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About this City Journal

Follow the story of Desten from its discovery in 1755 to the present day.

Entries in this City Journal


Teaser Shot

There has not been much progress when it comes to this story because of Cities Skylines, but I was thinking about it the other day, and I decided Desten is going to have two storylines from two cities in it - Sophara (SimCity 4) and Springfield (Cities Skylines)! Somehow, I will intertwine the two (Springfield will be found sometime in the early 20th Century), but for now, here is a single teaser shot!



Desten - 1850

Head of Council: Franklin Brickson (Just Elected)

Population:  119,114



Playing Catchup

We come back to our story in 1850 – a full twenty-five years since we last visited Sophara and Desten.  Last time we were here, James Hemming had just won his third consecutive – and final – term as Head of the Executive Council in an election that was marred with controversy and violence.  Each one of his three terms were known for separate, distinct reasons – the first term under Hemming was known for the aggressive development of the city as well as his focus on strengthening law enforcement and police, while the second term was associated with the creation of the Desten Tax Code, which put a 10% Income Tax on everyone and a 10% Import Tax on all imports coming into the country. His third term was perhaps his most ambitious, however, as the Executive Council began focusing on mining coal and getting it down to Sophara for use and export.  Railroad tracks were built leading into the center of the country, and coal mines were opened thanks to private investments by most of the rich families in Desten.  A coal refinery was constructed on the eastern side of Sophara by the Hemming family, who took the big share of the wealth from the coal mining because of the power the Head of Council, James Hemming, had consolidated.  As his third term came to a close, however, his most likely successor – George Carpenter – was backed and funded by the Brickson family, the Hemming family’s bitter rivals.







The Carpenter Years

The 1830 elections went as expected, with George Carpenter taking the majority and becoming Desten’s second ever Head of Council.  In the weeks after Carpenter was named Head, there was a lot of fear from the Hemming family and their associates, who did not know what to expect after their man had left office.  Secret meetings between high level members of both the Brickson and Hemming families took place frequently, as they wanted to ensure a smooth transition where everyone’s interests remained intact.  Neither family had any desire to see their system of obtaining wealth strained, so it was agreed that Carpenter would not chase after any dealings the Hemming family and its associates had in place with the Executive Council.  In return, they would put their weight and support behind Carpenter’s leadership to make sure he was able to implement his vision without any drama. 

The agreement that was made after the 1830 elections allowed Carpenter – who was an entrepreneur by trade – to focus on what he thought was best for Desten.  Coming from a business background, the new Head of Council was keen to see private businesses flourish in the capital, and embarked on making that happen.  He approved several construction initiatives for the Sophada downtown area, leading to a small boom in construction and then in trade and retail activity.  That was naturally followed by the opening of restaurants, cafes, and even small boutique hotels all around the Sophara downtown area, and most of centered around Desten Boulevard.  He also approved an initiative to continue the expansion of Desten Boulevard’s wide avenue further south, which led to the construction of several rich townhouses and expensive apartment buildings being constructed.


The 1835 elections, with the backing of the Hemming and the Brickson families, saw George Carpenter easily win his second term in the biggest landslide victory recorded in Desten history to date.  No one wanted to screw up a good thing – a lot of wealth was flowing into the hands of Desten’s elite, whether it was through trade, coal mining, farming, or whatever else – and Carpenter was a Head of Council that most of those elite could get behind, simply because he did not confront them and go after their interest.  Instead, his second term was an extension of his first – more development in Sophara, especially in the downtown district.  He easily won his third term in 1840, as well, leading Desten from 1830 until 1845 in what was perhaps the country’s most peaceful time since its creation.  It also saw the opening of Sophara’s first factories, aided by the fact that coal was readily available.  To no one’s surprise, the two factories were owned by the Brickson and Hemming family, respectively. 









Waters’ Single Term and Downtown

Desten’s third Head of Council was a man called Stanson Waters, another neutral candidate that most of the elite put their weight behind.  Unlike Carpenter, however, Waters was more of “a man of the people” and promised to keep anyone who stepped out of line in check.  He almost immediately clashed heads with Sophara’s elite, even sending a few low level men to prison on fraud charges.  This, obviously did not bode well with Desten’s wealthy, and the next few years were spent attempting to undermine all of Waters’ efforts.  This led to a very inefficient time in office for Waters, and there was generally a stagnation in the development of Desten as a whole over that time period, something that Desten’s rich were eager to point at seemingly every day.   James Hemming, who died in 1834, was associated with strengthening law enforcement and introducing the 10% Tax Code, and George Carpenter’s 15 years were known as a time of flourishing business, development, and peace in Desten.  Stanson Waters’ time, however, was known as a time of stagnation and tension, which would make his re-election campaign in 1850 very difficult as he had no real financial backers while his opponent, Franklin Brickson, had a united Desten elite behind him.  What did come out the Waters’ tenure as Head as further redevelopment of the downtown area, as a fancy new hotel called the Quatre Saisons (Four Seasons) would open its doors for business, becoming the largest single building in all of Desten.  That construction project was also paralleled by a new administrative building for the Executive Council, built across the street from the new hotel. 










