The town of Douglas derives its name from the river Douglas upon which it stands and not from any connection with the Scottish family or locality of that name. This river is formed of two streams —the Glas ("The Gray River"), rising on Injebreck Mountain, and the Dhoo (" The Dark River "), which rises on the west side of Greeba. The two streams unite about one mile west of Douglas, and thence their united stream is called the Douglas. Its bed is shallow and it is subject to heavy floods. At present it falls into the sea close to the foot of the Howe Hill, between banks bordered by substantial quays; but formerly it entered the sea further to the north, and its mouth was protected by a small fort of great antiquity, demolished about 50 years ago. Originally the town of Douglas was built upon the flat, triangular space between the river, the sea, and the steep cliffs which fringe the bay; and this, the " old town," as it is called, is still the business part of the town. With the growth of the modern reputation of the town as a watering place, and stimulated by the example of rival watering places on the opposite coasts, the town has steadily spread westward along the Peel-road and on to the cliffs above the bay, and along the narrow margin of the bay itself, until the entire sweep of the cresent-shaped bay, from Derby Castle under the shadow of Banks’s Howe to Douglas Head, is bordered by a fringe of handsome houses, while the heights overlooking the southern half of the bay are covered with fine streets and squares of large commodious houses and villas regularly laid out and built expressly for the requirements of the summer season. These requirements are still very far from being satisfied. As yet, one improvement has only led to another, and the accommodation which Was found sufficient a few years ago has become insufficient for the wants of to-day. Thus the process of growth is still vigorously going on, the town is still pushing itself further and further from the iow old town with its narrow, winding streets, and its mean-looking, dilapidated houses; and the buildings erected, whether for shops, or hotels, or boarding-houses, are persistently becoming more extensive and costly. The town of Douglas is situated in the south-western corner of the noble bay of Douglas. Its harbour is a tidal one, but this disadvantage has been recently overcome by the construction of a spacious outer harbour, which affords shelter and wharfage for vessels of the largest size. The commercial importance of Douglas dates only from the beginning of the last century, and owes its origin to the great smuggling trade which then engaged all classes of the Manx community. Traces of this period remain still in the narrow winding streets of the old town, with their abrupt and innumerable openings and passages, and the great rambling houses with their vast storage spaces, which tower up in these narrow lanes—all constructed to facilitate the landing and storing of goods intended to be smuggled across the Channel. The extinction of this profitable though pernicious trade struck a severe but fortunately only temporary blow at the dawning prosperity of the town. After a few years of panic and depression, the trade of the town again began to flourish, and from that time downward it has continued to grow, and Douglas now occupies the position of chief town and principal port of the Island. This fact was virtually recognised by the Duke of Athol, who removed his official residence from Castletown to Douglas; and it was still more effectually admitted by the present Governor, H. B. Loch, Esq., C.B., who has completed the transference of the seat of Government and the sessions of the Legislature to the new capital. The population of Douglas is about 15,000. The trade of Douglas is very considerable. It is chiefly carried on with Liverpool, between which port and the Island there has long existed a very close connection, arising partly from their geographical position, but chiefly from the connection of the Earls of Derby, the ancient Lords of the Island, with Lancashire, and especially with Liverpool; but it has a large and steadily growing trade with Whitehaven, Barrow, and other Channel ports. Its direct foreign trade is not important. Douglas possesses a line of fine steamers, which run regularly throughout the year between Douglas and Liverpool, and, during the summer season, special services are established between Douglas and Fleetwood, and less frequently with the North ~f Ireland and Glasgow. The Barrow Company also run steamers regularly in the summer between Douglas and Barrow. Douglas has few manufactures, and these are of little importance. Its chief dependence is upon the summer tourists, who, to the number of above 100,000, visit it annually, chiefly from the Midland and Northern counties of England. The old town of Douglas, near