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THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
THE COMPLETE HANDBOOK
BY STUART MURRAY
VIRGIN ISLANDS INFORMATION SERVICE
MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY.THE AUTHOR
DUELL, SLOAN AND PEARCE
COPYRIGHT, 1951, BY DUELL, SLOAN & PEARCE, INC.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO REPRO-
DUCE THIS BOOK OR PORTIONS THEREOF IN ANY FORM.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
PRELUDE TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Of recent years the spotlight of publicity has drawn the at-
tention of the American public to those tiny islands in the
West Indies, only fourteen hundred miles from New York,
which belong to the United States.
Fast, inexpensive air transportation has enabled more
and more visitors to enjoy their crystal waters, white sandy
beaches, and tropical luxuriance.
Early tourists found these islands small, quaint, and colo-
nial. They also found a new tropical paradise virtually un-
developed and full of promise, a new resortland in a very
old Caribbean setting. They went back to their Stateside
homes and spread the word. The press took a look at these
islands and cameras clicked on hillsides and shorelines to
spread their bewildering beauty across the color pages of
America's most widely read magazines.
As a result, summer vacationists now vie with winter
escapists to taste the delights of a cool, refreshing holiday
in the American tropics. Two-week vacationists divide their
time among St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix . so they
can see them all . and select the island of their choice
with a view to staying longer next time, if not forever.
What are the Virgin Islands like and what do they have
to offer that is causing all this excitement?
The islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are
very much like three sisters. They all belong to the same
family, but each one has a bewitching personality all her
own. Take St. Thomas for example. Exciting, cosmopolitan
in a tiny way, sophisticated and worldly wise from long cen-
turies of international contacts as the principal port of the
Virgin Islands. Then, nearby is little St. John, the smallest
of the three. Here we have a very mysterious personality,
for the overgrowth of forest that cloaks St. John's hills and
mountains conceals the flourishing past when great sugar
plantations terraced these steep slopes. A fraction of a mile
larger than Bermuda, St. John is truly a tropical retreat, yet
to be developed and silently awaiting the day when good
roads will inter-link her halfmoon bays and the hand of man
will guide her fertile luxuriance into landscaped resorts and
residential cottage colonies are built along the shores of this
smallest sister of the Virgin group.
Forty miles south, across a stretch of blue Caribbean
water, lies the languid, beautiful sister, St. Croix. Larger
than the other two, with more diversified contours, we find
a personality which bespeaks of cool, calm reserve, of sus-
tained dignity. If it is true that like attracts like, we may
find here the reason that brings retirement settlers to St.
Croix from such garden states as Massachusetts, New Jersey,
and Virginia. This may also account for the fact that folk
from the "better homes and gardens" of America's northern
cities are seeking land to build new homes in the subtle
quiet which reigns in the hills and valleys and along the
shores of Santa Cruz.
Whatever the incentive to visit or to live in the Virgin
Islands, the traveler will be aided by a careful perusal of
the information contained in the following pages. Every
effort has been taken to include factual information pre-
sented in an unbiased manner so that visitors and settlers
alike may find the relaxation they seek in these delightful
islands where the colors of hibiscus, flamboyant, and bou-
gainville blossoms are topped by the proud stars and stripes
of Old Glory.
PRELUDE TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS vii
TRAVEL TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 3
CLOTHING TO TAKE TO THE ISLANDS 9
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 12
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN 55
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 68
THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 101
CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 109
STATUS AND FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN THE
VIRGIN ISLANDS 113
PLANTS AND FLOWERS WHICH MAY BE GROWN
IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 118
TYPES OF FISH CAUGHT IN THE ISLAND WATERS 121
STARTING A BUSINESS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 123
NEW BUSINESS TAX BENEFITS LEGISLATION 133
GENERAL TAX DATA 139
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CORPORATION ACT 141
INFORMATION CONCERNING DIVORCE LAWS IN
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 150
HOLIDAY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 152
PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 153
VIRGIN ISLANDS RUM RECIPES 169
TO MY GOOD
THE PEOPLE OF
ST. THOMAS, ST. JOHN, AND ST. CROIX
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
TRAVEL TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Today the Virgin Islands are within easy and economical
reach of people from all over the United States. The air-
lines that interlace American cities connect conveniently
with Pan American-World Airways and Eastern Airlines at
New York and with Eastern Airlines at Miami for take off
to San Juan, Puerto Rico, en route to the Virgin Islands.
Two steamship services, the Furness West Indies Line and
Alcoa Line, sail directly out of New York. Their first port of
call, the island of St. Thomas, is reached in 41/ days. The
Bull Lines sail directly from New York to nearby San Juan,
Puerto Rico, in four days. The Virgin Islands are then only
a 25 minute trip by air. Lykes Lines and the Waterman Line
send their ships out of New Orleans to San Juan, Puerto
Rico, where the same connections by air are available. Arrow
Line brings island-bound passengers from San Francisco and
Los Angeles to San Juan where they too, connect with the
daily flights of Caribbean-Atlantic Airlines, for St. Thomas
and St. Croix. Since rates vary from time to time these are
4 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
not given. They can, however, be accurately ascertained from
your Travel Agent at the time your travel is planned.
Pan American World Airways
System offers the most direct
flights to the Virgin Islands
from the International Air-
port Terminal at LaGuardia Field, New York. Their Tour-
ist flights, departing late at night for San Juan, Puerto Rico,
provide comfortable, safe, and very restful non-stop passage
to San Juan. A direct connection, at the same hangar, per-
mits passengers to go on immediately to St. Thomas or St.
Croix, permitting them to breakfast in the islands the morn-
ing after leaving New York. The four-motor planes used on
the run from New York to the Caribbean are spacious, with
very comfortable reclining seats that encourage sleep during
the over-night passage.
PAA also makes two flights a week directly to St. Croix,
but these planes do not stop at St. Thomas. Reservations for
this route should be made well in advance during the winter
season when traffic becomes heavy.
Eastern Airlines domestic
system connects with its San
Juan service at Miami, Flor-
ida and makes travel to the is-
lands very simple for residents of the East Coast, Middlewest
and South. Eastern's planes also connect with Caribair at San
Juan, P.R. and because of the additional stop at Miami this
route is popular with those who wish to include a Florida
visit in their itinerary.
TRAVEL TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Caribbean Atlantic Airlines,
serve the islands with two or
more round-trip flights a day
out of San Juan. This line
also runs daily flights between San Juan, Mayaguez, and
Ponce, Puerto Rico and to Ciudad Trujillo in the Domini-
can Republic. Caribair morning and afternoon flights stop
at both St. Thomas and St. Croix. Caribair carries mail and
express as well as passengers.
