St. John Described in 1925 and 1967

Cruz Bay Dock St John US Virgin Islands 1971
Cruz Bay Dock 1971

St. John 1925
“It is overgrown with herbage for cattle, with open woods of aromatic trees, thronged with beautiful birds. Views from breezy hilltops are unrivaled for magnificent panoramas of vividly green isles, countless beaches of cream- white sand, glittering surf, dark blue or green sea, and bright blue sky. Nature invites riding, hunting, fishing, bathing, boating and a free wild life. On ruined estates all over the island are old cannon, relics of days when buccaneers hid in the land-locked bays from French and Spanish cruisers. Regular communication with St. Thomas is maintained by several sloops.”
From the Geographic Dictionary of the Virgin Islands, compiled by J.W. McGuire for the Department of the Navy. The price of the book in 1925 was 25 cents.

St. John 1967
“…St. John today looks very much as it must have looked to Columbus in 1493 – green densely clad mountaintops rising steeply from the sea, with only an occasional glimpse of houses to spoil the illusion that the island is uninhabited. The two principal communities are Cruz Bay, the main port of entry, and Coral Bay. The total population is presently about 800, of which some fifty are Continentals who have made St. John their home…. read more

St. John Weather
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 77 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunset: 6:29 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30
776-5336

Beach Bar
St. Patty’s Day Party
Dave Gerard
4:00
777-4220

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
Sambacombo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Dave Gerard
6:00
779 4982

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-9713

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Virgin Islands History: An 18th Century Alternative to Slavery

Cinnamon Bay Sugar Mill
Cinnamon Bay Sugar Factory (Photo by Dean Hulse)

An 18th century plan to end slavery in the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands)

In the late 18th Century, Dr. Paul Erdmann Isert, proposed a plan that would effectively have ended slavery in the Danish West Indies and probably in the entire Caribbean. At the verge of being adopted by the Danish King, the plan was thwarted by a conspiracy based on St. Croix that resulted in the assassination of Dr. Isert. Read Article

St. John Events Tonight Saturday 03/16

Gifft Hill School Auction
The 27th Annual Gifft Hill School Auction will be held at the Westin St. John Resort & Villas
http://www.giffthillschool.org

See Full Events Schedule

Chocolate Hole DawnSt. John Weather

Another beautiful dawn, promising to be another beautiful day
The High Surf Advisory has been discontinued
Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79F
Winds from the ENE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunset: 6:29 PM AST
Water Temperature 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
Dave Gerrard
9:00
777-4220

Castaways
Mikey P 9:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cruz Bay Prime
Mike Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Luba
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:30
693-3304

Rhumblines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00
779 4982

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The Game of Checkers (St. John Style)

Chocolate Hole Sunsrise, St. John US Virgin Islands
Ides of March Sunrise Over Chocolate Hole
West Indian Checkers
Dan Silber and Wilmoth King Playing Checkers

The Game of Checkers as Played on St. John
When I first came to the Virgin Islands, it wasn’t long before I happened to notice a checker game being played at Mooie’s Bar.

Something was different. That game that I knew so well, and which I believed that everybody in the world played on the same board and according to the same rules, was being played on a different board and with different rules….

Checkers, as played on St. John, is a more sophisticated and more complicated version of the game calling for more complex layers of strategy.

Here in the Virgin Islands checkers is played on a 10 x 10 checkered board with 20 dark pieces and 20 light pieces…. read entire article

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory
Partly cloudy
High of 79F
Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph
Sunset: 6:29 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Stephan Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Michael Beason
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Mikey P 8:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cinnamon Bay
Eddie Bruce Drum Circle
6:30 – 8:00

Concordia
Bo & Lauren
6:30 – 9:00

High Tide
Mikey P
9:00
714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Dave Gerrard
776-6378

Miss Lucy’s
TuTu Much
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

Shipwreck Landing
Mitch Woods
7:00-10:00

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel & Company
6:00
779 4982

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John Crafts: Mario Benjamin’s Fry Nets

St. John Crafts: Mario Benjamin and Fry Net
St. John Craftsman, Mario Benjamin, displays one of his fry nets

Tarpon and Fry
A tarpon cruises by a school of fry

Fisherman casts Fry Net
Jost Van Dyke Fisherman, Junie Coakley, casts a fry net.

