A Family Album

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.

Séminaire-Collège Saint-Louis-Gonzague
The large buildings at the top of the postcard is the Séminaire-Collège Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, where Paul Poncy attended school for two years.

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
l'eglise du fort.
The Poncy family attended the Church of the Fort.

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
Poncy brothers.
Paul and Emmanuel Poncy in Martinique, taken about 1900. Photo from Ron Poncy.

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
Theresa Dupouy
First cousin to Paul Poncy, Thérèsa Dupouy was married to Gustav Caminade.


Gustav Cominade
Gustav Caminade was a prominent Saint-Pierre businessman in retail, shipping and import/export.

Thérèsa (Cousine Té) Dupouy and her husband, Gustav Caminade.

The Plissonneau Duquêne Brothers
Plissonneau brothers.
Georges Plissonneau is seated on the left and Tiburce is on the right. Behind them are Pierre, Joseph and Emile.

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
Berthe Hayot
Berthe Hayot, 1893 – 1942.

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
Left to right: Francis, Clair, Therese, Paul Poncy holding baby Arthur.

This photo was taken in the winter of 1914 in San Bernardino.