S Furness West Indies Line
cruise ships, the Fort Amherst
and the Fort Townsend, sail
out of New York every two
weeks with scheduled calls at Charlotte Amalie on St.
Thomas, and Frederiksted on St. Croix. This is usually a
four-day voyage from New York. These ships carry merchan-
dise cargo to the islands as well as the automobiles, furni-
ture, and heavy weight personal effects of families who are
settling in the islands.
Alcoa Steamship Company
includes St. Thomas on its
southbound and northbound
cruise trips to South America
but, since most bookings are for through or round-trip cruise
passengers, there is little space available for direct passage to
6 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
the islands. This line is regularly used, however, for freight
shipments to St. Thomas and St. Croix, the first two ports of
call out of New York.
Bull Insular Line maintains
freight and passenger service
to Puerto Rico from Atlantic
Coast ports. The passenger
service is confined to sailings from New York on alternate
The eleven thousand ton S.S. Puerto Rico provides
luxurious comfort for West Indies-bound passengers, many
of whom use this line to continue on to the Dominican Re-
public. At San Juan, those bound for the Virgin Islands may
either make a stop-over for a day or so or continue to the
islands by the next scheduled plane of Caribair. Because of
trans-shipment complications, this line is not generally used
for shipping freight or personal effects to the islands. The
port of destination on this run is San Juan, Puerto Rico, and
all heavy effects, not easily and economically trans-shipped
by air freight, should be shipped to the islands by the Fur-
ness West Indies Line or Alcoa Line, either of which makes
direct stops in the islands as indicated in foregoing para-
graphs. Many visitors to the Virgin Islands who prefer to
"do" Puerto Rico last, before returning northward by the
sea route, arrange their booking for New York on the S.S.
Puerto Rico out of San Juan.
Lykes Lines provides a selec-
tion of United States Gulf
ports as take-off points for the
Virgin Islands. Their fleet of
TRAVEL TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 7
modern cargo liners, each carrying twelve passengers, make
Friday afternoon departures for San Juan from the ports of
Lake Charles (New Orleans), Houston, and Galveston. Pas-
sengers debarking in San Juan continue to the islands via
W Arrow Line, with eastbound
sailings from the Pacific Coast
ports of San Francisco and Los
Angeles provides a sixteen-day
voyage, via the Panama Canal, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for
those West Coasters who can take their time en route to the
islands of the West Indies. Passengers on this cruise, which
has New York as its ultimate destination, may arrange to
stopover in San Juan for a visit to the Virgin Islands, via
Caribair, and to resume their voyage to New York at a later
date. The Arrow Line also carries freight and may be used
by settlers from the West Coast who are Virgin Island bound
with their personal and household effects.
Waterman Line, flying the
same House Flag as the
Arrow Line, has sailings every
SWednesday from New Orleans
to San Juan. Both are operated by the Waterman Steamship
Corporation. Twelve passengers are accommodated in rest-
ful comfort. Caribair connections are made at San Juan by
those continuing to the islands.
8 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
INTER-ISLAND BOATS, A number of inter-island
SAN JUAN TO THE schooners and motorboats ply
VIRGIN ISLANDS between San Juan and the
Virgin Islands carrying pas-
sengers and assorted freight. Many young people, who are
willing to "take it" for the experience use these boats, how-
ever, and those who want to can make arrangements by
combing the waterfront at San Juan for suitable accommo-
dations. The trip from San Juan to St. Thomas or St. Croix
takes eight hours or more, depending on wind and weather.
Sleeping on deck is customary . and usually desirable.
Naturally, special arrangements for passage and baggage is
necessary and a little shopping around for rates is recom-
CLOTHING TO TAKE TO THE ISLANDS
International air travelers are allowed sixty-six pounds of
baggage and this is ample for the clothing requirements of
island life. The best way to judge what to take is to sort out
last summer's beach clothes and pack the most colorful ones.
Don't think you have to buy a new wardrobe before leaving.
Remember that the shops of the Virgin Islands have West
Indian sportswear, often of their own design, colorful, gay,
Tropical shorts are worn by men and are loosely topped
off with bright beach shirts. Sandals, sports shoes, or sneakers
are acceptable everywhere. Formal clothes are rarely worn.
For dinner, wear slacks, shirt, tie and a light-weight sports
jacket. It is advisable to take two pairs of swimshorts. A very
light-weight, sleeveless sweater comes in handy on cool eve-
nings. Bring a camera, or buy an imported one at Free Port
prices and plan to shoot color films for which the atmos-
phere of the islands is ideal. Binoculars are very useful in
10 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
the islands where vistas are broad. Hats are seldom worn
and, when they are, the very becoming native woven Plant-
er's or traditional Cha-Cha straws can be picked up in the
shops by the species of visitor who wishes to go about wear-
ing them with the air of an old timer.
Women should take light summer dresses, and the usual
resort clothing. Plan to buy some of the attractive native-
made skirts and off-the-shoulder blouses, so comfortable and
popular in the islands. Fresh flowers-hibiscus, orchids, or
bougainvillea blossoms-are often worn in the hair. Formal
dress is usually not worn, although cocktail dresses are some-
times called for. Girdles and stockings are seldom worn at
any time. In short . the rule is be comfortable.
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS
Essentially mountainous, as opposed to many Caribbean
resort islands, St. Thomas rises to an altitude of 1550 feet
above the surrounding waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Pills-
bury Sound, and the Caribbean Sea which wash its shores
and indent its coastline with bays, channels and harbors.
The largest and most important of these ports is'famed and
historic St. Thomas Harbor into whose deep anchorage the
ships of the world have sailed for hundreds of years. Cradled
in St. Thomas Harbor is the seat of government for the is-
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 13
lands, the town of Charlotte Amalie, founded in the 17th
century and named for the reigning Queen of Denmark.
The fantastic island of St. Thomas has a history which is
too complex to detail in this handbook . but one can
conjure up something of the colorful past of Charlotte
Amalie with its narrow streets, old walls, warehouses, can-
non and ancient embattlements, in the following quotation
from an article which appeared recently in a little publica-
tion of the Alcoa Line . .
"The English pirate, Edward Teach lived and plundered
most of his life away in the Caribbean, and if ever he knew
14 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
a home, it must have been St. Thomas. Like many another
of his trade-Captain Kidd, Sir Henry Morgan, Rock the
Brazilian, Esquemeling, Pierre le Grand, Monsieur Mont-
bars the Exterminator, Francois l'Olonnois, Jean Hamlin,
and Sir Francis Drake-he came to know St. Thomas as a
sanctuary and haven, but first of all, as a base of operations.
