Articles


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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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07

Oct 2008

A Week on St. John (Notes from Denmark’s most beautiful island)

(Translated from an article in Gads Danske Maqasin, March 1914, by Leif Calundann Larsen. Olaf Linck [1874-1958] was a prominent Danish journalist and novelist. Members may recall his article “Christmas Eve Aboard the Ingolf” which appeared in our December 2007 newsletter.) During my second journey to the West Indies in the winter of 1912-13, I had sufficient time to accept an invitation to visit the…

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07

Jun 2008

Masquerade – Costumes of the Atlantic Rim

  (By Dr. Robert W. Nicholls,  Summarized by Robin Swank) Yet another reason to attend our St. John 4th of July Carnival parade! At our April membership meeting, Dr. Robert Nicholls told us the history of some of the characters parading at Carnival. He urged us to think of the entire Atlantic Rim as a region in which ‘masquerade’ or ‘mas’ arose based on the…

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07

May 2008

The Role of GodParents and the Extended Family

(Presented by Mr. Elroy Sprauve, summarized by Robin Swank) The Bethany Moravian Church meeting house was packed the evening of March 11th. Our March membership meeting featured one of our favorite speakers, teachers, and experts on St Johnian culture, social customs and language, Mr. Elroy Sprauve. Mr. Elroy spoke from experience and as an observant historian about the role of godparents in the 1920’s through the…

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