The history of Las Terrenas by Susan M. Grady

Life back in 1978

Susan M. Grady is an American woman who contacted us a few weeks ago to share with us the history of Las Terrenas. Her husband, Dr. Dane Bowen, who died in 2011 at the age of 84 years, was an american diplomate, a consultant in economy based in Santo Domingo, between 1974 and 1977.

They both discovered Las Terrenas during those years. Susan was the third foreign woman to live in the village and they built their house besides Casa Nina in 1977.

The memories came back to her and she wanted to share it with us.

In addition to the house of my husband, Dr. Adelphia Dane Bowen, Jr., the following buildings were in Las Terrenas in July 1978 and are still there:

Paco Cabana Restaurant – When you come over the mountain from Sanchez, this restaurant is on the beach, just to the left of the cemetery.

Police Station – It faces the beach just a little ways down from Paco Cabana Restaurant.

Hotel Diny – next to the police station Where the restaurant there is now is where Senor Gigillo Espinal had his small Dominican store, colmado in 1978. There was no restaurant or hotel there then.

Hotel Tropic Banana – The main building where the bar is and where you go to eat in the restaurant was there in 1978 and one of the two story hotel rooms was there also.

Is It Possible To Live Without Electricity ?

Electricity did not come to the village of Las Terrenas, Samana Province, Dominican Republic, until 1994.

This article explains how Dr. Dane Bowen and Ms. Susan M. Grady lived in their beach house there before the electricity arrived.


First– kerosene lamps They were smelly.

Second– Coleman propane gas camping lantern – It consists of a metal and glass lamp with mantles sitting on a pole that sits in a small, round propane gas tank. It was hot and hissed.

Third– Solar powered lights and ceiling fans in the ceilings of the rooms in the house The lights and ceiling fans were powered by solar panels on the roof of the house. Mr. Robert D. Green of Somers Point, New Jersey, an engineer and Susan Grady’s younger brother, helped us to purchase the solar panels.

We brought our own flashlights and batteries to use also. We could not buy them in Las Terrenas.

Stove and Refrigerator

Refrigerator– tall regular refrigerator with a freezing compartment up above. It ran off a tank of propane gas.

Stove- three burner Coleman propane gas camping stove It ran off a tank of propane gas.

One six-foot tall propane gas tank ran the refrigerator and stove for one month. We always kept extra propane gas tanks on hand because we had to send the empty tanks on a truck that took them to the town of Nagua, fifty miles away, to be refilled.

Oven– We bought a metal collapsible Coleman camping oven and set it on top of two of the burners on the stove. It was large enough to use to bake a square pan of cornbread or to bake a medium size chicken.

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