"There were good reasons why St. Thomas became the core
and starting point for the most colorful gang of cutthroats
ever to emerge from the era of privateer, corsair, and bucca-
neer. First of all its position was unsurpassed. It was a fairly
easy matter for pirates to freeboot the nearby Anegada Pas-
sage, a strategic thirty-mile stretch of water that was the
chief artery for European commerce and the fat, well-stuffed
ships of the Spanish Don.
"Though St. Thomas was never, at least openly, a neutral
port for pirates, it was the next best thing. In 1775 the King
of Denmark declared the island a free port, an act that in-
sured a lively trade and steady income. That it became a
hotbed of piracy was of no particular concern to Denmark,
as long as Danish commerce was left alone. And it was left
alone-a cheap price to pay for a safe refuge to unload, re-
fit, and repair a privateer.
"While it is true that all of the colorful figures have, more
or less, been placed in one category-pirates-it is equally
true that their motives differed widely. Not all plundered,
ravaged and burned as methodically as Francois l'Olonnois
(who is said to have chewed a man's heart out), or Sir Henry
Morgan, remembered for his abuses in the slave trade.
Montbars the Exterminator, for example, was a virtuous
pirate, if that were possible.
"There drifted back to St. Thomas from time. to time the
stories of the ruthlessness of the Conquistadors. On young
Montbars, still in his twenties, they made a violent impres-
sion, and he haunted the Anegada passage waiting for the
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 15
plunder-rich ships of the Spanish returning home from Cen-
tral America. For a time he was successful, but not for long,
and it is recorded that he died very young.
With still another motive, Sir Francis Drake's almost
'honorable' freebooting was impelled by patriotism, if you
will. His reserved, well-dressed person, faultlessly trimmed
red beard and all, was a familiar if not a strange sight
in the streets of Charlotte Amalie. And yet, in his own
way, he was as much a member of the piratical brotherhood
as the Edward Teach we know as Blackbeard."
Today, in this harbor of Charlotte Amalie, once fre-
quented by the colorful and daring pirates of history, the
old and picturesque waterfront is always busy with the com-
ings and goings of the trim little schooners which ply be-
tween St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and the British Virgin
Island, Tortola. Fishnets and sails flap loosely as they hang
from tall masts to dry in the gentle breezes which sweep the
harbor at all times. The docks swarm with activity as cargoes
are unloaded and taken to warehouses or markets. St.
Thomas imports meat, fish, and vegetables from Tortola and
the weekly races of the Tortolamen sailing into the harbor
in fleet formation is a sight that visitors seldom forget.
The hills of St. Thomas sweep rapidly upward from this
colorful waterfront and appropriately reach their maximum
altitude on the peak of Crown Mountain, high above the
beaches and coves which string like beads around the shores.
Massive, turbulent rock formations of ancient volcanic
origin make up the twenty-eight square miles of St. Thomas'
hills and dales and fascinating shorelines. From the heights
one can see far into the bluegreen east across the peaks
of St. John and Tortola and into the infinity that be-
comes the Leeward Islands in the curving necklace known
as the Antillean chain. In these hills dwell a contented
people. Some are native born and many are "Continentals"
16 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
i.e., people from the States, who have chosen their view-
sites and settled there. The hillsides are steep and homes
are graciously situated on ample acres generously divided by
horizontal or vertical distances. These Islanders and Con-
tinentals have good reason to bless the sturdy cars that whisk
them from the harborside streets of their lovely little town
of Charlotte Amalie to the relaxation of their homes on the
The vast majority of St. Thomas' population are native-
born island people of Negro blood. Then, also island born,
are the descendants of early French settlers who for genera-
tions have played a part in the history of the island. Cha-
Chas they are called, familiarly and often fondly by their
island-born neighbors . but try to find out why! Some
say it is a friendly reference to the sound of their French
patois. A little Cha-Cha boy when asked "Are you a Cha-
Cha?" said, "Sure, Mon!" When asked "What is a Cha-Cha?"
he replied immediately, "Well, Mon, we speak French and
English . like all good Americans!" No further question-
ing was attempted . and he went back to mending his
fish trap. The Cha-Chas, incidentally, are a versatile clois-
tered people who divide their time and industry between
fishing, careening and repairing boats, weaving baskets, hats
and other wares and, in contrast, others industriously culti-
vate little patches of truck farmlands on the high, steep hill-
sides of St. Thomas' northern coastline.
But what of the native Negro islanders? Descendants of
the Negro peoples of the days of slavery a century ago, many
are of mixed bloods relating them to the English, French
and Danish regimes which at one time or other ruled these
beautiful islands. The islanders of today are a proud and
independent peoples. If it is true that some are too proud to
work at arduous tasks to earn their living, then let us realize
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 17
that these Island peoples have done a heroic job of adjust-
ing themselves to an artificial world of bureaucracy forced
upon them by the justly questionable paternalism of a
series of Washington administrations ever since Uncle Sam
purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917.
All departments of the Government of the Virgin Islands
are staffed by these intelligent native peoples of Negro
blood. Many of the stores, shops, hotels and service busi-
nesses of Charlotte Amalie are operated by native-born em-
ployees, regardless of the race or origin of the owners.
Now, how does the Continental fit into this community?
The answer is more evident to the resident Continental than
it is possible to define in written words, but let us try . .
The Continental resident of St. Thomas or, for that mat-
ter, any of the three main islands, is usually a man or woman
who has taken up residence in the islands "to escape from
the rigors of the north." For the most part, these Continen-
tals are assets to the islands for the simple reason that they
are not competitive to the native Islanders, but rather en-
hance the prosperity of the community by virtue of the
Stateside dollars they draw upon and dispense with for at-
tendant employment and diversified compensation for Is-
landside services rendered. The tourist dollar also adds
greatly to the annual incomes and welfare of the native-born
islanders, as well as some of the Continental residents.