Fry nets are used to catch the Atlantic silverside, Menidia menidia, more commonly known as fry, which are used for bait.

St. Johnian craftsman, Mario Benjamin, has been weaving these nets for 18 years. It takes him about four months to complete one.

These are the most beautiful fry nets I’ve ever seen. One of them is even displayed in the Smithsonian Institution.

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory!
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 10 to 20 mph
Sunset: 6:28 PM ASTWater Temperature: 84 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule Wednesday March 13

Aqua Bistro
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 8:00
776-5336

Castaways
Flip Flop Rock
8:00
777-3316

Coconut Coast
St. John Flutes
5:30 -7:00
776-6944

Cruz Bay Prime
Sambacombo
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
TuTu Much
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Shipwreck Landing
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30

Sun Dog Cafe
Wednesday Night Jam
Lauren & Mark Wallce
7:30-10:30
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John Culture: Fishing Backtime

Ethien Chinnery
The late Ethien Chinnery, with his son Curtney “Ghost” Chinnery  at Ethien’s 92nd birthday celebration
St.John Books: Tales of St. John and the Caribbean
Tales of St. John & the Caribbean

Fishing Backtime
The following account was told to me by one of Jost Dyke’s most respected culture men, the late Mr. Ethien “Cool” Chinnery and father of Curtney “Ghost” Chinnery a.k.a “The Ghost From Jost”, one of the authors featured in Tales of St. John and the Caribbean:

Fish sold for five cents a pound. That’s when you get five cents a pound. Sometimes you get nothing.

The boats from Jost Van Dyke would go south of St. John to fish. We used to meet these boats going to St. Thomas from Tortola. You throw up maybe five or six long string of fish in the boat and send them to such and such a woman in St. Thomas.

When you go to St. Thomas to get this money from the lady for the fishes, sometimes you don’t get anything at all… read more

St. John News

Two popular bars on St. John have been sold
The Beach Bar and Woody’s have both been sold to new owners. Service at the two popular St. John gathering places is expected continue seamlessly.

No More St. John Sun Times
The local newspaper, St. John Sun Times has published it’s March-April “Goodbye Issue.”

St. John Weather
High Surf Advisory
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunset: 6:27 PM AST
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 84 degrees F

Update me when site is updated

How the Virgin Islands Got Their Flag

VI flag
Official Flag of the United States Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands flag features a yellow eagle on a white field between the large blue letters, “V” and “I”. The United States shield of vertical red and white stripes below a blue panel is superimposed on the eagle’s breast, and the mighty winged predator clutches a bundle of three blue arrows representing the three Virgin Islands in one claw and an olive branch in the other. Did you ever wonder why these peaceful, tropical islands, over 1,000 miles away from the nearest eagle, are symbolized by such a austere and militaristic-looking flag?

On March 31, 1917 the government of the United States of America paid the European nation of Denmark $25,000,000 for the right to govern the people and utilize the resources of a group of islands in the northeast Caribbean then called the Danish West Indies.

The islands and its people were put under the authority of United States Navy from whose ranks a governor would be appointed by the President of the United States and given “all military, civil and judicial powers,” which, of course, included the power to adopt a new territorial flag. This task was eventually undertaken by Naval Governor, Rear Admiral, Sumner E.W. Kittelle in 1921.

When it came to selecting a design for the new flag, Governor Kittelle did not ask for the opinions of Virgin Islanders, nor did he select a Virgin Islander to be the artist. The design and layout of the Virgin Islands flag was instead delegated to a sailor serving under the Rear Admiral’s command.

