Events & Programs

Meetings and Events:  Welcome!  Our 42nd season–in bringing the history of St. John and the Virgin Islands to life for our community–has now concluded.

Each year, from November through April you may expect stimulating and entertaining monthly meetings chosen by our board of directors and presented by historians, crafts people, artisans, musicians and educators who will bring to life the rich history of St. John and the Virgin Islands. Generally, these programs take place on the second Tuesday of the month and are held at the Bethany Moravian Church Hall. In addition, we try to have an activity or field trip on the Saturday following the monthly meeting in a number of these months.

Looking back…

 FINAL MEETING OF THE 2015-2016 SEASON

On Tuesday, April 12th at the Bethany Moravian Church Hall at 7 p.m. is our final members’ meeting for the 2015-2016 season.  Friends, family, and visitors are all welcome!
Eleanor Gibney, with the help of Rafe Boulon, will be narrating a slide show entitled “Postcards from the Past”.
Handpicked from an ever-expanding collection of thousands of Virgin Islands postcards, this slideshow will feature – on the big screen – almost all the interesting postal views of St. John from 1900-1970, with additional rare cards from the “countryside” of St. Thomas in the same time period. Beyond beautiful scenes, this overview gives a real insight into the enormous changes in Virgin Islands society and commerce in that 70-year interval.
We hope you can join us this Tuesday!

Tuesday March 8th The society’s “Night at the Museum”

March 8th 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., the Westin St. John Resort and Villas Grand Ballroom. Night at the Museum: St. John & Caribbean Artifacts: Pre-History to Present Day. Some of the items on display will include artifacts from the Taino era and several archaeological digs. There will be an early cannonball, early dolls, a coal pot, market baskets, a carved coral mortar and pestle, a fish trap and fish pot, mahogany furniture, miniature replicas of period era furniture, a stereoscope and images, old St. John photographs and postcards, household items, and much more.

A silent auction and raffle will include a hotel stay and sushi dinner for two at Caneel Bay, gift certificates from several local restaurants, two half-day sails on Cloud9, paintings from local artists, an out-of-print copy of Grandma Raised the Roof, and much more.

A suggested donation of $25 per person will be collected at the door. Cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.

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Saturday, March 12, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – Please join other SJHS members for a hike to Rustenberg and Adventure. This is a members-only hike for a maximum of 30 people. For sign-up and meeting logistics, please call Robin Swank at 776-6694. If she is not at home, please leave a message with your name and a phone number for callback and e-mail confirmation.

February 2016 Member Meeting

February 9th 7 p.m., Bethany Moravian Church Hall: Long time board member Andro Childs will honor her mother, Myrah Keating Smith and other family members. Neptune Richards will be honored by his grandson, Ronnie Jones. Other individuals who made a difference on St. John, many of whom were entrepreneurs, will be remembered in words and pictures.   Without our remembrances, these dynamic people might slip into obscurity as the years pass.  Please join us for another interesting and entertaining program. All are welcome!

January 2016 Member Meeting

January 12th 7 p.m., Bethany Moravian Church Hall: Ken Wild will update us on National Park Preservation and Archaeology projects highlighting educational and volunteer opportunities as well as the state of preservation on St. John and Hassel Island. Ken will also apprise us of ongoing and upcoming historic and archaeology research. Ken always has wonderful artifacts to show us, and we look forward to him sharing his knowledge with our members and friends.  All are invited to attend!

 January Activity

Saturday, January 16 at 9:30 a.m., at Dr!nk (in Cruz Bay by Low Key Water Sports) the society will host a continental breakfast and presentation to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the Free-Colored Cemetery.

Under the auspices of the society, David Knight Sr. applied for and the society received a grant from the State Historic Preservation Office. Donations were also received from Diana Hall, Ruth Doan, the Nazareth Lutheran Church, Love City Ferries, Joe’s Rum Hut, Andy and Joy Stillman, and Lonnie and Albert Willis. The society was able to clean out the debris and rebuild the tombstones. Without these donations and archeological help from Emily Lundberg and Kourtney Donohue, this resting place for our island’s inhabitants would have remained in disrepair and neglect.

After the continental breakfast and talk by Hadiya Sewer- Gibney, we will walk to the cemetery site nearby. A vehicle will be available to take those who are unable to walk up the incline to the cemetery.

Please email contactus@stjohnhistoricalsociety to sign up. We will be able to take up to 50 guests. The people from   Dr!nk will also have a cash bar available.

December 2015 Member Meeting

All are invited to our December monthly meeting scheduled for December 8th at 7 PM at the Bethany Moravian Church Hall.  Our guest speaker for the evening will be Rob Upson of the Caribbean Genealogy Library, who will present a program on “Finding Virgins Island Documents in the U.S. National Archives.”  He will also provide a progress report on the digitalization of DWI and VI records.  Cookies and punch will be served.

December Activity

On Saturday, December 12th board member Eleanor Gibney will lead a “members only” walking tour of Caneel Bay.  Reservations are required and the size of the group is limited to 25.  E-mail Lonnie  at lonnie00831@gmail.com to reserve a spot.  Participants are asked to meet at the Enighed barge parking lot in Cruz Bay at 9 AM. Transportation to and from Caneel will be provided at $10 per person and any contributions above this will be greatly appreciated.

November Meeting: November 10th, 7 p.m., Bethany Moravian Church

Please join us for the first meeting of the new season, which will feature a video presentation “Flight to Freedom: Hans Jonathan” produced by Alex Frank Larsen, which depicts an Icelandic family’s search for the story of their enslaved ancestor.  (A previous showing of this installment in the Danish TV Series, “Slaves in the Family” was rained out.)