HOTELS AND Some fifteen Hotels and Guest
GUEST HOUSES Houses provide accommoda-
tions for tourists and visitors
to St. Thomas. All of these
are located in, or convenient to, the town of Charlotte
Amalie. Following custom, most of these operate on the
American Plan basis of three meals a day included in their
18 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
per person daily rate. The following basic information has
been taken from data compiled by the Tourist Development
Board. It must be remembered that rates shown are natu-
rally subject to change on the part of the management. For
rates in effect at the time of a proposed visit to the islands,
it is advisable to check with your Travel Agent or with the
Virgin Islands Information Service, 27 E. 38 Street, New
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 19
ADAMS "1799" On a nearby downtown hill-
GUEST HOUSE side. Excellent view of har-
bor and town; Phone #235;
Address, 13 Kongens Gade;
American Plan; 4 rooms, 7 guests; from $6.00 per person per
day; House is colonial mansion built in 1799; Features
Creole and American style cooking; Excellent for school
teachers, scholars, musicians, artists.
ADRIENNE Across a flowered park from
GUEST HOUSE the Post Office, on a hill with
beautiful views; Phone #445;
Address, 31 King Street; Con-
tinental Plan (Breakfast only); 6 rooms, 8 guests; from $3.50
per person per day. Guests swim at Lindbergh Beach Club.
BLACKBEARD'S Situated on Denmark Hill
CASTLE HOTEL with sweeping views; Phones
#45 & #166; American Plan;
io double rooms; Summer
rates from $18.oo per room per day (April 16 to Dec. 14)
Winter rates from $24.00 per room per day (Dec. 15 to April
15). Spacious dining terrace, cocktail lounge, gardens. Swim-
ming at Magen's Bay, $1.oo per person round trip.
BLUEBEARD'S On the crest of Bluebeard's
CASTLE HOTEL Hill with superb views of
Charlotte Amalie and St.
Thomas Harbor. Phones #125
& #230; 55 rooms, all with bath, ioo guests (main building
and cottages); American Plan; from $15.oo per person per
day; Stationwagon to beaches, no charge; excellent Ameri-
can type cuisine; famed cocktail-dining terrace and bar;
20 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
CARIBBEAN HOTEL Located on Cabritaberg Hill
with views of Lindbergh Bay;
convenient to Golf course;
Phone #347; American Plan;
50 rooms, 125 guests; rates from $11.oo per person per day;
dancing and entertainment nightly; one-day laundry and
valet service; excellent cuisine; continuous hot water; swim-
ming at Lindbergh Bay Beach Club. No charge for station-
wagon to airport, town, beach.
GRAND HOTEL Facing Post Office Square and
Emancipation Park; houses
several fine shops and the
office of Virgin Islands Tours;
Phone #35; American Plan; 28 rooms, 50 guests; from $7.oo
per person per day; the largest strictly downtown hotel con-
veniently located to the shopping center. Stationwagon serv-
ice at very nominal rates for guests to beaches and airport.
HARBOR VIEW MANOR This very well known guest
(GUEST HOUSE) house is situated at a com-
manding height on French-
men's Hill. A celebrated Colo-
nial manor, its spacious verandahs afford excellent views of
harbor activities and several miles of coastline. A short, five
minute walk down to the Main Street; it is advisable to ride
back up in a taxi (25# per person) with the knowledge that
the cooling tradewinds, a good bar, and staggering views
from the balconies, day or night, can be depended upon for
relaxing enjoyment. Phone #55; Continental Plan, with a
good breakfast. Dinner optional, at extra charge. 11 rooms,
22 guests; rates from $8.00 per person per day in season.
Guests use Lindbergh Beach Club. This is a very convenient
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 21
place for visitors who prefer to eat out now and then. Special
rates for long stays.
HIGGIN'S GATE Downtown and very centrally
(GUEST HOUSE) situated. One block off Main
Street. Frequented by The
Younger Set who find its bar
quite gay at cocktail time. Phone #236; Continental or
American Plan; 12 rooms, 24 guests; From $6.oo per person
per day, Continental Plan or $1o.oo per day, American Plan.
Restaurant is very well run with demitasse and cordials
served on terrace after dinner. Stationwagon to beaches and
frequent shore bonfire picnics at Morningstar Beach are fea-
HOTEL 1829 A delightfully traditional
West Indies hotel, in an his-
toric building fronting on the
gardens of Post Office Square.
Noted throughout the Caribbean for its Planter's Punches
and genial hospitality. Phone #313; American Plan; 13
rooms, 23 guests; from $8.oo per person per day. Dining
room is cozy and a much patronized luncheon rendezvous.
Food is West Indian or American. Charming patio. Laun-
dry and pressing on premises. Private beach facilities with
beach house for guests.
HOTEL FLAMBOYANT Newly built on East Point
with full view of Charlotte
Amalie across the harbor. St.
Croix and Puerto Rico can
be seen on the south and west horizons from the hotel
grounds. American Plan; 66 rooms, 138 guests; from $16.oo
per peron per day. Swimming pool with 1o cabanas, private
22 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
beach on premises; tennis courts; dancing nightly and at
cocktail time; stationwagon to town, no charge. Full valet
MILLER MANOR Halfway up Frenchman's Hill.
(GUEST HOUSE) Balcony overlooks harbor be-
low. Ideal for those whose
stays are on the longer side.
Phone #535; American Plan; 7 rooms, so guests; no bar but
guests are permitted to stock on liquor; daily stationwagon
trips to beach, no charge. From $8.oo per day per person
with special monthly rates on application.
SMITH'S FANCY On a terraced height over-
(GUEST HOUSE) looking harbor and Charlotte
Amalie and just a five min-
ute walk to the shopping cen-
ter. Cool and spacious balconies; Phone #491; American
Plan; 7 rooms, 11 guests; caters to discriminating people;
excellent cuisine; from $12.oo per person per day; features
Garden Bar on terrace which is a popular rendezvous of
resident Continentals; A colorful studio shop on the prem-
ises offers native handcrafts and works of art reminiscent of
the islands. Guests swim at Morningstar Beach Club; picnic
lunches served once a week. Box lunches can be had any
day. Buffet lunch served daily on the garden terrace.
TRADE WINDS HOTEL Dominating a lofty crest over-
looking the airport and Brew-
er's Bay. This hotel can ac-
commodate Group Tours in
its 36 rooms which house up to 72 persons: A remodeled
officer's barracks, the building is spacious and very tastefully
furnished. Attractive bar and cocktail lounge; Play rooms
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 23
and outdoor games on surrounding lawns; American Plan;
rates from $7.50 per person per day; group rates on applica-
tion; swimming at nearby Lindbergh Bay and Brewer's Bay
beaches. Always cooled by the winds from which it takes its
name, this hotel is favored by those who prefer out of town
quarters with nearby golf, riding and swimming.
VILLA OLGA On the tip of Frenchmen's
(GUEST HOUSE) Point, just south of Careen
Hill past Cha-Cha Village.