This was not surprising given the attitudes and philosophies of both the Navy and Governor Kittelle. Although the overwhelming majority of Virgin Islanders were of African descent, the Department of the Navy, which was put in charge of the islands, was an all-white organization that practiced a policy of segregation until 1920, when it was decided to exclude blacks altogether. Kittelle came from the segregated southern United States and appeared to harbor a somewhat racist philosophy, demonstrating a lack of confidence in, and fear of, non-whites. For example, in a letter to President Warren Harding Kittelle expressed his opinion about allowing Virgin Islanders to have a say in the government. He wrote, “I cannot too strongly urge that no change be made in the organic law until a full generation has elapsed…and above all the white element must remain in the lead and in supreme control.

On May 17, 1921 the governor issued the following executive order: ‘By virtue of the authority vested in me… the following local flag is adopted for the Virgin Islands.”

St. John Weather

High Surf Advisory
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 84 degrees F
Sunset: 6:27 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule

Castaways
Mikey P 9:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cruz Bay Prime
Mike Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

Miss Lucy’s
TuTu Much
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Luba
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:00 – 9:30
693-3304

Rhumblines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00
779 4982

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English

Annaberg School
The Annaberg School on St. John was one of the first public schools in the Caribbean offering compulsory free education to all children, both free or enslaved. Classes were taught in English

Why is English the language of the Virgin Islands?
The official language of the United States Virgin Islands is English. At first this statement seems reasonable, as the language of the United States is English. Taking a closer look, however, we must remember that until 1917, the United States Virgin Islands had been a Danish colony for almost 250 years. Why then isn’t the language of the Virgin Islands, Danish? … read more

St. John News

New Park Superintendent on the Job on St. John
By Lynda Lohr — March 7, 2013

Like many St. John residents, the new V.I. National Park superintendent, Brion FitzGerald, first visited the island on vacation. He and his wife, Mary Robinson, came for their 25th wedding anniversary in 2006 when they made a day trip from St. Thomas. They returned in 2011 for another vacation.

FitzGerald, 56, was thinking hard about retirement himself when the superintendent’s job opened up because the previous superintendent, Mark Hardgrove, had retired. FitzGerald said he jumped at the chance.

“This was the only place I considered applying for the job,” he said.

Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., FitzGerald has spent his career with the National Park Service…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 79 degrees F
Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Sunset: 6:27 PM ASTWater Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 84.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Stephan Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Michael Beason
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Mikey P 8:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cinnamon Bay
Eddie Bruce Drum Circle
6:30 – 8:00

Concordia
Bo & Lauren
6:30 – 9:00

High Tide
Mikey P
9:00
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
TuTu Much
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

Shipwreck Landing
Mitch Woods
7:00-10:00

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel & Company
6:00
779 4982

See weekly Schedule

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Peace Hill

Flowers on Peace Hill
Peace Hill Sunset March 6, 2013

We took the short hike up to Peace Hill yesterday afternoon and were treated to the cool flower arrangement inside a coconut shell that some previous visitor left there for others to enjoy. It made me nostalgic, remembering the days when the Christ of the Caribbean graced the center of the old sugar works horsemill and brought back memories Baba Ran Das’s sunset talk before Hurricane Marilyn brought down the iconic statue.

Christ of Caribbean
Christ of the Caribbean – Photo by Dean Hulse

In the 1950s the Wadsworth family donated a seven-acre tract of land to the Virgin Islands National Park including the area known as Peace Hill, where the old windmill still stands.

The deed of gift to the park asserts:
The grantors have for some years maintained Wadsworth’s Peace Hill as a place where the public is invited to enjoy great beauty and quiet. It is their wish that Wadsworth’ Peace Hill be perpetually dedicated as a place where people might meditate and find inner peace, in the hope that in some way this might contribute to world peace.

