The Gala Neighborhood (officially the Gala Apple neighborhood) is an area in Oranjestad, along the Northern Rim of Homestar Bay. It borders the Haverhill neighborhood to the east. The neighborhood was founded in 1783 as the Grunto Plantation. It is home to the Hall of Justice and the ancient Alpha Forest Preserve.
Gala is named for the abundant red apple trees found throughout the region. The trees trace their lineage back to the original Grunto plantation, which specialized in apple production.
The site was first used as a base of operations by General J.F. Grunto during the Shire Revolution. In 1778 he established a post on the southern shore, from which he trained his 175-man regiment for the defense to the west. After the war, Grunto was granted a tract of land for his services in the war. In 1783, Grunto began construction on his estate, which still stands today in the northwest corner of the neighborhood. The plantation’s success drew several families to the area and a small community developed.
Due to the many floods in the nineteenth century and the Shire Canal Company’s failed competition to build a canal connecting the north and south shores of the area, the village struggled. On August 24, 1805 the Oranje County Legislature authorized the construction of a canal linking Homestar Bay to the Connoor River. The first attempt failed and the investors lost their money. Developers tried to build a canal in 1817 and again in 1820, before the Shire government completed the Canal project in 1827.
Prior to it’s annexation into Oranjestad, Gala became a popular dueling spot for Oranjites who wanted to dodge Oranjestad’s anti-dueling laws. The most famous of these was the 1809 duel between JJ O’Brien and Donald Buckerton.
Gala was managed by a ten-member Board of Trustees in the charter. The trustees were allowed to align lots along roads and sell the lots for the proceeds to benefit the village. The trustees could elect replacements as needed and did not have to reside in the village. This remained controversial with residents until 1889 when the board stopped meeting and was replaced by a three-member board. One member was selected by the Oranje County Commissioners, one by the Homestar Port Commissioners, and one by residents of Gala. Between 1889 and 1937, the village established a five-member board entirely elected by residents.
The Great Flood of 1937 decimated the area. The entire village was submerged beneath as much as 12 feet (3.7 m) of water in some areas for over three weeks during January and February. With almost all of the old town destroyed, Gala was rebuilt into the modern community that exists today with the help of the Oranjestad government. The community was rebuilt on stilts with roads linking to the Tier 2 Haverhill neighborhood. The Grunto Estate and White Hinterland Inn were restored and the remnants of the old apple plantation were given protection status beneath the Tier 2 homes. Oranjestad would eventually use their financial assistance during the event as leverage in a claim to annex the area - a claim they won in 1941.
Today, despite the areas close proximity to downtown Oranjestad, the neighborhood still maintains a distinct rural charm, and has the fewest residents of any of the Oranjestad areas.
Gala is located along the Northern Rim of the Homestar Bay area. It borders Haverhill to the east, Homestar Port to the West, and is directly north of Parkview Island.
The area is known for it’s rocky shores and wild landscapes, and is the most heavily forested neighborhood in the metropolitan area after Shiredale in the Mainland.
As of the Shire Census of 2010, there were 25 people, 9 households, and 8 families residing in the town. The median age in the neighborhood was 37.3 years.
Points of Interest
The Hinterland Inn is the oldest continuously operating Inn in the Shire, dating to 1798. It was constructed by Darrell Olinger after he emigrated from Mattropolis, escaping before the anticipated Wolfing of his hometown. White Hinterland Inn is an exact replica of the original Inn in Mattropolis.
Grunto Estate is still owned and operated by the descendants of the original family. The home does offer tours to the Public.
The Hall of Justice stands on the eastern edge of the neighborhood. It is Gala's only Tier 3 connected structure. Tours are available by appointment only.
The Oranjestad Hyperloop has a stop beneath the main Tier 2 platform.
Behind the Scenes
The area was once heavily decorated with red apple item frames and red wool - hence the name. Grunto’s estate was actually Grunto’s tyro build. It is still in it’s original location. Grunto’s floating castle, which used to float above Parkview Island, was demolished.
White Hinterland Inn was copy/pasted from the destroyed Mattropolis, an unfinished city that used to exist near Sakura.
The “Alpha Forest” is a reference to the way trees that originated in Minecraft Alpha looked. Alpha leaves must have had a very different item code and as a result when they converted to Beta and other versions, the leaves of Alpha trees became 100% random: evergreen, jungle, birch, etc etc all appeared in one tree. As the server developed, these trees became more and more rare. The Alpha Forest Reserve was made in an effort to protect them (although some were manufactured via WorldEdit).