Old tropical colonial atmos-
phere. Home of the popular Castaways Club: European
Plan; Phone #350; 16 rooms, 28 guests; cocktail lounge on
terrace; indoor bar and dining room; from $6.oo per person
per day; delightful setting amid tall waving palms; adjacent
to Harman's boating facility and the Glass Bottom Boat
landing; harbor sailing and nearby fishing. Ideal for those
who like to be right on the water and swept by sea breezes.
VIRGIN ISLE HOTEL Newly opened, this hotel is
the pride of the islands and
one of the finest hotels in the
Caribbean area. Spreads ma-
jestically along a ridge affording broad views in nearly
every direction with a complete vista of Charlotte Amalie
and St. Thomas Harbor from its terraces. Modern to the
last degree, nothing has been spared to make the Virgin Isle
a truly luxurious residence for discriminating guests. Con-
tinental Plan; 125 rooms, 232 guests; from $19.oo per person
per day; air conditioned; glass enclosed dining room. Danc-
ing nightly to New York orchestras; top flight entertain-
ment; private swimming pool and tennis courts on the
grounds. Beach swimming at private beach on Brewer's Bay
for guests only.
24 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
CLUB CONTANT Housed in a gracious old plan-
tation manor, in the shadow
of an ancient windmill tower,
Club Contant is a private
membership club and its facilities are not open to the pub-
lic. Members, or guests of members, may use the residential
accommodations in the clubhouse or the surrounding cot-
tages by arrangement.
RESTAURANTS Until the last year or so, the
American Plan was the order
of the day in all hotels and
guest houses for the simple
reason that no outside eating places were available for resi-
dents or visitors to patronize. Now, however, a number of
excellent places to eat do exist where "diners-out" can en-
joy anything from a light snack to a full course meal.
First of all, it should be understood that all hotels serve
three meals a day unless otherwise specified, and do wel-
come other than their own guests. It is customary for pro-
spective diners to call these hotels and make reservations so
that preparation may be made for such visitors who are not
Of the downtown restaurants, The Magic Lamp, located
in Beretta's Center and entered through Hibiscus Alley off
Main Street, is one of the most attractive and is regularly
patronized by government executives, planters, resident Con-
tinentals, business people, and tourists. We discover The
Magic Lamp to have a wealth of old world charm and at-
mosphere where extensive reconstruction and vivid imagi-
nation have brought new life and usefulness to a warehouse
nearly two centuries old. Only the choicest cuts of Stateside
meat are found in The Magic Lamp kitchens. Charcoal
broiling is a specialty. For those who seek something native,
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 25
ample use is made of fresh fish and lobster, papayas, local jel-
lies, and real native recipes. The bar is most attractive and
with Henry behind it, your most exacting drinking wishes are
fulfilled to perfection. Helen and Henry take pride not only
in serving the very best, but they feel also that catering goes
a little further and try to make your stay in St. Thomas more
pleasant by answering queries and caring for details.
In full sight of the Post Office at the corner of Back and
Garden Streets stands a wooden cut-out donkey. This is the
sign of the Donk Shop, a merry little luncheon rendezvous
where light sandwich luncheons are punctuated by gay re-
partee usually led by the jovial proprietor Vic Adamson and
"edited" or "abbetted" by his charming wife, Marge. The
Donk Shop serves sandwich specialties in a patio shaded by
umbrella tables and extra special mustards and condiments
add gusto to these generous servings. A feature of the shop
is a bulletin pin-up board near the bar where all frequenters
can tack up messages for friends or stake out their needs in
housing or gadgets pertinent to life in the colony. The
pin up board has a name-but you had better find this out
for yourself by going there! Luncheons only, but black cof-
fee might be wheedled out of the kitchen for those early
morning visitors who need it.
Elverhoj, down a colorful flowered alley off Main Street
and next to the Post Office, serves delightful luncheons to
patrons and visitors in the cocktail lounge of their famed
dress shop where you can watch Neil and Beth Kiendl cre-
ate their famous West Indian fashions to your order.
The Patio, westward on Main Street, is a delightful, shel-
tered yet open-air cocktail lounge and restaurant which
specializes in excellent foods, served in a most charming
manner on tables draped with delicately woven fishnets.
Banana plants and tropical flowers grow within its walls
and cast romantic shadow patterns that meld into the lei-
26 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
surely atmosphere. The cocktail lounge is spacious and com-
fortable and very popular at noon time and, as though
hidden away for those who would prefer a tete-~-tete is the
cozy Tapa Room which takes its name from a woven wicker,
rattan and tapa decor in the feeling of the tropics. Here a
fountain-pool retains live shellfish, crawfish and tortoise un-
til such time as they are destined to festoon the menu. Not
always open for dinner, put The Patio on your "must" list
for a really pleasant luncheon.
A little further up Main Street, past The Patio, is a tiny
spot with swinging doors called Steve's. This is the sort of
place you have to know about, since Steve's is the answer
to a man's prayer who seeks thick steaks, delightfully broiled
on charcoal, garnished with sliced tomatoes, fried onions
and a veritable mountain of French fried potatoes, platter-
served with cold beer. Steve will top this all off with black
coffee, demitasse, and if you wish, will add a jigger of rich
Virgin Island rum so that you can leave his small but very
hospitable place feeling like a king who has just tossed down
his "cafe royal." Night time is the best time to visit Steve's
and any taxi driver will take you there and pick you up
after your repast. Ladies are invited, of course, but essen-
tially it is a man's place with man's own type of food.
Ransom House is an air conditioned restaurant a few steps
west on Main Street from the Old Market Square. It has
earned its reputation for top-flight cooking. The menu fea-
tures such delicacies as "Chicken-in-the-basket" and other
Stateside dishes. The bar is always in command of an ex-
LIGHT MEALS, For those who wish light
SNACKS luncheon snacks or quiet meals
well served, a number of con-
venient places are located in
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 27
the downtown section of Charlotte Amalie with one or two
on the outskirts of town.
On the north side of Main Street, about midway between
the Post Office and the Old Market, is a new, neat and trim
little place called the Cofee Shop. Specialising in a conti-
nental short-order menu, it has a soup kitchen, serves home-
made sandwiches, milk shakes, ice cream, pastry, iced tea or
coffee, hot-dogs and barbecue hamburgers. Early breakfast
and luncheon specials are featured, at very low prices.
Opposite the Post Office Joe Peterson's open air cocktail
lounge and luncheon terrace offers quick refreshment, food-
wise and otherwise.
On Main Street, near the Old Market, the Igloo is a pop-
ular snack bar where sandwiches, milk, ice cream and other
refreshers in the food line are quickly served to those whose
time is limited and appetites are light.
Around the corner and facing the New Market is the
pleasant little Danish-American restaurant which serves
breakfast, lunch and dinner in a quiet atmosphere.
Tropicana is a conveniently located bar and grill on Back
Street, in the downtown section.
The Bamboo Room, a spa on the south side of the Grand
Hotel facing Emancipation Park, has long been favored by
hungry and thirsty arrivals at nearby King's Wharf.
On route to Magen's Bay for bathing, Sibily's Mountain
Bar offers refreshing beer or highballs in a well shaded
Near the shore of the Yacht Basin, Miramar can always
be depended upon as an excellent Native restaurant featur-
ing steaks and seafood deliciously cooked and served in the
surroundings of a quaint boatyard.
Bourne Field Beach Club assures bathers of snackfood
and good bar service which eliminates the need for bring-
ing picnic baskets. Soft drinks for the kiddies.
28 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Louise's Pavilion, on the road to Red Hook, is a charm-
ing native country restaurant-bar. Open-air terrace. Large
parties can have a wonderful time here by making reserva-
tions and arranging for a small Calypso orchestra.
PLACES TO SEE Although Charlotte Amalie is
WHILE IN ST. THOMAS full of sights which greatly
appeal to the visitor from the
North, there are a few excep-
tionally interesting places which add materially to a sight-
seeing trip around the town and the island of St. Thomas.
A few of these are:
Drake's Seat, where the famous navigator is reported to
have sat when he charted the channels and passages of the
Cha-Cha Town, often called Frenchtown, where the beau-
tiful Shrine of St. Anne may be seen in St. Anne's Church
on the hill which overlooks this quaint village.
The horizontal gravestones on the terrace at Bluebeard's
Castle, where it is customary to drink a toast to "the unseen
The ramparts and dungeons of Old Fort Christian,
erected in 1671.
The "Street of 99 Steps," on Government Hill.
The magnificent altar in St. Peter and Paul's Church.
All Saints Anglican Church where historical tablets and
its famous, hundred-year-old organ may be seen.
The fascinating marine-life and old wrecks on the harbor
bottom of St. Thomas from the Glass-Bottom Boat.
SHOPPING IN Two factors combine to make
ST. THOMAS shopping a pleasure while vis-
iting St. Thomas. First of all
the islands are a Free Port and
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 29
priceless goods from all over the world enter duty-free so
that retail prices are correspondingly low. Secondly, remem-
ber that the American dollar is the coin of the realm in the
islands so there are no exchange complications to bother
with. Full U.S. Customs allowances permit visitors from
the States to bring home $200.00 worth of purchases after
a forty-eight-hour absence and $500.00 worth if they are
away twelve days or more.
A bazaar-like atmosphere seems to characterize the shop-
ping center of St. Thomas, and small wonder when one
considers the exciting merchandise on display . Danish
sterling flatware; Danish, Peruvian, Mexican and Guate-
malan silver jewelry; Chinese jade; French crystal and per-
fumes; Florentine, Mexican and Guatemalan leatherwork;
Mahogany, Tortoise shell, exotic bead and seed jewelry from
Haiti and Santo Domingo; Italian linens, alabasters, corals
and cameos; Epicurean delights and liquors from the Seven
Seas; Basketware, place mats, bay rum and planter's hats
from the islands. Add to all this the woolens of England,
the silks of India and precious jewels from everywhere and
it all becomes quite clear that an elastic pocketbook is a
good thing to take with you on a tour of the shops located
in the quaint streets and flowered alleys of downtown Char-
lotte Amalie. Browsing is invited by island proprietors who
welcome your leisurely selection of their wares, so take your
time and enjoy yourself while you select gifts, souvenirs or
personal effects from the offerings of the shops of this famed
Virgin Islands Free Port.
THE SHOPS OF Explore for yourself the mer-
CHARLOTTE AMALIE chandise carried by the shops
on the following list. If a shop
does not carry what you want,
30 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
feel free to ask the name of the shop that does. In this small
West Indian port, all shopkeepers are neighbors and friends
and will gladly suggest the names of those specializing in
the various types of merchandise you may be seeking. The
principal shops are:
Academy Book Store
Art Center of the Islands
Cabafia Men's Shop
Creque's, General Store
Downing & Bellows, Liquors
Grand Gift Shop
George Levi & Son, Liquors
Hay's Department Store
Leech, Stuart (Silversmith)
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 31
Little French Shop (Madame Soufrant)
Riise's, A. H., Liquors
Sea Chest, Liquors, Bay Rum
Virgin Islands Cooperative
It is well to remember that many of these shops sell cloth-
ing that is most appropriate for wear in the Virgin Islands,
so bring last summer's sportswear with you and stock up on
colorful West Indian beachwear at the low prices of St.
THE At the waterfront end of
ART CENTER shaded Hibiscus Alley in the
OF THE ISLANDS midtown area of Charlotte
Amalie a new Art Center, de-
signed to encourage and stimulate the talents of Native-
born artists, has attracted the attention of artists and art
The Art Center is a tastefully decorated building which
was formerly a warehouse packed with the treasures of trade
from all over the world. Today the massive walls, grilled
doorways, and slatted windows create an ideal atmosphere
in which to display colorful interpretations of native scenes
and native life.
32 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
The colony is deeply indebted to Mr. Lawrence Rill Schu-
mann of Boston, who saw the need for this Art Center and
had the will and the philanthropic means to bring it into
being. Amateur or professional artists, working in oil, water
color, pastel or any other media including the graphic arts
are eligible to join the Art Center by presenting three ex-
amples of their work to the Board of Governors for review.
Artists planning to visit the Virgin Islands are invited to
write for additional information by addressing the Director,
The Art Center, Hibiscus Alley, St. Thomas, V.I.
SAILING Sailing and fishing in the Vir-
AND FISHING gin Islands are unsurpassed
and at St. Thomas there are
several excellent schooners
and cruisers which may be chartered by the day, week or
month. Yachtsmen are becoming aware of these excellent
sailing waters and a number of new arrivals from the States
mark each winter season. Many of these fine craft remain
in the islands and the fleet is rapidly growing with a wide
variety to charter from.
A list of fish which are found in the waters surrounding
the Virgin Islands will be found on page (121).
YACHTING The present facilities for
FACILITIES yachtsmen at St. Thomas
comprise an anchorage in
the northeast corner of St.
