Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: Northshore development to have preserve
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 Material Information
Title: Northshore development to have preserve
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: May 5, 1995
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00094
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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17 The y Ne Friday, May 5,1995

Northshore development to have preserve

I have been approached by many
people about the new development
above Carambola Golf Course
called Scenic Ridge. For sometime
now, I have debated this issue with-
in my mind. Some people who I
have spoken with get emotional and
say,"This are represents our histo-
ry and stuggie of African slaves
who regained their physical free-
The Scenic Ridge development
did not spark as much contoversy
as the Fountain Valley purchase by
outside developers in the early
1980s. However, some Planning
and Naunal Resources Deprtmient
officials, for different reasons, were
not too pleased at having a new res-
idential development above Caura-
bola golf course. Nonetheless, the
parties worked things ou together.
The Scenic Ridge development
is in Estate Hard Labor, bordering
estates River. Bodkin, Fountain,
Montpellier, Springfield and Two
Friends, and an area between Grove
Place and Had Labor called Too-
is, which probably was settled by
people who descended from the
island of Tortola.
In the early 1980s, the Rocke.
fellers sold more than 4.000 acres
of primary agriculture and forest
land from Blue Mountain to the rain
forest. You know. so many people
on St. Croix then were ignorant to
the fact tha it was 17 estates of pri-
mary land, including historical

sit, ~ rms and s lines nact
just the Fountain Valley area -
that was purchased by outside
Today. Carambol Beach Resor
at Davis Bay includes 4,000 acres
and wbha once was a beach rdi-
tionally used by local people. To
this day, some people believe the
Jun Luis administration sold their
birthright when the government
allowed outside developers to ptr-
chase de land. The government had
the same opportunity to purchase
i eland, bublewit.
Now almost the anire Nmthside
of St. Croix belongs to outside
investors who for the mot pat do
not care for the people of SL roix.
Money alks, they ay.
When I talk like his, sme peo-
ple get offended. Like those who
went before me, however, I am
willing to enlighlen the people of
these islands about issues so they
won't be tricked by those who pre
tend to love theoe island
Those who know St. Croix's
Northside would agree with me that
this area i one of the mot agric l
tal, cultural and historical eas. It
also offers the most breathtaking
and spiritually tuansqil view. From
there one can see Back Island, St.
Thomas, St. John, Tortola. Puoeto
Rico and otherislands
It was in this area also where
runaway African slaves hid in the
mountains. forests and valleys.


Maroon Ridge on the northwestern
side of the Caledonia rain forest
was wha some slaves stayed in a
cave for 90 generations. When they
were discovered, many of them
jumped over the cliff and killed
themselves rather than be captured.
Who is this person who wans to
develop 147 acrof Hd Labor?
In 1917, Hard Labor was
acquired along with Grove Place by
the St. oix Labr Union led by D.
Hamilton Jackson. The land
remained under union ownership
until 1994, when Samuel Raphael
Raphael is a determined young
Virgin Islands developer who the
tbnks tnned down when he asked
for a loan to purchase the land.
Even other developers in the area,
particularly some whites, did not
like to see Hard Labor developed
into affordable lots for locals
instead of the type of development
that is fetching high prices in the
surrounding areas. You see, some
people believe some parts of St.
Croix are reserved for certain class-
esof people.

Thus, I admire Rapal for his
couage in developing sound envi-
ronmental homesites, even though
we sometimes differ on certain
environmental issues.
Last week. Raphael invited Ann
Williams, George F. Tyson, Rudy
G. O'Reilly Jr. and myself to hike
with him up Had Labor'sigt for-
est. Out of the 147 acres. Raphael
planned to set aside more than 20
for nature preserve anda museum.
Hiking trails will be established
in this nature preserve. People will
be able to discover Hard.Labor's
old plantation sugar factoWy ruins,
including a great house windmill
towers dating to 1700. fruit trees,
ferms and medicinal plants. They
also will about ecological and
cultial history fom an Aftocetric
Around 1780. a small sugar
works and animal-driven mill was
erected. Its most productive period
of sugar cane production was
between 1815 and 1848. when the
land was owned by the Plaskett
family, which included 70 to 75
African slaves.
Aboul the Sceac Ridge
nature prse~m en Samuel
Rap h at 7744424.
Olat Dir, Mho hAlds ams-
terof xien degree in range man-
agemr amdforeswyecolo,, isa
St. Croix ecog acdvit and

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