Blog


Within this section you will find over 100 articles which have appeared in publications of the Society, have been the subject of our hikes and wanderings and/or are simply of interest to anyone with a love of St. John and its rich history.

If you’d like to submit an article for consideration in a future newsletter or quarterly journal, please be aware of the following guidelines.

  • Word count should be between 500-1,000 words. Articles longer than 1,000 words are accepted on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us in advance for pre-approval;
  • Please single space after periods;
  • Article should be concise, on topic, and most importantly, relate to V.I. or Danish West Indies history; and
  • The article’s relevancy to St. John should be clear.

Please send articles to the attention of newsletter editor Andrea Milam at: ContactUs@StJohnHistoricalSociety.org.


07

Apr 2009

Potluck & Storytelling at the SJHS January 13, 2009 Membership Meeting

Songs from “Hot Steel in Cruz Bay” by Charlie Prentice’s Hotshots played softly as guests and members lined up to partake of dishes prepared by many talented chefs. I’m pretty sure Rudolph ‘Pimpy’ Thomas knew all the words to ‘The Old Man and the Donkey,’ and at another table I saw someone mouthing the words to “There’s a Man in Your Pajamas.”[1] The food was scrumptious!…

Read More


07

Apr 2009

A Remembrance of St. John by Anna W. Knight, c1987

Anna (Billy) Wolmer Knight (Photo courtesy of David Knight) Edited and condensed by David Knight-2009 (Anna Wolner Knight (affectionately known to most folks on St. John as “Billy”) was the Mother of board member David Knight. She was born in New York in 1911, the first child of recently-arrived German immigrants. At the age of 19 she married Dr. George H. H. Knight and settled…

Read More


07

Apr 2009

Estate Misgunst Meander Led by David Knight and Eleanor Gibney 

A handful of red Canavalia nitida seeds, rarely found in the V.I. and on right, a detailed drawing of the Locust tree (Hymanea courbaril). It is a multi–purpose tree—its pods are edible, the sap produces a natural medicine, and the wood makes admirable timber. There were a succession of inland Estates on St. John–Maria’s Hope, Bordeaux, Mary Simpson, Pasquero/Josie’s Gut and Misgunst. All eventually failed…

Read More


07

Mar 2009

Botany Bay Estate–Our Trek to St. Thomas

(Assembled from David Knight’s 1/17/09 Handouts, his Timeline Notes on Estate Botany Bay, and Trek Dialogue, Summarized by Robin Swank) Occasionally the SJHS sojourns far afield of St. John. On this Saturday, fifty members and guests journeyed to the far west end of St. Thomas to Estate Botany Bay, a private landholding of Warren H. Corning and his heirs from 1955 through 2000, and seemingly…

Read More


07

Feb 2009

A Visit to the Bethany Moravian and the Nazareth Lutheran Churches, December 13, 2008

In December SJHS members joined Rudolph ‘Pimpy’ Thomas, Reggie Callwood, and Elroy Sprauve for on-site history lessons about two of our spiritual and architectural gems on St. John, the Bethany Moravian Church and the Nazareth Lutheran Church. BETHANY MORAVIAN CHURCH AND MISSION HOUSE According to The St John Drum in an October 18, 1974 article by Vernon J. Nelson, Archivist at the official Moravian Church…

Read More


09

Jan 2009

Botany Bay Notes 1/17/2009

Condensed from “A History of Botany Bay” by David W. Knight (2001) Table of Contents The Prehistoric Presence at Botany Bay The Botany Bay Plantation Early European Settlement at Botany Bay The West End Plantation Consolidation on St. Thomas’s Far West End The Bathazar Caspar Busch Plantation, 1703 – 1745 The Abraham Tessamacher PLantation, 1703 – 1751 The Development of the West End Plantation Establishment…

Read More


07

Jan 2009

A Family Album by Anna Dohm Nose Presentation to the SJHS Membership December 9, 2008

  It was front page news on December 21, 1937, the local Daily News in fact, when Peter and Elsa Dohm and family arrived in their 10 meter yawl, Rest More, after a three year voyage. When the voyage began, Anna was four months old. Thus begins a family album covering the activities of this adventurous and entrepreneurial family. Luckily for us, this family believed in…

Read More


07

Jan 2009

Tektite Program Overview

Naval Floating Dry Dock (LSD), the U.S.S. Hermitage, carrying the ‘Habitat’ and other support materials and elements arrives in Lameshur Bay, January 1969. Forty years ago next month, February 15th, 1969, the underwater program known as Tektite I was just beginning, right here on St. John — just off the south shore, and to the north–west of Cabritte Horn Point, in Great Lameshur Bay. Four…

Read More


07

Jan 2009

A Banker in the Danish West Indian Islands

(Original in Danish, translation courtesy of Nina York.) (This is an excerpt from an unpublished book of 176 typewritten pages, compiled by an employee of the Danish West Indies National Bank in the early 1900s.  As a retiree, he wrote his memoirs of the years in the Danish West Indian Islands, a description that offers a good illustration of the kind of lifestyle which quite…

Read More


07

Dec 2008

Images from the Frank Stick and Rockefeller Family Archives

Steve Simonsen—Photographer, Publisher[1], Producer, and our Speaker (Presented by Steve Simonsen, summarized by Robin Swank) A standing-room–only crowd of over 100 Members and guests greeted Steve Simonsen at lovely Bethany Church Hall for the first Membership meeting of the season. Steve presented four films and four series of ’stills’ to a variety of tunes), that Board member Bruce Schoonover collected and compiled in connection with…

Read More


07

Nov 2008

Maps, Matricals, and Material Remains An Archaeological GIS of Late- Eighteenth-Century Historic Sites on St. John, Danish West Indies

(Excerpted by permission from Archaeology and Geoinformatics-Case Studies from the Caribbean, edited by Basil A. Reid. The University of Alabama Press, Copyright 2008,  By Douglas V. Armstrong, Mark W Hauser, David W Knight, and Stephan Lenik) The steep and rugged landscape of St. John along with its irregular rainfall made it marginal to the capital interests of the Danish West Indies. While mercantile trade was…

Read More


07

Oct 2008

Fever

As I write this on a very wet and cool October night, another drenching tropical wave is passing over us. After 23 inches of rain in the past two months, this begins to seem normal. I can again hear the gut roaring in the distance, and I can anticipate another major outbreak of mosquitoes in about a week. Mosquitoes have been a serious annoyance this…

Read More



Page 4 of 10« First...23456...10...Last »