For a brief historical outline of the Netherlands Antilles click here.


A brief history of Saba.


The Dutch say “Sah bah” but the Sabans say “Say Bah”. This dormant volcano was attractive to travelers even of long ago.  Receiving more than 100 cm of annual rainfall, Arawak and Carib Indians were lured to Saba as a source for fresh water and rich volcanic soil. Until the Summer of 2001, it was believed that Saba's first settlers were Carib Indians around 700 A.D.  A Dutch Archaeological Team returned to Saba after a 5-year break.Their work continues with bi-annual visits now focused on the in tact campsite known as Plum Piece. This archeological site is significant as it proves occupation on Saba during "preceramic times" or 3300 BP! 

In the early 1600’s, the first European settlers of this 5-square mile island were from Scotland and Ireland. They brought their lilting accents and rich heritage with strong religious beliefs and interesting architectural styles. The Dutch officially proclaimed St. Maarten, Statia and Saba in 1816; however, the first official Dutch government was not installed on Saba until almost 60 years later.

Since its settlement in the 1600's as a safe haven for the families of pirates, Sabans have been famous throughout the Caribbean and the World for their skill as sailors. Simon Bolivar made several stops in Saba to recruit sailors in his fight for South American independence. A statue of Bolivar now stands outside the museum in Windwardside - a gift from the government of Venezuela.

Saba's growth rings can be traced from the first settling of Europeans, the visits by foreign trading ships and the adventurous local ship captains who returned home from far and exotic ports. The next significant change to Saba came with the building of the road which lead to the first plane landing on Saba 30 years after.  In December 2002, the new Airport Building officially opens. 


On 1 October 2004 the population of the island Saba (1.424) as well as Bonaire (10.185) on 10 September 2004 and  Sint Eustatius (2.498) on 8 April 2005, voted for the status of a special municipality of the Netherlands. It shall be realized on 15 December 2008.


                  The Dutch Dominicans and Dominican Sisters on Saba

Laurentius Mulder (28.08.1843-03.08.1916) was the first Dominican on Saba to service two churches on the island. Many Dominicans were there for the pastoral services. The Dominican sister Waltruda (Christina, Maria) Jeurissen (23.10.1914-09.01.1944) wrote the national hymn of Saba 'Saba Song' in 1940.
There are no stamps in memory of  the Dominican presence. 


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