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When I first arrived on St. John in 1969, Gallows Point was the expat hangout the denizens of which tended to be a little older than myself, and whose drug of choice was alcohol often in copious quantities. The slightly younger hippies had their own vices.

Gallows Point bar and restaurant, rumored to be the actual sight of hangings on St. John, was run by one Duke Ellington, our own Duke Ellington, not the famous jazz musician. Today the restaurant at Gallows Point is named after him.

Duke Ellington at Gallows Point: St. John USVI

Duke Ellington at Gallows Point: St. John USVI

In the above photo Mr. Ellington stands behind the infamous “Rumor of the Day” blackboard.

Gallows Point St. John

Postcard from 1964

“That postcard is from around 1964.
Richard “Duke” Ellington, a mystery story writer from New York, bought Galge or Gallows Point from the VI Government in the early 50s and built a small “cottage colony” of rentals. The bar became the hang-out for what we used to call continentals–white people–and produced a lot of martinis throughout the 1960s. In the early 70s, “Duke” retired from behind the bar and a younger, hipper, and more diverse crowd took over. “Duke” is the older of the two men behind the bar in the picture.
The Ellingtons sold the property around 1980 and the present resort was built within a few years.”
From a post by Hugo in VI Now


eddie Johns bartending at Gallows Point

Eddie Johnson bar tending at Gallows Point

My friend, Eddie Johnson” (See St JohnVirgin Islands Memories: Voyage to Anegada) was once a bartender there as was  Charlie Deyalsingh (Trinidad Charlie).

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3 Responses to “Gallows Point Photos Late 1960s”
  1. Sally Marsh says:

    Oh, how well I recall Duke and Kay Ellington in the 60s at Gallows! My husband and I were among those “a little older” than yourself who were entertained by Duke & Co. at the round table. Quite a cast of characters. I’ll try to dig up a few old photos to add to your collection. (Is the restaurant at Gallows still called “Ellingtons”?)

  2. michael leventhal says:

    Although I share the Era, I am an Outlander. Remained in NY. Viewing your illuminated fotos and Sally’s comment brought me a beautiful mental metaphor for how I view having spent a lifetime out of touch with people I have known. People in your life are like beautiful islands rising from the common sea of Humanity. And, by sunset, all have shared the same cycles of life; they will just have different memories. Your memories sound as interesting as does your current life.

    Thanks for sharing

  3. Stumbled upon these photos on the internet and love them. I work at Gallows Point Resort now and we have put together a guest book that we put in each of the rooms and have included a brief history of the place. May we use these photos? Would you like to see the photos that we have? A couple from England, Martin and Brenda Fairbarns were coming to Gallows Point Resort in the 60′s and stayed in the cottages and emailed me several pictures. I consider myself so fortunate to be here now and would love to have seen the place then.


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