Thomas Harbor, with service for handling small craft under
the direction of Commander Tony Work. Fuel and supplies
may be secured at this anchorage. U.S. Coastal and Geo-
detic Survey charts may be bought at the Harbor Masters
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 33
On Hassel Island, Creque's Marine Railway can handle
sizable craft. This yard has been in operation for many years
and is the largest facility in the Virgin Islands.
An additional haven and service center for yachtsmen is
planned for installation at the anchorage near Villa Olga.
BOAT TRIPS, Harman Boats, Inc., located
RENTALS, at the Villa Olga dock near
AND CHARTER the channel between Careen
Hill and Hassel Island at the
West end of St. Thomas Harbor, offers sailing and fishing
boats on short-term rental and charter basis.
Included in the Harman operations are glass-bottom boat
trips, harbor cruises, and all-day excursions to nearby is-
lands. For charter are yachts and sailboats, as well as row
boats and outboards. These are available by the day, or for
extended cruises through the islands of the Antilles.
The glass-bottom boat, the only one in the Virgin Islands,
makes six scheduled one-hour trips daily. Through the crys-
tal-clear water one can see fantastic coral formations and
strange and delightful forms of undersea vegetation equal
to any in the world. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of
the glass-bottom boat trip is the view of an ancient sunken
ship, swarming with colorful fish, which outdoes Holly-
wood's most ambitious setting for an undersea technicolor
production. The price of this ride is one dollar per person.
The harbor cruise, made daily in a fast diesel-powered
launch, offers an entirely different conception of St. Thomas
to those who have arrived by plane. The boat leaves King's
Wharf, and proceeds to the harbor entrance where there is
a magnificent view of the city. It passes the perfectly pre-
served and architecturally unusual powder magazine built
over two centuries ago. Then, bordering Hassell Island, it
34 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
continues by the abandoned Royal Mail Docks, Creque's
Marine Railway, by Ballast Island, and into the East Greg-
ory Channel which separates St. Thomas from Water Island.
These waters are where Sir Francis Drake anchored his fleet
during his West Indian campaigns, and where pirates found
safety in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The har-
bor-cruise boat continues on to Lndbergh Bay and then into
John Brewer's Bay, both popular with swimmers. The re-
turn trip to King's Wharf is routed outside Water and Has-
sel Islands, weather permitting. The price of this one and
one-half hour trip is two dollars. Reservations are suggested.
At irregular intervals day-long trips are made to St. John,
Buck Island, Little Saba Island, Tortola, the capital of the
British Virgin Island group and Virgin Gorda with its in-
credibly beautiful sea-side caves and spectacular beaches.
Schedules and prices available weekly in advance from Har-
man Boats, Inc.
Special fishing trips, ranging from those in native sloops
and small boats, to more ambitious undertakings to far-
distant waters in cabin cruisers, may be arranged. Address:
Harman Boats, Inc., Post Office Box #30o, Charlotte Amalie,
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Telephone No. 350, if you are
in St. Thomas.
GOLF Visitors and residents of St.
Thomas who like golf may
find outlets for their energies
by playing on the newly com-
pleted Herman E. Moore Golf Course, near the airport at
Bourne Field. This is a nine-hole course so arranged on roll-
ing land as to challenge golfers to cope with the trade winds
on long drives. Green fees are low and the Nineteenth Hole
is located at either the Trade Winds Hotel, the Beach Club
at Lindbergh Bay, or the Carribbean Hotel.
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 35
RIDING Several estates (plantations)
on St. Thomas have good rid-
ing horses and Nancy Mills, at
Virgin Islands Tours, located
on Norregade (North Street) in the Grand Hotel, can ar-
range for good mounts at reasonable prices. Visitors who
contemplate exploring the trails winding up and down the
hills of St. Thomas, had best bring their riding clothes with
them. Saddles customarily used are English Military, Eng-
lish, or McClellan. No Hunt Club, as such, exists as yet, and
riding is directed primarily to the exploration of old plan-
tations and out-of-the-way places which are too remote to
reach either by car or on foot. In the West End area of the
island, the St. Thomas Riding Academy, operated by Ralph
C. Thomas at Bourne Field opposite the golf course, offers
horses for exploring the high mountain roads that wind
through the hills of the sparsely settled western part of the
island. Roads and trails are wide and safe with a few
straightaways for galloping or canterinF
TENNIS The Municipal Tennis Courts
are across from the Miramar
restaurant on the road to
the West Indian Docks. The
Hotel Flamboyant, at East Point, has excellent new courts
which may be used by non-residents of the hotel by special
arrangements with the management.
BEACHES Excellent white sand beaches
are available for swimming
and sun-bathing at Brewer's
Bay, Morning Star Beach and
Lindbergh Bay on the south or Caribbean shore while the
beautiful horseshoe-shaped Magen's Bay on the north shore
36 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
shelters a beach famed for the clarity of its Atlantic waters.
Several private beaches, under club operation, are open to
permanent residents and their guests through invitation or
membership. Beaches are within 15 minutes' drive from all
St. Thomas hotels.
Since none of the hotels or guesthouses in St. Thomas is
directly located on beaches, all have special arrangements
so that guests may thoroughly enjoy the cool and refreshing
waters or loafing on the white sands under the full tropic
sun. It is wise to note, however, that the gentle trade winds
are often so cooling that newcomers are deceived into think-
ing that they are not being sunburned. Old Sol shines
brightly and burns rapidly in these latitudes and sun-tan-
ning should be indulged in gradually and carefully. In addi-
tion to the beaches of St. Thomas, the nearby island of St.
John affords excellent and safe bathing at Cruz Bay, Caneel
Bay, and Trunk Bay. An additional beach at Cinnamon Bay
is not yet accessible to the public but promises, when de-
veloped, to become a very popular spa.
While it is true that shark and barracuda are found in the
deeper waters that surround the islands, bathing at all
beaches is quite safe since these fish do not come in shore
where the beaches are located, but remain outside of the
protecting reefs. Bracelets, identification tags and flashy
jewelry should not be worn in swimming, however, since
under water their metal flashes in the sunlight like little
fish in which larger fish are sometimes interested. This is a
ENTERTAINMENT, Although Charlotte Amalie is
NIGHTLIFE essentially a quiet colonial
town the development of the
resort is adding many new en-
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 37
tertainment features and places to keep restless feet busy
when the sun goes down and the dinner hours are over.
