The old market plaza is also known as the Dawbiney market square which dates back to the 18th century, a cobbled Courtyard with shop’s restaurants and a craft centre the plaza is the historic heart of town at the bayfront where boats docked for offloading and all trade occurred in the mid 1700s. The building was constructed in 1810 to replace the original wooden structure that days it from 1770, over the years this building was used as the customs office, police station and more, recently the Post Office
In 1895 a donation of 500 pounds Sterling was made by Jamaican philanthropist Mr. Edward Sherrif Dawbiney for huckster the shelter to be erected within the square the shelter is still used today thus the name Dawbiney market square. Dr. Dawbiney was a politician who along with one OD Riviere (likely Olify) participated in the land tax disturbances of 1886. Dr. Dawbiney also left a mark on local history when upon his death he bequeathed funds for the purchase of a new building for the Dominica Grammar School, which still has a house named after him to this day. The area is still known today as the Dawbiney Market.
The plaza is always upbeat, however, the square is especially vibrant during the cruise season when visitors flock to the town and market vendors take pride in showcasing the island’s local culture and indigenous way. Here many locals can effortlessly switch between English and French creole the native language giving you a real flavour of the place stroll through the square and fist their eyes on the variety of unique local crafts which make great mementoes or souvenirs to take home to add to the experience purchased a handful woven basket and you will no doubt enjoy the distinct satisfaction of shopping the old fashioned way want to know more about Dominica’s indigenous people or the island’s geology it’s well worth a visit to the national museum with photographs and interesting displays describe these as well as the slave trade creole and American culture and an overall account of the island’s history
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