Desten - 1825

Head of Council: James Hemming

Population: 57,881


Hemming’s Second Term

After the controversy that marred the 1820 Head of Council elections, Hemming’s first proposal to the Desten Council after his re-election was to double the budget of the Sophara Police.  Worried about potential retaliations to what was generally accepted as an election blemished with fraud, Hemming also successfully fired the Chief of Police and replaced him with one of his own men, Holden Brigand.  The increase in budget was approved by the Council, and with one of his own men at the head of the Sophara Police, Hemming’s attempt to consolidate power over the police was a success.  Crackdowns on what he called “threats to the peace of Desten” were ruthless and numerous, but Hemming was careful to make sure no one of real power was arrested.  Instead, he focused on the small players and the people that were known to do the dirty work – basically, instead of going directly for the Brickson-led opposition’s heart, he tried to cut them off at their legs.  They were too powerful to go after directly, and he knew that, so he went after their stooges.  “Alive but crippled”, he famously said.


Hemming’s second term in charge also saw his allies grow very wealthy, as new farms were cultivated to the north and east of Sophara.  The Mulmont River still represented the unofficial border for the city, and the Desten Council was still adamant that no one was allowed to settle across the river.  This forced the city to grow, along with the farms, northwards and eastwards.  In fact, Head of Council James Hemming built his new personal residence on Desten Boulevard, as the road continued to expand northwards and continued to be the preferred choice for the wealthy of Desten to be build their homes in.  Melborne Avenue also was expanded, as it continued to stretch eastwards, supporting both new farms and new residences. 


The Head of Council’s second term, however, would be dominated by one thing – the creation of the 10% income tax code, as well as the 10% import tax code.  Both codes were extremely unpopular, and it was not a decision Hemming had forced down the Desten Council’s throats.  It was a heavily researched necessity – as the country got bigger, so did the burden on its coffers.  The tax code was deemed the biggest need by the Desten Council, and despite an uproar from all classes – poor and rich – the codes were implemented starting at the beginning of 1823.  Hemming’s first term was defined by his aggressive development of the town and support for its law enforcement – his second term was most definitely defined by the tax codes implemented. 


The Sophara Docks

With 9 operational piers, Phase One of the Sophara Docks project was called complete by the Desten Council, putting an end to their most ambitious and costly endeavor since the creation of the country approximately 10 years after construction first began.  The Docks were also the life of the country – all imports and exports came through ships visiting the docks, as well as all immigrants into the new nation.  That is why Hemming had the Sophara Police implement strict control over the Docks, in order to reduce the amount of smuggling as well as have control over who was immigrating and emigrating from the country.  The Desten Tax Authority was set up to control all imports and exports, and also to collect tax for all incoming imports into the country.  The DTA and the Desten Immigration Authority (DIA) were two separate entities, but both had their head offices at the Sophara Docks since that was where all their work was.


The Sophara Docks caused a tremendous growth in the fishing industry in Desten, as all types of North Atlantic fish were found in abundance off the coast of the country.  The fishing industry helped alleviate some of the pressure from the farming industry in providing food for a very fast growing city, and continued to leave Desten in a food surplus.





The 1825 Elections

Having already served two terms, James Hemming, now 61 years old, opted to run a third consecutive time, much to the dismay of his opponents.  No law stated put a limit on the number of terms a Head of Council could serve, and taking full advantage of that loophole, Hemming made it so that any law to be issued on the subject would have to wait till after the elections.  Having been defeated twice, the Brickson family opted to throw their weight behind a young candidate called George Carpenter, who was a self-made entrepreneur having grown his wealth from several small investments in businesses around Sophara.

With the full support of the Sophara Police behind him, Hemming once again used that power to intimidate and scare potential opposition voters away.  Once again, ballots were miscounted to show that Hemming had a substantial lead over his opponent when the reality suggested otherwise.  At the end, the Desten Council was confronted by allies of Carpenter and the Brickson family with actual evidence showing the irregularities that had happened on Election Day, but after much deliberation, the Council chose to dismiss the evidence and once again proclaimed James Hemming the Head of Council.

Declaring the result unacceptable and illegal, protesters led by Carpenter stormed the Independence Hall – seat of the Desten Council – while armed youth prepared for battled against the Sophara Police.  With all out civil war threatening to spill into the streets, the Desten Council attempted to calm the tension by calling for dialogue between Hemming and Carpenter.  Hemming accepted, but Carpenter refused, stating that first the elections must be called void and a new election day set.  The refusal of Hemming and the Desten Council to meet those demands proved to be the flame that ignited the fire, and on December 19th, 1825, in response to alleged shots being targeted at them, the Sophara Police attacked the protesters and stormed the Independence Hall, which had been occupied for days by Carpenter’s followers.  Upon hearing of the attack, the armed youth attacked the Sophara Police, and in two days of battle between the two sides, 126 people died with countless others injured.  On December 22nd, 1825, George Carpenter agreed to a permanent cease-fire and called his supporters back on the condition that the Desten Council draw up a law limiting each Head of Council to a maximum of 3 terms, meaning this would be the last term James Hemming would serve, much to his disapproval and dismay.


The Real Reason for the Violence in the 1825 Elections

James Hemming was always quick to point out that the Brickson family led opposition were trying to undermine the democratic process and gain power by violent means, while George Carpenter used every opportunity to portray Hemming as a power hungry individual who was acting like a dictator.  Both sides were trying to mass public support behind them, trying to make the residents of Desten believe that they were champions of their everyday cause and were merely trying to fight to give them a better life.

The reality was different, as it always seems to be, however.  In 1825, the first modern railway began operations in England, called the Stockton-Darlington Railway, meant to carry passengers and, more importantly, coal.  With the latter fast becoming the most popular natural resource in the world, Hemming had secretly sanctioned a team to find out if Desten had the resource in 1822.  The results came back two years and there were quite a few potential locations for coal mines to be set up.  Of course, the Desten Council would have to sanction the mines, but Hemming wanted his private companies to operate them.  The case was the same for the Brickson family and their allies, and that was the reason why the 1825 elections was so hotly contested.  Whoever had control over the Council would also have leverage into making the mines their own, and it was only after an agreement to share the wealth was the cease-fire called.


Hemming’s Third Term Project

As 1825 came to a close, Hemming had already drawn up the project that would consume his third – and final – term as Head of Council.  A railroad was to be developed, connecting the Sophara Docks to the future coal mines in the north.  It was a project that was going to take much planning, and had a great cost to it.  The mines could not be developed until the railroad was up and running, and the second issue was that the Sophara Docks currently had to store the coal.  The Docks would have to be expanded, or a separate pier for the coal would have to be constructed.  Either way, the first step was to get the rail connection going between the Sophara and the coal mines. 


The other goal behind getting the railroad tracks built was the Desten Council’s plan to open up part of the rest of the island for development.  To state it simply, the rich of Sophara were getting tired of mingling with those they deemed to be of a lower class level than themselves, and thus wanted to find a way to get them out of Sophara and into their own little enclaves.  Land and real estate prices were rising in the capital, and beautification projects were happening all around, especially on Desten Boulevard – whether it was downtown near the docks or further up north whre the road became double laned with trees and well maintained grass in the middle.


Downtown Sophara.



Aerial looking north.




A typical neighborhood in Sophara.




The Hatfield School - the first ever in Desten.




Desten Boulevard looking east.



Head of Council: James Hemming

Population in 1820: 23,420

The first term of James Hemming as Head of Council was noted for his zero tolerance towards crime and corruption, which made him a lot of enemies with other wealthy families in Desten. Their argument was that he went after those that were a threat to his fortune, but turned a blind eye to the corrupted actions of his own family and friends. Nonetheless, much was accomplished in the five years Hemming served as Head of Council.

Farming and herding land more than doubled from 1815 to 1820, bringing with it several opportunities for employment and keeping Desten – an island that would otherwise have to rely on imports to feed itself – in a food surplus. The beef grown in Desten was considered one of the finest in the world by those that had it, rich in taste and flavor, while the some of the fruits grown locally were also lamented with the same compliments. The spread of the farmland had generally stuck to the north, following the Mulmont River, which provided the necessary fresh water and kept the soil healthy and moist. Much of the land was subsidized by the Desten Council – unfortunately for some, it was only those who Hemming favored that seemed to receive those subsidies. When farmers, led by a member of the Brickson family, decided to protest and travel west across the Mulmont River and start developing agricultural land there, they were attacked and brutally put down by the Sophara Police, and shortly thereafter, the Desten Council passed a law that forbade anyone to found any type of farm or settlement on Desten land. The only one with that authority, it was announced, was the council itself, and as of the time being, the council had decided that the focus was to remain on the development of Sophara. That did nothing to quell the growing resentment against the perceived aristocratic power players led by Hemming, and the 1820 elections was the most contested – and unfortunately, the most violent – in Desten history.

