Kumily: It was a trip down the memory lane for the granddaughter of Jack Dean Troment, the English founder of Dymock estate in Peerumedu.
A member of the Dymock family in England, Jack reached Idukki in 1909 and purchased 35 acres of land from the Maharaja of Travancore. He planted tea there and named the estate Dymock. Later, local people began calling it 'Dy-mukku.'
Around the same time, Jack's relatives followed him to Peerumedu and started tea plantations. This led to the opening of estates named Ashley, Seminivalley, and Stag Brook. The Maharaja, pleased with their work, allotted more land and the area of cultivation spread to 723 acres.
As the attacks by wild animals were a common occurrence, the Travancore ruler decided to preserve an area on the border as a forest. This was the beginning of the Periyar wildlife sanctuary.
After the end of World War I, Jack decided to return to England and sold the estate in 1924. The estate is now owned by Harrisons Malayalam Plantations Ltd. Other relatives had also followed suit.
Jane recently visited the St George CSI church at Pallikkunnu, Peerumedu, where the tombs of her ancestors are built.
The local priest, Rev Jaysingh Norbert, showed Jane 150-year-old documents kept at the church and she located the names of her relatives.
Jane will visit the Periyar wildlife sanctuary before returning home. Attached to the World Health Organisation, Jane (62), currently lives in France.