Articles


08

Jan 2008

Hassel Island Chronology From Fred Gjessing’s 1992 Cultural Resources Assessment of Hassel Island, Appendix E

Distributed K. Wild’s SJHS Meeting 1/12/08 Date Event 1687 John Jenifer map of St Thomas Harbor, Prince Rupert’s Cove. “In this Harbor Prince Rupert careened some of his ships when he was in America.” 1689 Central ridge section of peninsula under cultivation by Christian Lassen. 1719 Peninsula Plantation owned by David Jansen. Habitat shifted from ridge to Careening Cove.K 1732 Peninsula Plantation owned by Adrian…

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07

Jan 2008

Florence & Walter Lewisohn and Steve Edwards Honored at the Annaberg School Sign Dedication

(Summarized By Robin Swank) SJHS members walked up newly restored steps to the Annaberg Country School on December 11th. Our ‘tea party’ was convened to dedicate new permanent educational signage on behalf of the three individuals who funded the educational signage by bequest and also gave of themselves to the SJHS, and to hear from founding SJHS members who restored the Annaberg school. ‘The new…

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06

Jan 2008

Estate Sieben &Mollendal Memories

My brother, Vernon, and I were born at Estate Sieben; that meant that somebody had to get on a horse and go to Cruz Bay and get Miss Myrah, for whom the Clinic is named, and then she had to get on her horse and come all the way down to Sieben to make the delivery. I wish you could have seen the Estate when…

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07

Dec 2007

November Rain

Until very recently, the most critical factor for human existence on St. John was water: How to collect it, how to save it, how to move it to where you needed it… These days, all that’s required is a cistern, and a few hundred dollars, and you can truck in hundreds of gallons of desalinated seawater to almost any location on the island. Although anyone…

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07

Dec 2007

Guavaberry and Christmas Carols

The guavaberry tree (Myrciaria floribunda) is a widespread species in Tropical American forests; found in the West Indies from Cuba down to Martinique, and on the mainland from the south of Mexico to Brazil. It is fitting, however, that the species was first officially described from a collection on St. Croix by Hans West in the year 1800, for nowhere in its wide range is…

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07

Dec 2007

Christmas Eve aboard the Ingolf

(By Olaf Linck, as translated by Nina York) (Olaf Linck (1874-1958) was a prominent Danish journalist and novelist, winner of several awards. In his preface to the autobiographical book “The Land We Lost – Memoirs from the Danish West Indies” from which this excerpt originates, he describes how his interest in the islands was awakened. As a reporter with a staunchly conservative newspaper in Copenhagen…

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05

Dec 2007

Of Waterfalls and Rock Carvings… Excerpted from THE VIRGIN ISLANDS Our new Possessions and the British Islands 

By Theodoor deBooy and John T. Faris (1918) …There is no road on St. John that is more than a bridle path; but also let it be said that there is no road that does not have features to delight the visitor. The road most commonly used by the inhabitants leads from Cruz Bay through the center of the island to Emmaus, and from there…

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07

Oct 2007

A Report of the Earthquake of 1867

(On the afternoon of November 18, 1867, a disastrous magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred in an intraplate fault of the Anegada Trough separating Saint Croix from the main chain of the Virgin Islands. The following account of this epic earthquake is a verbatim transcript from an article entitled “AN EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE” by Louis van Housel, a United States Naval officer serving on the vessel ‘Monongahela’ under…

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06

Oct 2007

Jumbies and Werewolves

(By Robin Swank, with the assistance of several other unnamed ghoulish board members.) Halloween wasn’t observed in these islands until the U.S. influence began to strengthen in the 1960’s, but there has never been a lack of spirits or hauntings here, with traditions of fright that go back to both Africa and Europe. Will you see jumbies on St John, come All Hallow’s Eve? If…

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05

Aug 2007

African Roots

(By George Tyson, summarized by Robin Swank) George Tyson, one of our pre-eminent historians and researchers in the USVI, spoke to the membership on April 10th about The St. Croix African Roots Project (SCARP). Still in progress, it is clear that SCARP’s first product—an intricate database gleaned from thousands of archival sources amassed during the period of Danish sovereignty (1734-1917) has the potential to satisfy…

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05

Aug 2007

A Nineteenth Century Ornithologist at Estate Adrian

(Excerpted from a book by Frederick Ober) The literary genre of adventure-travel has sustained popularity over many centuries, and travelers’ tales were surely a form of entertainment from the dawn of expressive language. In the 1800’, Americans did not have to go very far to find mysterious wilderness and exotic people to write about: the Florida Everglades or the desert Southwest were thrilling enough for…

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07

May 2007

That’s My Cousin, But I Don’t Know How

(Presentation by Veronica “Ronnie” Phillips) “Genealogy….why do it?” Veronica “Ronnie” Phillips challenged SJHS members and guests at our December 12 evening meeting. She asked us to imagine being an orphan. Gazing into a mirror, we might wonder if we looked like our mother or father, or a once-removed relative. Growing up, we might wonder how and where our ancestors grew up. Discovering our own artistic…

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