Under Hemming’s first term as Head of Council, the population of Sophara also nearly doubled, growing to almost 24,000, with the city expanding rapidly north and east. The town’s population would have had it ranked as the United States’ 7th largest city if it was part of the former English colony, just a tad smaller than Charleston and ahead of the capital of Washington DC. Desten’s population growth was directly related to the growth in the USA because it was the same people that were immigrating to the New World that were stopping and settling in Desten, as well. Fearful that the rapid growth might lead to lack of control by his Council over the country, Hemming instated the Desten Immigration Authority, which was given the responsibility of tracking all incoming and outgoing people. The DIA also issued Resident Cards for all of Desten citizens, making it mandatory for all residents of the country to get the their resident papers as a form of identification that proved they were citizens of Desten. Anyone caught making trouble that was not a resident of the country was swiftly deported on the next ship out. It was also a way of consolidating power as Hemming was always fearful that the Brickson family were using their money to buy outside help from Europe to wrestle away Hemming’s authority.

The backroom politics that was going on behind closed doors between Desten’s richest was pretty much unknown to the everyday people who went about their daily lives in Sophara. The biggest thing that had supported the town’s population growth and trade was the Sophara Docks. Five years after work had commenced on it, the Docks now had 7 operational piers, with plans to develop another 2 in the immediate future. That would put an end to the first phase of development concerning the Sophara Docks, which was the largest single project the Desten Council had undertaken, and funded, since the creation of the country. The importance of the new Docks could never be overstated, however, as the new harbor was also the single most important catalyst to the growing wealth of Sophara, as well. Whether it was the fishing industry or the trade sector, when the sun came up, the Sophara Docks came to life, filled with the hustle and bustle you would find at any major city’s harbor around the world. The Docks also were extremely important in the development of Desten’s export industry – while food was the main source of trade for incoming ships who wanted to restock for the second leg of their trips to either the New or the Old Worlds, a growing sector in Desten was the leather industry. Whether it was cow, pig, or sheep leather, the quality of the Desten leather was giving it a reputation as some of the finest one could get anywhere, and demand for the product was growing. The largest exporter of the Desten leather was, of course, the Hemming family, who were trying to monopolize market by either buying out the smaller traders, or making life extremely difficult for them – with full support of the Head of Council.

With the town expanding and growing so fast, Head of Council James Hemming also led the charge into finding a quieter and more exclusive place to live for himself and his rich buddies, as the center of town was becoming way to crowded and congested. The Desten Council, most of them the rich buddies of Hemming, approved to expand Desten Boulevard after its intersection with Melborne Avenue, making each street a one way affair, with trees and grass lining up the middle of it. Mansions were constructed almost overnight by Sophara’s wealthiest, and those that were late on acquiring land there decided to build their mansions to the far east of Melborne Avenue, also miles away from the crowded center of town. Still, there were those who preferred the life closer to the action, and development in the center of town was also evident, as old single story houses were torn down and fancy townhouses were built up in their place. The town now had three main roads – Desten Boulevard going south to north, and Cross Street and Melborne Avenue going west to east.

With all the improvements, developments, and growth, James Hemming entered the 1820 as the firm favorite to win his second term. Running against him, again, was Rosemund Brickson, the same candidate that Hemming had defeated five years prior. Last time around, the elections was an exciting affair filled with hop and promise – this time, however, it was mired by violence and threats. With accusations flying rampant that Hemming was power hungry and consolidating his authority so that he would not be challenged, Brickson attempted to rally the people of Sophara around him by portraying Hemming as a power-hungry dictator. Hemming responded by painting the picture that Brickson was out to destroy all the progress Desten had made in the past five years because he was not able to use his wealth for corruption and his own personal gain anymore. Protests from both sides became common place, usually ending with several arrests and injuries. By the time Election Day came around, both families had spent exhaustive amounts of money campaigning their candidates, and it was Hemming who would win out again, albeit by a slim margin. The Brickson family immediately called out the elections as illegitimate, claiming Hemming had his goons falsify votes and intimidate Brickson voters into not voting. Both claims, according to many neutral parties, were true, but at the end, the result was accepted by the Desten Council and Hemming was to serve another five years as Head of Council.


The northern part of Desten Boulevard.


The Sophara Docks and the center of town.


