was finally abolished.
In 1820 the Caulkers left for the mainland and leased the island to the British crown for 250 Spanish dollars per year. When slavery was abolished, Francis B. Caulker made an agreement with British Governor McCarthy for the settlement of slaves. Frederick Campbell, a young Scot, laid out Dublin village, where some of the original Sherbro people remained. In 1834, Dublin became the seat of the local government and by 1847 it was recorded that 500 people were living in the town.
During the formation of the first government unruly boys and street children, below the age of imprisonment, were sent to the island. Many asked for mercy from us and we adopted them.
Our churches were built by re-captives in the early 18th Century. The Anglican Church was first built in 1800. Its bell was hung in 1881 under the kingship of Henry the 8th of England. Due to an increase in population a fraction of elders broke away and started the African Methodist church 78 years later.
During the Sierra Leone civil war (1991-2002), people took refuge on the island. There was no fighting here. In fact, it is said the whole community of Kent went over to the island. More than 2000 people from different parts of the country were hosted there and the island served as a food supply for Freetown and other areas in the Western Peninsula.
There are a few guesthouses on the island including the Bafa Resort, Dalton’s Guesthouse and the currently out of service Banana Island Guest House.