the harbour, is irregularly built, and the streets are narrow, winding, and ill-paved. The new town, which stretches westward towards the Peel-road, and northward along the heights above the bay, is in great part regularly laid out, the streets are broad and well paved, and the houses are large and commodious. There are several handsome squares carefully kept and planted with trees and shrubs. The shops in the business parts of the town are numerous and well-stocked with goods of the newest patterns and qualities. The principal business streets are Victoria-street, through the centre of the town from the Queen’s Pier to Prospect-hill, which, for its fine proportions, the character of its buildings, and the variety and costliness of the goods displayed, will fairly compare with any similar street in the kingdom; Duke-street,

narrow, but filled with fine shops; Prospect-hill; Strand-street; and Athol-street. Douglas possesses few public buildings with any claims to architectural beauty. The principal are—the Court House (formerly the Oddfellows’ Hall, and later, St. George’s Hall) in which the Manx Legislature holds its meetings, and the Government offices, &c., are situated; the Post-office; the buildings formerly occupied by the Bank of Mona, recently purchased by the Insular Government; the House of Industry. It possesses four churches (St. Matthew’s, in the Market-place; St. Barnabas’, in Fort-street; St. Thomas’, in Finch-road; and St. George’s, in the centre of the town) and numerous chapels, including Thomas-street and Well-road Wesleyan Methodist; Wellington-street and the Loch Parade Primitive Methodist; Finch-hill and Circular-road Congregational; Finch-road, Presbyterian; and St. Mary’s, Roman Catholic. The education of the town is moderately well provided for, there being several good proprietory middle- class schools, a "Grammar School," a large Board School divided into three departments, and good national schools attached to St. George’s, St. Barnabas’, and St. Thomas’ Churches. To each of the Wesleyan Chapels and also to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Chapel good elementary schools are attached. There are two banks—The Isle of Man (Limited), and Dumbell’s (Limited). The hotels are numerous and well-appointed, several of them being among the best managed in the kingdom. Among the places of amusement are two theatres, several large and comfortable concert and lecture rooms, two skating rinks, and an aquarium and marine baths. But the great attraction of the Island is the beautiful clear sea which surrounds its rocky coasts, and the clean bright sands which cover the shores of its lovely bays, and to enable its innumerable visitors to enjoy these to the full the town of Douglas has strained every nerve. The latest step in this direction has been the embanking of the southern half of the shore and the formation upon the embankment of a magnificent marine parade, which, for the elegance of its appearance, the character of the buildings which border it, and the beauty of the views which it commands, is almost unrivalled in the kingdom. Among the most noticeable features of Douglas are its magnificent harbour works, for which it is chiefly indebted to the energy and persistence of the present Governor. These mainly consist of the old, or Red Pier, built in 1796-1801, partly by the Insular Government and partly by the Society for Promoting British Fisheries; and a smaller pier, called the Jetty, built on the opposite side of the harbour to lessen the scour of the tidal waves in the inner harbour. In addition to these older works which the growing trade of the port and especially its immense summer trade, rendered insufficient, a new low water landing pier has been built along the Pollock Rocks into deep water. This structure, which is called the Queen Victoria Pier, and was opened with great ceremony on July let, 1872, is 1,100 feet long, and cost over £48,000. Running out to meet this pier from the south side of the bay under Douglas Head is a second work, half breakwater half pier, called the Battery Pier, completed in 1879. The space included within these two great works is accessible in all weathers and at all states of the tide to vessels of the largest dimensions. Further extensions of these works, especially of the Queen’s Pier, are in contemplation. To connect the Battery Pier with the inner harbour and the town, the headland along the south side of the harbour has been deeply scarped, and a road and quay have been formed from the pier to the South Quay. All these works are constructed of huge concrete blocks—that is of blocks made of a mixture of sand, gravel, and Portland cement. In the centre of the bay is an elegant iron pier, the property of a company; and built by Mr. Dixon, of the Cleopatra Needle celebrity.


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