Looking south.


An aerial of Sophara looking south.



Head of Council: James Hemming

Population: 13,918

The Desten Council, the governing body of Sophara and Desten, passes a law to have the Head of Council elections every five years, starting 1815. The two main candidates were both from Desten’s oldest and richest families – Rosemond Brickson and James Hemming. It was the latter that would end up winning the election, which was open to all citizens of Desten, with the promise that he would subsidize farmland and grant loans to all potential farmers to grow crops and commodities, as well as ranchers. The land granted was to the north, alongside the Mulmont River, and approval was given to begin roadworks to give road access to all the new farms and ranches.

Hemming made good on his promise after being elected, granting the land and giving the road access. He also continued the expansion of Melborne Avenue, extending it all the way west to the Mulmont River, while focusing the development of the town to the area set aside by the previous administration to the northeast of the town. He also continued funding the Sophara Docks, as trade between the Old and New Worlds had increased exponentially and given Desten’s location between the two, it was bound to benefit from ships both coming and going.

Hemming also emphasized the importance of the security of the town, and doubled its Police Department members as well as increased its budget, putting in place a plan to import more weaponry and ammunition in the coming five years than what the Council had spent on them the past twenty years. Hemming had the right idea – as the town eclipsed 13,000 residents, it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain control over the entire vicinity of Sophara all at once. The bigger reason for increasing the Police Department’s budger, however, was not the one told to the public – corruption had begun to show its ugly face in Sophara, and Hemming saw it as scourge that was hurting the Council and its income. He wanted to battle corruption, whether it was through Council members or through wealthy families or merchants, with powerful force in order to set an example.

There was no doubting that James Hemming was not much of diplomatic implementation, and rather preferred to rule with command and an iron fist. While he did live up to his promise of subsidizing a number of farms along the river, many in the wealthy elite of Sophara figured it was just a way for Hemming to win mass support in order to achieve what he was after all along – wealth and power. Hemming already belong to the wealthiest family in Desten, and there were fears that he was merely working in order to strengthen the Hemming hold on the young nation. The Sophara Docks and the Sophara PD were Hemming’s priority because and expanded port meant larger quantities of export for the Hemming family, while a stronger PD – loyal to Hemming – meant a much stronger presence for the family. That was the fear of the other wealthy families, especially the Bricksons.

Nonetheless, the politics of Sophara and Desten did not stop the town from growing to over 13,000 people by 1815, big enough to make it the United States’ 8th largest city if it was part of the country. Opportunities in the farming and trade sectors made Sophara an intriguing prospect for immigrants from the Old World looking to make a better life for themselves, much in the same way the United States promised them a better life. Unlike the United States, however, there was no war in Desten – while the US was involved in the War of 1812 with its former colonial master England, the Desten Council had shored up its defensive by strengthening the Sophara Police and making sure the town, and country, were capably defended.


The Sophara Docks.


The northeastern part of Sophara.


Desten Boulevard.


Desten Boulevard from further away.


Desten experienced unprecedented growth in the past ten years, with the population more than doubling to nearly 10,000 citizens from just 4,000 in 1800. To put that in perspective, if Sophara was part of the USA, it would have been the 10th largest city by population in the country in 1810. Along with the growth in population also came unprecedented growth in wealth, as well. Trade and agriculture, most of the time hand-in-hand, where the primary reason for the development of wealth, and by the end of the first decade of the 19th century, the Desten Pier was extremely overwhelmed in respect to handling ship traffic. Sophara had relied on trade to grow its wealth since it was found, and it was under that premise that the Sophara Council ruled to expand the pier, giving birth to the Sophara Docks in 1807.

The Sophara Docks was perhaps the council’s biggest and most ambitious initiative to date, and much of the surplus the local government was turning was put into the construction of the docks. This was by no means a small endeavor – in fact, the Sophara Docks were to be built in many phases. The current pier, renamed the Old Pier, was to stay on as the town’ main unloading bay during the construction period, but by 1810, the town had two piers to receive ships from – the Old Pier and Pier One.

Desten Boulevard was the showcase of the quickly developing town, always full of life regardless of whether it was day or night. The Deschamps Hotel was the place to be seen by the local elite, while the Guerin Building was home to the watch and jewelry making House of Guerin, a fast rising name in both the New and Old Worlds. The most expensive, and fanciest, homes were located on Desten Boulevard, as Sophara’s richest families had chosen their addresses to be located next to one another on the city’s most famous road.

