1493 Columbus discovers Saba; except for the Carib Indians (who
may have lived here around AD 800) Saba was uninhabited.
1640 Dutch settlers arrived from St. Eustatius (Statia).
1816 The Dutch flag is raised after Saba had changed
hands 12 times whilst French, Dutch, English and Spanish had vied for
1940's Sabans are very proud and resourceful. In the early days settlers
carved steps out of the mountainside to the “customs house”
to get from Fort Bay to the Bottom. Everything from the Queen of Holland
to pianos had to be carried up by hand. Those rugged steps were the only
way to transport goods to the Islanders. A more practical supply network
had to be arranged. Josephus Lambert Hassell, a carpenter who took correspondence
courses in engineering convinced Sabans and the Dutch authorities alike
that a road on Saba was not just the stuff of a madman's dreams... Known
as the "road that couldn't be built" (by Dutch Civil Engineers)
construction lasted 25 years as no automated or heavy machinery could
be used. Many of the people who worked on the construction are still resident
on Saba up to this day.
1980's The Saba Marine and Conservation foundations are established
by renowned environmentalist Tom van't Hof.
With Marine & Conservation foundations in place tourism tentatively
crept onto the island.
Today Saba is renowned throughout the world for its unique
wildlife and pristine dive sites. The majority of the islanders today
come from a Caribbean, Dutch, English or Irish background. There is a
small expatriate population on the island who maintain second homes or
have set up dive or tourism related businesses.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands comprises three entities: Holland, the
Netherlands Antilles (Saba, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Bonaire, and Curaçao),
and Aruba. Saba's local administration supervises internal affairs and
has recently voted to have a direct representative in Holland.