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 Jansen.
1748 Johannes Lorentz Cartens writing in Denmark from memory of St. Thomas in the late thirties bemoans the fact that not enough is done for serving ships, although natural facilities, materials and tools are available. Careening Cove is not mentioned by name but by description.
1788-1779 A water battery is designed and built by Lt. Peter Lotharius Oxholm at Magens Pyndt. Later named Prince Frederik’s Battery, Oxholm makes recommendations for the defense of St. Thomas Harbor which for the peninsula presages the British installations two decades later.
1801 Ownership of the peninsula by James Hazzel senior prior to the first British occupation can be presumed.
1801-1802 First British occupation March. Cowell and Shipley Batteries built & Fort Shipley established. Prince Frederik Battery renamed Fort Willoughby.
1806 James Hazzel senior and his son James Hazzel junior agree that each have a half share in the Careening Wharf.
1806-1815 Second British occupation. Fort Shipley reestablished and expanded upon. The magazine is built.
1815 Crowell and Shipley batteries and the magazine are alienated from the Estate Orkanhullet. Other facilities of Ft. Shipley revert to the Hazzel family.
1816 August–Half of Careening Wharf for rent. Apply to James Hazzel junior.
1816 December–Half of Careening Wharf owned by James Hazzel junior to be sold by forced auction.
1817 June James Hazzel senior deeds his share of Careening Wharf to his son and dies one month later.
1837 The English Colonial Bank establishes a branch in St. Thomas and the same year local businessmen form a St. Thomas Bank.
1839 James Hazzel junior agrees to lease irrevocably a section of the north east shore line of Estate Orkanhullet to Mr. Bahrenson. The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Ltd. was founded in England.
1840 Mr. Bahrenson’s lease is transferred to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd. The St. Thomas Marine Railway Company is founded, and acquires by purchase six acres of Little Careening Cove of Estate Orkanhullet.
1840-1842 Both the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Ltd. and the St Thomas Marine Railway Co. set up their facilities.
1851 James Hazzel junior dies. The same year his Estate is distributed between his son and his four daughters.
1857 Heirs of James Hazzel rent to John B. Cameron (Superintendent of RMSP Co Ltd.) for six years with options to renew for five to ten years their facilities in Careening Cove.
1862 St. Thomas Floating Dry Dock Company founded and given this concession to provide a Dry Dock within two years.
1865 Danish financed harbor improvements, including dredging of main harbor and cutting a channel for small boats through Haulover making the peninsula an island.
1871 Hamburg America Line acquires 8 acres on Hassel Island and establish a depot. CIE Generate-Transatlantique set up their operation in Long Bay. Royal S.P. Co. Ltd. announces their intention of transferring their headquarters to Barbados.
1875 Broensted Co. leases the north shore of Careening Cove.
1888 Royal Mail Packet Company Ltd. transfer their headquarters to Barbados, but retain a branch office on St. Thomas.
1903 The East Asiatic Co. establishes a coaling wharf on Hassel Island.
1905 The East Asiatic Co. completes docking facilities and creates the Danish Westindian Co. to manage its operation in St. Thomas.
1907 The Broensted Co. is dissolved.
1909 The Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. amalgamates with the St. Thomas Floating Dry Dock Co. to form the St. Thomas Dock, Engineering and Coaling Co.
1911-1915 The Danish Westindian Co. starts dredging and other improvements of the harbor and removes its facilities to Long Bay after buying out the French Company.
1915 the Hassel Island Dock is abandoned.
1917 The Danish Virgin Islands are ceded to the U.S. and the Hamburg American Line properties are confiscated.
1917-1932 Navy Station on Hassel Island.
1929 Haulover cut is deepened.


Ken Wild

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