It is a historic house, which is now in dire need of repair.
Lopinot House, which serves as a reminder of this country’s plantation and slave era, is still standing but the structure’s integrity is slowly crumbling.
However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries said it is currently conducting a scope of the works necessary to restore the former museum at the Lopinot Historical Complex known as Lopinot House.
In a telephone interview with Guardian Media, Conservator of Forests Denny Dipchandsingh said the analysis is expected to be completed this year, however, he could not say for certain when any repair works would commence.
He proffered that it may begin in the following financial year.
The museum at the complex was housed in what is believed to have been the La Reconnaissance Estate manager’s home built in 1806.
However, after 200 years, the structure’s roof needed to be replaced in 2008-2009.
Dipchandsingh said this was the source of the current issue.
“There was a historical restoration unit under the Ministry of Works, they were the ones who had done that work. It was done by some professionals...the building itself is an earthen kind of Tapia structure so it obviously could not take the weight (of the new roof)...it developed cracks over the years,” he explained.
Cracks began to develop and parts of the new roof began to collapse.
Three years ago, the structure was deemed unsafe and the museum relocated to the nearby jailhouse on the estate.
Some of the artefacts and exhibits were, however, kept in storage.
Asked why it took three years for the ministry to act, Dipchandsingh said: “It was one of the sites earmarked to go under the TDC (Tourism Development Company). But then TDC came and became dissolved...so our funding for it didn’t come through at that point.”
Guardian Media visited the site on Thursday and spoke to Martin Gomez who was one of the workers who helped create the museum.
He was one of the first foremen of the complex and dedicated some 30 years of his life to the estate.
He lamented the condition of the museum after giving us an almost half-hour lesson on the history of the estate and his time there.
Gomez said: “To me, that place is very run down. It’s not appealing as how it was.”
To residents of Lopinot, like Community Council president Athanasius Guvera, it’s a place they are proud of.
“This is the thing that bring all the people and make Lopinot get on the map. Trinidad and Tobago, as a matter of fact, get on the map through this heritage site. Anybody coming to Lopinot, they coming to come here.”