In 1953, Col. Wadsworth commissioned St. Johnians Terrence Powell and Thomas Thomas to construct the Christ of the Caribbean statue on the summit of Peace Hill, which for some time was a St. John landmark marveled at by the passengers and crews of vessels passing through the Durloe Channel.

In 1995 Hurricane Marilyn destroyed the Christ of the Caribbean, which was, by this time, showing signs of decay.

The Virgin Islands National Park Service decided not to rebuild the statue.

St. John Weather

Mostly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then clear with rain showers
High of 81 degrees F
Winds from the SSE at 5 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 84 degrees F
Sunset: 6:26 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
James
9:00
777-3316

High Tide
Inner Vision
8:30
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
Jazz with Rich and Greg
6:00 – 9:00

Morgan’s Mango
Mark Wallace
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones Magnie
6:00
779 4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

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Sea Turtles at Maho Bay

St. John Sea Creatures: Green Sea Turtle
Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

St. John Virgin Islands Sea Creatures: Green Sea TurtleWould you like to observe sea turtles? Check out the grass beds of Maho Bay. You’ll rarely be disappointed. Just be patient; the turtles love Maho just like St. John’s tourists and residents.

Green sea turtles are reptiles. Their ancestors evolved on land, but began to live in the sea about 150 million years ago.

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is herbivorous
Green sea turtle grazing the seagrass at Maho Bay

Unlike other species of sea turtles, the green sea turtle is mainly herbivorous, grazing on seagrasses in shallow bays like Maho.

“C. mydas (the green sea turtle) is listed as endangered by the IUCN and CITES and is protected from exploitation in most countries.[7] It is illegal to collect, harm or kill them. In addition, many countries have laws and ordinances to protect nesting areas. However, turtles are still in danger because of several human practices. In some countries, turtles and their eggs are hunted for food. Pollution indirectly harms turtles at both population and individual scales. Many turtles die caught in fishing nets. Also, real estate development often causes habitat loss by eliminating nesting beaches….” read more from Wikopedia

St. John News

@ Work: Caribbean Solar Co.
By Lynda Lohr — March 3, 2013

Caribbean Solar Co. has been in business for just less than a year, and now the St. John-based company is an authorized distributor for SolarWorld, the largest solar manufacturer in the United States.

That’s good news for Caribbean Solar owners Kevin Schnell and Maya Matthews-Sterling, a husband and wife team providing one-stop solar services to customers across St. John…. read more

St. John Weather

Partly cloudy
High of 82 degrees F
Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph
Sunset: 6:26 PM AST
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie) 84 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Matt Mitruk
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
T-Bird
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Trivia Night
8:00
777-3316

Concordia
Ben Marr – Open Mic
3:30 – 5:30

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

Maho Bay Camp
Bo & Lauren
8:00

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

See Weekly Schedule

 

Update me when site is updated

St. John Weather: Signs of Spring

mango flowers
Mango Flowers

St. John Weather

Poor Man's OrchidThe Virgin Islands, like most of the rest of the planet has seasonal weather patterns. Right now all signs are pointing to the coming of springtime. The leaves are falling off the deciduous trees like the  mampoo and turpentine and will soon be replaced by new buds and flowers. My mango tree is in bloom as are the aloes, which are attracting the hummingbirds. The winds have already shifted to the south and he water temperature has been warming.

Forecast
Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F
Winds from the SSE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Water temperature: 84 degrees F
Sunset: 6:25 PM AST

St. John Live Music Schedule Sunday, March 3

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
3:30 – 6:30
776-5336

Beach Bar
ISH
5:00
777-4220

Concordia
Bo
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am

Cruz Bay Prime
Mark Wallace
7:00 – 10:00
693 -8000

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
714-6169

Miss Lucy’s
Sambacombo
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
693-5254

Ocean Grill
David Laab
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
T-Bird
7:00 – 10:00

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club
7:00 – 10:00

Sun Dog Cafe
David Laab
11:00 am- 2:00 pm
244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated