stcroixbeaches

ST CROIX HISTORY

St Croix history was interesting even before Columbus landed.  Prior to the late 1500's the Ciboney then Arawak and Carib Indians inhabited St. Croix.  They referred to St. Croix as "Ay–Ay". The island starts to get settled by colonials and by the 1600's the indians have all vanished.

It has been ruled by seven nations. Dutch, French, English, Knights of Malta, Spain, Danish West Indian Company and the U.S. The purchase by the U.S. occurred in 1917.

St Croix history was first recorded in 1493 by Chistopher Columbus.

1493 Christopher Columbus discovers the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on his second voyage to the new world. He names the island Santa Cruz which means Holy Cross.  He drops anchor at Salt River on St. Croix 's north shore. Salt River is the only positively documented site associated with Columbus' exploration of the New World on what is now a U.S. territory.

1587 John Smith spent several days here on Santa Cruz before he landed in North America and founded the colony of Virginia .

St Croix history starts to focus on the Dutch and English.


1625 English and Dutch colonists start to arrive.  The English settle the west end and the east end by the Dutch.

1645 There is political unrest between the English  and Dutch. The English claim their governor is murdered by the Dutch governor. The Dutch abandon St. Croix for St. Maarten, and the French relocate to Guadeloupe.  This leaves only the English.

St Croix history now turns to the French.

1650 Spanish colonists from Puerto Rico overrun the English settlement. French West Indies Governor de Poincy gains possession of the island for the French.

And quickly to the Knights of Malta

1651 The governor purchases Santa Cruz from the French King for private use by himself and other Knights of Malta.

1653 Santa Cruz renamed St. Croix .

St Croix is now under the rule of the French West India Company.

1665 The French West India Company buys St. Croix from the Knights of Malta.

1671 Fort St. Jean, was built by the French just east of today's Christiansted.

Now St Croix history goes back to the French.

1674 The French takes over possession of the French West India Company properties.

1695 St. Croix is abandoned by the French.  There are just a few English families remaining.

Now it bounces to the Danish West India Company.

1733 The Danish West India Company buys St. Croix from France . A new town at Christiansted is planned.

1734 Moravian missionaries start settlements and missions on St. Croix .

1735 A survey divides island into nine quarters, which still exist today. Sugar and cotton plantations are laid out.

1738  Plans approved for the building of Fort Chistiansvaern.


1747 St. Croix is given its own government, separate from St. Thomas and St. John . The planters soon become frustrated with strict company regulations and petition the king to buy out the Danish West India Company.

St Croix History now focuses on the  Danes

1753 The Danish Crown takes over St. Croix . The economic prosperity of sugar cane, rum production, and the slave trade make St. Croix a leading port. The Danes designate the most profitable of the islands - St. Croix.  It becomes the new capital for all three islands. Thus, the capital moves from Charlotte Amalie to Christiansted where it stayed until 1871.

In November 2007

Arne Rosenkvist, a senior lecturer from the Building and Construction University in Aarhus, Denmark, gave a very unique presentation on "Danish Roads and Bridges" at the University of the Virgin Islands.  He showed a picture from 1860 showing Queen Mary Highway through a sugar-cane field on St. Croix, with workers standing around carts and donkeys. "None of this was here before the Danish came," Rosenkvist said. "There were no oxen or donkeys, so there were no carts, so there was no need for roads. There were footpaths." The Danish build the Queen Mary Highway along with other roads and bridges. Some of the older and more interesting bridges are not even accessible to the public. He had to cut his way through bush to get to them.  Hope is growing on restoring some of these historic bridges.  There is a student apprenticeship exchange with Denmark for those interested in masonry and restoration. They are working on restoration of the fort in Frederiksted.


1760 Cruzan Rum distillery is founded. The building of Fort Frederik is completed.

1764 Alexander Hamilton moves to St. Croix with his mother. He is 9 years old. He stays on St. Croix, working as a bookkeeper and cargo inspector. At 17 his tuition to college in New York is funded by friends. Did you remember that his face in on the $10 bill? 1804 he dies in a duel with Aaron Burr.  More St Croix history on Hamilton located in the Scale House in Christiansted. A National Park facility on St. Croix is being considered to honor him.

Now back to the British

1801 St. Croix captured by the British and held through the Napoleonic Wars

1803 Denmark abolishes the slave trade. St Croix 's slaves, who, in 1803, represent 26,500 of an overall population of 30,000, do not achieve independence for another 45 years.

St Croix History of the slavery era is highlighted at the Caribbean Museum Center, at  #10 Strand Street in Christiansted.

Much is just being discovered about the slave era and African influence on St. Croix.  Estate Bethlehem is yeilding more information. Many graves of enslaved and free blacks were discovered during the initial excavations by the National Guard to build a helicopter landing pad.

1815 Possession of St. Croix reverts back to Denmark . This time the island suffers drought and severe economic depression.

Check out more St Croix History by visiting the two Forts.

1834 End of racial segregation between whites and free blacks decreed.

1839 Compulsory education decreed .

1847 A royal Danish decree provides all slaves would be free after 1859 in the Danish West Indies.

1878  Queen Mary at the age of only 30, declared a fire burn on St. Croix.

Now St Croix History belongs to the United States.

1917 The United States purchases the Virgin Islands. They like Puerto Rico are considered a territory. Although Islanders are considered citizens they cannot vote for President, though they do elect a non-voting delegate to Congress.  They also elect a local governor and have a territorial Senate of 15 elected posts.

Christiansted National Historic Site, was designated in 1952. The site preserves historic structures in the city of Christiansted , the former capital of the Danish West Indies. Many of the structures were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, during the island's colonial period, including Fort Christiansvaern, the Customs House, the Steeple Building, and the Government House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Done it all? Need more ideas?

Sights: 
What do you want to see? A sunset, a crab race, an historical site or a beach.

Life is a Beach

RELAX LIFE’S A BEACH

Northshore Beaches:  Some have smooth sandy bottoms ideal for swimming, and others have rock and coral-lined entries perfect for snorkeling! Many beaches on St. Croix are continuous with other beaches having a different name.

Southside Beaches:The south shore is dotted with so many little beaches that you just happen onto, that is highly unlikely that we have found them all.

East End Beaches There are many beaches East of Christiansted on St. Croix . Some are a bit harder to get to but usually not as crowded.

West End Beaches :  St. Croix offers a large number of beaches and water activities. Try a few for a fun and memorable vacation. All of the beaches in the US Virgin Islands are accessible to the public.

Beach Pictures:  Other beach pictures and more.

Getting Around:  Options for getting here and how to get around once you are here.

Flora/Fauna of St. Croix:  Check out pictures and info on what you will enjoy seeing.

Our Condo – Caribeblue: Check out what our "Paradise" looks like. And check the view!

Rum Punch: There is more than just punch here.

Caribbean Recipes: Try something new and bring back an island memory. Or have a Caribbean party.

Sunscreen:  Recommends for intense sun.

Activities:  What do you want to do? Snorkel, golf, the list goes on.

Sights:  What do you want to see? A sunset, a crab race, an historical site or just a beach.

Ken & Barbie:  Who we are.  Send a note– picture etc.

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Last updated 2012-03-14

 

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