Preserving elements of our history and heritage is an essential part of the Society’s mission. But as important as this is, making it available to the public is even more so. Over the years the Society has accumulated and preserved numerous historical artifacts, photographs and written materials of all forms pertaining to St. John and the Virgin Islands.
The next logical step in all that we have accomplished is for the St. John Historical Society to have a permanent home, where we can make our collections available to all. We’re about to make that happen. The Society has entered into a 99-year lease with the St. John Community Foundation for land on the historic Bellevue Estate site on Gift Hill Road, just to the south of the Gifft Hill School’s upper campus. This site contains ruins dating back to 1721 — some of the oldest on the island. The SJHS is in the planning phases of building the St. John Cultural and Historic Center on this property.
This center will have an elegant island-feel and will include a climate-controlled archive and museum/exhibit area, as well as meeting space and room for future expansion. The Cultural and Historic Center will provide many benefits to visitors and the local community including:
- Provide an archive for the numerous and growing number of historical artifacts, photographs, and written materials pertaining to St. John and the Virgin Islands;
- Public access to the wealth of historical information available;
- Space to acquire, store, and display many new available historical collections, improving our ability to inform, entertain, and increase appreciation for St. John; and
- An open-air pavilion in our beautiful year-round climate will be a picturesque venue for Historical Society events and for community groups and individuals to use.
Recent Major Gift
We recently received an anonymous $100,000 gift to the SJHS Capital Campaign. See the announcement of the gift here.
Are you interested in getting involved with this exciting project?
Email Board member Bruce Schoonover for information. SJHS is a tax-exempt 501(c) organizations and donations are tax deductible. Tax-deductible donations and membership fees help ensure that our stories, and those of our ancestors, are told for generations to come.
Click here to learn more about the historic Bellevue Estate.