Looking towards the future and the expected continued expansion of Sophara, the council began work on what is named the Melborne Avenue, named after the member of council who came up with and made the idea come to life. Located just north of the town, Barring Avenue becomes Sophara’s first double-lane road. The first construction phase saw begin on its intersection with Desten Boulevard and go east to the most eastern border of the last farm in the Sophara municipal area. The second phase would see Melborne Avenue extend west all the way to the river. An extensive road network was already drawn up to help support development eastward from the center of town, away from the river and more into the open space of the east.

The 1800s also brought with it the discovery that the Desten soil makes for great pastures, and as such, the quality of the Desten meat is soon to be thought to be amongst the best in the world. Big pasture farms are opened up by the Hemming family to the north of Sophara, and in just a few years, those pasture farms were feeding the population of Desten beef of incredible quality.

Note: I don’t know how to remove the cars, so please ignore those. I know they don’t match the times!






1800 AD Part One

1800 AD

Desten continues to be a popular destination for people from European looking to make a new life for themselves and their families, leading to Sophara’s population to more than double in five years. Approaching 4,000 residents, the town starts picking up a reputation for the quality of produce it cultivates. Farmland takes up over 210 acres around the town, with wheat and barley being grown in large quantities. The biggest exporter of fresh food products remains the Hemming family, although new farmers begin to run large and profitable farms, as well. Agriculture employs nearly 80% of the workforce in Sophara, with the sector still big enough to employ more than double the amount.

The quantity of produce being cultivated, herded, and fished leads to the construction of the Cross Avenue Market by the Desten Council. It becomes the location for farmers, herders, and fishermen to sell their product to local residents and outgoing sailors. It is estimated that Desten is producing twice as much food as it consumes, and the market becomes a selling point for the excess. With the Sophara Pier welcoming more and more ships, there is no shortage of buyers.

New multiple-story buildings are built in central Sophara, especially down Desten Boulevard up to First Street. This includes the iconic Gourin Building, named after the famous Destenian jeweler and watch-maker who builds the clock on top of the tower. It is the largest building in Sophara and second only to the Independence Hall in height. Next to it, some luxury townhouses are constructed by the Brickson family as their residences.

NOTE: The pictures are reflective of the period between 1795 to 1800. In Part Two of the 1800 AD update, pictures current to 1800 AD will be showcased.








1795 AD

1795 AD

In just five years, Sophara’s population increases by over 60%, and at final count, the town has 1,682 residents. The Desten Council approves a legislation that calls for an election every five years, with anyone over the age of twenty-one, be it man or woman, can legally vote for who they want in the twenty member Desten Council, as well as the Head of the Council itself. The first elections take place a few months after the legislation is passed, and the very first Head of Council voted into the position by the residents of Desten is Thomas Brickson. The vote comes as a blow for the ambitious Hemming family, who poured lots of money into the hands of the people in hopes of winning the vote themselves. Thomas Brickson’s first law he attempts to push through is the total ban on slavery in all of its forms. While rapidly gaining popularity in the New World, the law easily passes and Desten becomes one of the first nations on earth to recognize equality between all races and both sexes.

Central Sophara continues to grow as trade demand increases, and the second hotel in town opens up on the corner of Desten Boulevard and First Street, right next to the Independence Hall. The first was opened up by the Hemming family years ago, but the Deschamps, an entrepreneurial family from France, open up the Deschamps Hotel, creating a stir within the Hemming family. The new hotel is bigger and newer than the Hemming Inn, which undergoes a renovation shortly after the opening of the Deschamps Hotel.

Farmland around the town continues to expand, especially towards the west and the east of Sophara. Wheat, vegetables, and apples are among the crops being grown in the new farms, with the Hemming family taking a complete monopoly on wheat since they own the only farms that grow the crop in Desten. Export, especially to the New World, continues to bring in a tidy profit for the family, but the local market begins to play a more important role in terms of sales. Despite failing to win the bid for Head of Council, the Hemming family keeps their position as the richest in all of Desten.


The farmlands to the north of Sophara.


Close-up of central Sophara.



Sophara facing south and north.


Aerial of Sophara looking west.


A far aerial of Sophara and the farmlands around it.


1790 AD

1790 AD

Sophara’s population eclipses 1,000 residents as more and more people heading to the New World decide to stay and settle on the island. The development of agricultural land continues to grow, as new farms appear to the west and east of the town. Most of the produce grown is sold in the market to docked ships, and the farms begin to turn good profits for their respective owners. The Hemming family, which owns six different farms on the outskirts of Sophara, continues to reign as the richest on Desten thanks to the large amount of vegetables and fruits they export. The local market also begins to grow thanks to the increase in population, not only for agriculture goods, but also for trade and construction.

