The exact trail markings will be forthcoming, but for now I’ll describe the route as best I can. Just north of the Gifft Hill Primary School, there’s an access path that leads to the Battery Gut. Hike north along the gut until you see a path running west away from the gut. This leads to a series of ruins still in fine condition.
The old estate house has recently been used by a pig hunter, commissioned by Fish and Wildlife to reduce the pig population in the valley. He seems to have been quite successful evidenced by the line of pig skulls adorning a ruin wall, guarding the entrance to a storage vault and various skulls in the bush.
I’m assuming that the rest of the pigs went to serve as dinners for someone, as there were no other pig bones to be found.
St. John and Virgin Islands News
Trust transfers final parcel of Maho Bay to V.I. National Park
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: December 20, 2013
ST. THOMAS – The final 74-acre parcel of Maho Bay has been officially transferred from the Trust for Public Lands to the V.I. National Park.
With the last transfer, the park now owns Maho Bay beach and the entire hillside surrounding the bay – a total of 225 acres….
…In 2009, the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit conservation organization, bought the property for $18 million. The organization then sold the property to the National Park Service for 50 cents on the dollar, and the park paid $9 million total in several installments over several years.
The federal funding to buy the property from the trust came from the Land and Water conservation Fund, which collects money from oil companies that drill on government-owned submerged land….
…In the 1960s, Harvey Monroe Marsh left the massive parcel of land in Maho Bay and Estate Usher’s Cay to his 11 grandchildren. The heirs did not get specific parcels; they instead inherited 11 equal interests to the entire property.
The V.I. National Park purchased three of the interests in 1970.
The Trust for Public Land purchased one interest in 2003.
After a New York financier expressed interest in purchasing the property for development in 2006, the community rallied to protect the land.
In 2007, The Trust for Public Land purchased six of the remaining interests in the property. One was kept by one of the heirs. According to the deal between the trust and the heirs, each of them kept a 6-acre lot. Up to two homes can be built on each lot.
The addition to the park is the largest since the 1956 donation of land to the government by Laurence Rockefeller that created the V.I. National Park on St. John….
…The new acquisition does not include Maho Bay Campground, which was sold to a private buyer for $13.5 million in December 2012.
In 2009, an attempt was made by the Trust for Public Land to purchase the Maho Bay campground property – which is bordered on all sides by V.I. National Park land – but negotiations fell through…. Read entire article
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