Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: Slave quarters were built at Estate Great Pond
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00242
 Material Information
Title: Slave quarters were built at Estate Great Pond
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: May 28, 1999
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00242
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.

Full Text
Island Life


rn.0.+News, Frsday, 84@ 28 1999


In last week's column, we learned
about some of the obstacles the
Gt Pond Estate had in not beon-
w, a major sugar plantion on the
ruth sh ore o St. Croix. However.
t e area has a rich human, ecologi.
ca and cultural history.
To. eflten. we ar ignorant of our
owr hid'ry. On the other hand.
some ofu i are imenally conditioned
to believe that the Great Pond Estae
has nothing to ofler to our economy
other than old historic buildings.
You see. if you know the history
or the bay. the eor and the cscae,
you would know also that the Great
Pond Estate was so important that it


was placed in the Natoalm Register
or Historc Places by the
Depatme of Interior. Do you
know that there e still slave qu-
ten on the Camp Amwak ske and
many other historic buildings whet
Beal Aerospace wants to develop?
Adjacent to the Camp Anawak
site. these apre-Columbian sites
dating bck thousands of years. An
80-year-old man who. was born and
raised in the area, told me during a
public hearing for Estate Great Pond
residents, which took place a few
weeks ago that "them were once
Danish graves at the Camp Arwnvak
area. but now the graves have


swround the openings."

salable od wood roof fame indi-
D !s cam thae a gable reef one covered
Our the building. The floor longer
O^ ^ url exists, s a rubble masonry
The foundation consists of a long
central nibble masonry wall running
parallel to the axis of the roof below
washed out to thea du to years of Ledges about three It thick stand
shoreline erosion." along the Interior on the east and
If you didn't know, practically west facades for additional support
every estate on St. Cromlx and proba- of the floor."
bly lthlotigo the Virgin Isllads The second slave quarters are
has grsites. Nonetheless, in the located fuimher west ofthe fint one.
1800s slave quatets were built at This one has been incorporated or
Estate Great Pond. cosutrcted into a residence. The
On the Camp Arawak site. there axis of this slave quarter rowhous
are three locations of slaves quar- has a north to south orientation. The
tes. The first slave quarter is locm.- third slave quarters e located south
ed west of the historic stable along of the other twoslavesquarte.This
the edge of the gut. slave quarters is also incorporated
Slave quarters were known as row into a large residence.
house. This is where slaves lived. There is also a late 1800 century
This first slave quarter is in a deter. raised well on the property. It is
orating state, but is still physically about 4 1/2 to 5 feet high made of
visible rubble masonry. Its diameter is eight
The National Register of Historic feet. The well is over grown by
Places describes the arm as saying, bush. The well was used by slaves
"...The two feet thick deteriorating and slave owners to draw water for
rubble masonry walls splayed at the animals and domestic use. These is
plate level compose a narrow six also a 1800s retaining wall which
s ebay rectangle. The stands about five fet high leading
remains of wood lintels and Jambs approximately 65 feet in a semi-cit.


cular east to west direction. Today.
pieces of this wall we eroding off
the cliff into the Bay.
The 1800's factory at Camp
Arawak is over grown by bush local-
ed south of the great house. The
remains consist of three detmeriom.
ing rubble masonry walls about five
fee to six feet high. The south side
of the factory is crumbled. On the
north side. you can see an opening
for a window and door. There Is also
an 1800s century storage building.
Tradition suggests that the storage
building was once used for stonng
and processing coton.
The great house on the property is
well preserve, except for a w
alterations of the structure, but the
archaeological appearance of an
1800's great house still renmans
Overall. Estate Great Pond pre-
serves a number of buildings and
ruins that are important to the Virgin
Islands culture. Believe me. I will
fight politically and socially for the
Great Pond cultural environment
protection because those who have
gone before us fought for our eman-
cipation.
This article rejlrces the view of
Olaee Davis. a St. Crom ecologsl.,
activist and writer who hae a muster
of scance deee tn range maage-
mat and forestry ecology


Slave quarters were built at Estate Great Pond


Some are still visible at the Camp Arawak site




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