The most famous brand made in Desten is Gourin – a luxury watch and jewelry brand created by Fabrice Gourin and succeeded by his children. Gourin watches become something of a novelty for the European aristocratic societies, with all the pieces made in the Gourin Workshop on the corner of Desten Boulevard and Second Street. Although Fabrice Gourin was no longer single-handedly creating the pieces, he was still supervising the quality and finish of each item.

With the American Revolution coming to an end and the former British colonies winning their independence, traffic across the Atlantic increases in a big way, bringing in more business and visitors to Desten. It also brings in more settlers, and Sophara starts seeing some unprecedented growth since being founded forty-five years ago. Most residents continue to be employed as hands on the farms, but there is also a growing middle class that was making its money on the trade the ships brought with them.


The new Desten Independence Hall, the seat of the Desten Council.


An aerial of Sophara looking south.



Views of central Sophara.


A far aerial of Sophara and its farmlands.


1785 AD

1785 AD

The population of Sophara crosses 800 residents for the first time in its history amongst high tension between the Brickson and Hemming families. A gunfight breaks out on the outskirts of town on Desten Boulevard, leaving a young Brickson man dead. With the threat of an all-out war between the two families looming large, the Desten Council (made up mostly of members of the two houses) votes and decides to prosecute the killer, a twenty year old Hemming man, condemning him to death. The decision represents the first time a trial is held in Desten, and it leads to the passing of a legislation making the council’s patrol unit Sophara’s new Police Department. The Police Department is also made bigger, growing from five members to fifteen, and it is given the power to uphold the peace on the streets of Sophara without bias.

The damage between the two families reaches unfixable levels after the fight, as they begin to bicker about who owns the now abandoned home and land that housed the families when they first arrived in Desten. Again, the council intervenes and comes to the conclusion that because the house was no abandoned, the land would be returned to the council and in its place, they would build the Desten Independence Hall, the seat of government for the Desten Council. Both families reluctantly agree, and the first house to ever be built on Desten is brought down and destroyed to make way for the new Independence Hall.

Economically, Sophara continues to be reliant on trade with ships on their way to and from the New World for its wealth. Demand for produce and meat continues to rise as ships dock at the pier to stock up on their provisions, while fishing becomes a major food for the local population. Most residents living in Sophara are either employed by the Hemming family in their farms or by the Brickson family as construction workers. Some families, like the Linfields, manage to successfully run their own businesses – in the Linfields case, it is a pasture to the northeast of town specialized in lamb and sheep meat.


The first house ever built on Desten, which housed the Brickson and Hemming families after their shipwreck.


Central Sophara looking west.


Sophara looking north.



Two aerial shots of Sophara and its farms.


1780 AD

1780 AD

The American Revolution, while a thousand miles to the west of Desten, brings with it big changes to the island. The population of Sophara jumped to over 200 residents thanks to people giving up on the dream of the New World and settling instead in Desten thanks to the war. Central Sophara sees the most changes, as several new traders open up shop along the intersection of Desten Boulevard and Cross Avenue. Ships begin docking nearly once a month, bringing with them trade and currency. The Bricksons benefit the most from this small population boom thanks to all the construction projects, especially as new families begin building their new homes.

Seeing potential in a larger market, the Hemming family, which has a monopoly on farmland in Desten, develops and cultivates a barley farm to the north of their apple farm. The Bricksons and Hemmings continue to be in a fierce rivalry that sometimes spilled into arguments and fights, especially in the increasingly dysfunctional Desten Council. The monthly meetings by the council become more of a shout-fest than median of communication and ideas it used to be. The sense of community that existed within Sophara is all but gone thanks to the rivalry between the two families.

Elsewhere in town, a Swiss watchmaker called Fabrice Gourin settles in Sophara, and begins creating beautiful watches that become the talk of the town and one of the most sought after items by visiting sailors and traders. He calls his creations after his family name, and Gourin becomes the first Destenian born brand in the young nation’s history.


Central Sophara looking West.


An aerial of Sophara.


Sophara and the farms surrounding it.


1775 AD

1775 AD

War rages in the New World as the American Revolution goes into full swing, bringing the Howard family to Sophara to start a new life. Acquiring a piece of land next to Hemming’s Inn, the Howards build the first general store in the town. Howard General Store becomes the trading spot for visitors and locals alike, spurring future development along Desten Boulevard and Cross Avenue.

