This page contains photos and stories about Saint Pierre, Martinique during the Belle Epoque, roughly 1870 until 1902, when the city was destroyed by the explosion of Mont Pélée.
The Séminaire-Collège Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague is the seminary school where Paul Poncy studied for two years, from about 1893 to 1895. It was a private, Church-run boarding school, only a few blocks from the Poncy home on Rue Castelnau.
Eglise du Fort de Saint Pierre
This is the church the Poncy family attended. The Church of the Fort was at the base of Rue Castelnau, a few blocks from their home. It was completely destroyed in the volcanic eruption.
Paul and Emmanuel Poncy in Martinique
This is the only photo I have of my grandfather or any of his immediate family in Martinique. Joseph Paul is on the left, his brother, Emmanuel on the right.
Thérèsa Dupouy and Gustav Caminade
Thérèsa (Cousine Té) Dupouy and her husband, Gustav Caminade.
The Plissonneau Duquêne Brothers
The Plissonneau Duquêne family were first cousins of the Poncys. These were the founders of the Plissonneau shipping firm. Georges, seated on the left, is a character in our novel.
Berthe Hayot was born in Morne Rouge in 1893. She was Joseph Paul’s first cousin, twice removed, the daughter of Loïsa Plissonneau Duquêne and Gabriel Hayot. The Hayots today are among the ten richest families on Martinique. The wealthy socialite’s husband, Paul Aubèry, played a sordid role in history of Martinique labor and race relations.
Paul Poncy with children
This photo was taken in the winter of 1914 in San Bernardino.