La Chance Estate

La Chance estate house, Arima, Trinidad, c. 1860s

Illustration by Peter Shim.
Sources: The Caribbean History Archives by Gerard A. Besson; Writings by Angelo Bissessarsingh

La Chance was the residence of Gaston de Gannes de La Chancellerie, one of the last aristocratic French-Creole patriarchs of the plantation era in Trinidad.

Born in 1837, de Gannes built the great plantation house on a vast cocoa estate which he had been developed on some 50 acres along O’Meara Road to the south of the old Arima Railway Station.

The grounds were known as La Chance Estate or La Compensation Estate.

De Gannes and his wife Sophie (nee Cipriani) were known to have hosted lavish luncheons and dinner parties at the mansion.

Pat Emmet Taafe O’Connor, a grandson of de Gannes, described Christmas and New Year’s Day being celebrated in the grand style of the French Creoles in his book “Some Trinidad Yesterdays”.

The estate house was demolished some years ago.

A little history of La Chance estate, Arima.