Nelson Island is one of off Trinidad’s west coast in the Gulf of Paria, comprising of approximately 8 acres.
Historically it was used as a landing and immigration depot, and quarantine facility for East Indian indentured immigrants during the period 1866 to 1917. The island still has one of the oldest buildings standing in Trinidad and Tobago.
Nelson Island remained largely unused until 1939, when it was used as a detention centre for a sole detainee, a renowned labour, political and religious leader, Tubal Uriah Butler, up until 1945.
During the 1970 Black Power Revolution, the property was again used as a detention centre to detain advocates of the movement and curb the spread of their ideologies.
The island has since been placed under the aegis of the National Trust, and work has been done to restore the largest building on the property, Building A, which formerly housed a mess hall, with work still to be done on other buildings on the island.
The National Trust has since undertaken to educate the public as to the importance of this historic property, by hosting events to commemorate all the people who would have been housed at the island over the years.