FISCAL PIER “SAN MIGUEL”.

VIVAS VALDÉS, VEUDI (2023). NOTES AND RESEARCH – CHRONICLER AND HISTORIAN OF COZUMEL. INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY THE DIRECTORATE OF TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF COZUMEL.

In 1848 the island was repopulated with refugees from the war in Yucatan, and little by little a town was consolidated, whose main activity was agriculture for self-consumption, and as a second occupation, internal commerce, which took half a century to develop regularly, as well as fishing and cattle raising.

During those years and more or less from 1870 onwards, it is when in the records of the Civil Registry we can find the new occupation of sailor, an occupation that was limited to manning small sloops that did not stray far from the coasts of the island. Although there were those who were employed on the larger sailboats that made the crossing from the northern ports of Yucatan to the Caribbean islands and further south to Honduras.

At first, the ships were anchored in the harbor of the port of San Miguel because the town did not yet have a dock and the crew members disembarked ashore in small boats, according to an 1895 engraving in which the author did not record a dock.

So it is estimated that it was at the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century, when the main merchant and shipowner of the island, Don Julio Oscar Coldwell Anduze, invested in the construction of a small wooden dock from which small boats they transported the merchandise that arrived or was exported on large steamships.   

This dock and two or three others were easily destroyed by the eventual hurricanes that affected our island and were rebuilt at the expense of individuals who needed their use.

During the hurricane of 1903 the existing dock disappeared, as well as most of the ships in the small local fleet. In photographs from around 1920, you can see a cargo ship anchored in the roadstead and two small boats docked at the dock, where you can clearly see how the merchandise was unloaded.

Consequently, this dock was affected in 1938 by two hurricanes in a row, and on February 5 of that same year, the government of the Territory of Quintana Roo ordered the construction of a 100-meter-long masonry dock, opening from then on our port to the arrival of deeper draft ships and facilitating the growth of trade in general.

Currently, the San Miguel Fiscal Dock is managed by the Comprehensive Port Administration of Quintana Roo, an institution of the Government of the State of Quintana Roo.

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