The success of Hemming’s Inn allows the family to acquire new property and cultivate a vegetable farm, bringing the total number of farms operated by the family to three. Although the Bricksons head the Desten Council, the Hemmings fortune begins to exceed that of the other founding family of Desten, creating animosity and tension between them. It comes to blows between two of the younger members of the family one afternoon on Desten Boulevard, prompting a tense but ultimately successful town meeting to settle things down. Still, the seed of suspicion and mistrust is planted between the two families, with some fathers even going as far as to forbid marriage to a member of the other family.


Sophara looking North.


The new farm cultivated by the Hemming family.


A zoomed out view of Sophara.


An aerial view of the farms and town.

(Click the Pictures to Enlarge)


1770 AD

1770 AD

It has been fifteen years since the first permanent settlement on the island of Desten is founded by the Brickson and Hemming families. Visiting ships begin docking more frequently, and in response, Tim Hemming makes a deal with the Brickson family carpenters to construct a new inn that would house sailors for as long as they choose to stay. The Hemming’s Inn becomes the first business to open on the island, and sees moderate success thanks to eats kitchen – even when no ship is docked, a few locals pass by every night for some dinner.

Brolin Timms becomes the first person to settle in Desten not from the Brickson and Hemming families, coming in on a Danish ship and deciding to stay and call the island home after falling in love with a Brickson girl. Timms is a mason by trade, and starts finding work around the settlement constructing brick fireplaces in homes.

The residents of the settlement decide to name Jonathan Brickson as the leader of the Desten Council, a ten member council of elders given the task of handling the everyday affairs of the settlement. The Desten Council’s first petition is to form an official patrol unit comprised of five people that are made responsible for the safety and security of the settlement. Its second petition is for the naming of the settlement (previously only called the village of Desten) to Sophara, named after the two daughters of Howard Brickson, Sophia and Sara. The town of Sophara is also decreed as the capital of the nation of Desten in the third approved petition of the Desten Council.


Sophara along Desten Boulevard.


The Hemming Inn.


An aerial view of Sophara.


1763 AD

1763 AD

Eight years after being stranded on Desten, the Hemming and Brickson families are now completely settled in the new, uncharted land. Some of the younger members marry, and set up new homes constructed by the Brickson carpenters, while the Hemming farmers cultivate a second farm opposite the pasture and begin growing fruits. In eight years, five ships have docked at the pier, trading with the families for fresh meat. A couple of members leave with the first ship to continue their journey to the New World, but the rest choose to remain in Desten, happy with the life it is providing them.

They are told that the island is situated in between Ireland and the New World, albeit closer to the latter. The seasons are similar to that of northern Europe and the New World, with heavy snow coming in winter. The river to the west of the settlement, which they name after the man that discovered it (Mulmont River), provides a new source of food for the inhabitants, but becomes almost frozen over during winter due to the cold.

The families attempt to pledge allegiance to England in return for some troops, but England refuses to commit any soldiers to defend the island, turning down the offer to claim the land in the name of the British Empire. In response, the families decide to stockpile any weapons they can trade for, fearing pirates might try to ransack the settlement. Despite small, petty fights, the relationship between the two families is friendly with a strong sense of community by both parties.


New houses are constructed for the newly married families.


The Hemming family patriarch builds a house next to the pasture.


The new farm cultivates apples.


1755 AD

A quick note before I begin: I realize that in some pictures cars and other products and technology that would have been non-existent in the 17th and 18th centuries can be seen - unfortunately, I do not know how to use the Lot Editor, so please excuse this oversight. I try to be accurate with the general history during the time periods I cover, but again, some information might not be completely accurate to the date. Yes, I have found inspiration from SimCoug's outstanding CJ, New SorGun - simply put, one of the greatest CJs I have ever read. Finally, please click on the pictures to see them in all their glory!

1755 AD

The Saint James, an English vessel heading to the New World, is caught up in a storm and sinks. The only survivors are two families, who have the fortune of being on the only small wooden boat that escapes the treacherous storm. The Hemming and Brickson families spend two days in the ocean before tides from the storm carry them to the shores of an uncharted island. The Brickson family is one of carpenters, so they build a house for shelter and construct a small pier made up of the indigenous trees on the island. The Hemmings, farmers by trade, clear land and begin herding the indigenous sheep and cows found to be roaming around the woods near the coast. Within a year of landing on the island, the families have shelter, sustainable food, and a pier for any future ship that might sail pass the island and need to dock for supplies, while also clearing a makeshift road leading from the pier all the way north to the pasture. They name the island Desten, combining the words destiny and heaven into one word.


The first house constructed in Desten, housing the Brickson and Hemming families.


The pasture the Hemming family run, providing the two families with meat.


The docks the two families develop incase passing ships decide to stop.


An aerial shot of the land they settled.


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