In a tropical setting on the terrace of an old colonial
mansion, Villa Olga club offers excellent bar service at low
tables and comfortable reclining chairs on the terrace. A
long inside bar and many tables accommodate those who
prefer their fun indoors. Cool breezes make dancing a
pleasure at this nightspot. Good midnight snacks, too, go
well with the soft strains of music that fill this attractive
Further east, near the airport, the Caribbean Hotel fea-
tures an excellent dance orchestra in the Supper Room
playing both American, West Indian Calypso, Rhumba, and
Samba music. This is a very much frequented spot for
dinner-dancing in a lively mood. A very attractive bar and
cocktail lounge adjoins the dining room and dance floor
38 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
which is always popular with those whose energies have not
been dissipated by too much exercise during the day.
The Hideaway Club, also near the airport, features danc-
ing and dining nightly with a palm studded open-air terrace.
A pleasant drive from town, this is a good place to add to
your list to visit after sundown.
Out at East Point the new and very beautiful Flamboyant,
a resort hotel, offers dinner and supper in a beautifully
decorated salon. An excellent Calypso orchestra plays for
cool and comfortable supper-dancing at this air-conditioned
Bluebeard's Castle, with a superb view of the Harbor
from its hilltop site is ideal for those who want to relax on
the quaint flagstoned terrace, sip Planter's Punches or
other tempting products of its famous bar, and watch the
twinkling lights of the town below. Dance if you like, either
on the terrace or in the breeze-swept cocktail lounge.
Blackbeard's Castle, on a nearby hilltop has a cozy bar
and dining terrace. The quaint colonial architecture of this
well-patronized dinner spot is reminiscent of past grandeur.
The view from the terrace is most relaxing.
While in a hilltop mood, either for afternoon or late
evening cocktails, Smith's Fancy has a most charming, de-
lightfully appointed bar in a setting of tropical plants,
trees, and flowers that sprawl gracefully around the several
levels of a terrace interspersed with artfully planted and
lighted gardens. Not always open until the wee hours, it is
best to stop here fairly early on starlit island nights.
The Anchor Club is another of the pleasure places of St.
Thomas. Located downtown, facing the water front, with
ample parking space, the Club's "Anchorage Room" features
native entertainment and lists Planter's Punch as a specialty.
Dancing and late supper, with close-ups of the picturesque
West Indian schooners riding at anchor in the harbor.
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 39
THEATRES The Center Theatre is a
modern motion picture house
located on Main Street not far
from Post Office Square. It
features new releases and is very popular with the island
residents since it is air conditioned.
Apollo Theatre, St. Thomas' oldest movie house was en-
tirely modernized in 1949 and presents two performances
daily except Wednesdays and Saturdays, on which days it is
closed. The Apollo Theatre Cafe offers light refreshments
before and after performances.
CHAUFFEUR-GUIDES The Tourist Development
Board has gone to consider-
able pains to assure efficient
and courteous service from
the taxi drivers of St. Thomas. Special training has pro-
duced a group of dependable Chauffeur-Guides and taxi
drivers whose cars are easily recognized by the official seal of
the Board (a scallop shell surmounted by a seahorse) and
surrounded by the words "Approved Chauffeur-Guide-
Tourist Development Board." Chauffeurs whose windshields
bear this insignia have completed the special training course
and are pledged to a polite, prompt, and honest perform-
ance of their duties. Any infractions by drivers of taxicabs
should be reported immediately to the nearest policeman or
to the Director of the Tourist Development Board on Main
ROADS, Visitors to St. Thomas should
SIGHTSEEING, not overlook the fact that
CAR RENTALS the countryside surrounding
Charlotte Amalie offers inter-
40 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
testing exploring by auto along the climbing, winding roads
which interlace the hills, mountains and shorelines of this
beautiful island. The roads are narrow but very well sur-
faced and traffic is even less than on country roads in the
States. Newcomers to St. Thomas will get a few unexpected
thrills in the process of coming to realize that driving on the
left side of the road is legal and customary.
On the high ridge roads one passes the sites of famed old
sugar plantations which, in earlier days, were called "Es-
tates" and were named as such. On the westend drive the
land is graced by such traditional names as Adelphi, Bonne
Esperance, Perseverance, Fortuna Hill, Bordeaux Estate and
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 41
Botany Bay. Returning east along the high ridge route, one
passes through the lands of Santa Maria Estate, Caret Bay
Estate, Dorothea, Resolution, Liliendal and Lerkenlund.
Eastbound, and still in the high, cool air of the ridges, the
quaint estate names continue with such evidence of oldtime
imagination as Misgen, Mafolie, Canaan, Luvenlund, Fry-
endal and TuTu. While the car is curving, climbing and
descending through these hills, the views that unfold are
really breathtaking. Waters of unbelievable hues of blue,
aquamarine, and chartreuse surround St. Thomas and bor-
der its many inlets and bays, while tiny strips of white sand
line coves and beaches as if to extend a continuous invita-
tion to drop down from the hills to bathe. The Chauffeur-
Guides and taxi drivers will gladly stop at any time for pas-
sengers who wish to stop for a longer look at a coveted view.
Drives through these hills have often brought tourists back
to the islands as permanent residents and many a dweller in
a St. Thomas hillside cottage on a choice viewsite, was first
"bitten" on his initial trip over these enchanting roads.
DRIVE-YOURSELF, Visitors to St. Thomas, who
OPERATOR'S LICENSE for any one of many reasons
expect to be on the island for
six weeks or more, may apply
for an Operator's License at the office of the Director of
Police, at old Fort Christian. A copy of the "Ordnance to
Regulate the Operation of Motor Vehicles in St. Thomas"
can be secured as a first step. Second step is a little practice
in left-side driving and third step is the final test prior to
approval. Better bone up well, too, for traffic is rigidly and
admirably controlled in the Islands.
Drive-Yourself cars may be rented from several sources
and it would be well to ask the Police Department for a list
of approved rental agents at the time of your application.
42 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
AUTOMOBILE For permanent residents who
AGENCIES wish to purchase a car, an al-
most complete representation
of American, and some for-
eign manufactured cars can be depended upon for immedi-
ate delivery. Small wheelbase cars are most popular since
the narrow winding streets of Charlotte Amalie make a
larger chassis unwieldy. Dealers have reasonably good service
facilities but before making a decision, it will be well to "ask
the man who owns one" to make sure that any car and its
power is suitable to the hills of St. Thomas and the uses to
which it will be put. Power for the hills and good brakes
are more important here than high speed, since no straight-
aways exist and the rule of the road is "you aren't going
ST. THOMAS The Harry S. Truman Air-
AIRPORT port at St. Thomas has quite
FACILITIES recently been resurfaced and
aside from its commercial air-
transport use by Caribbean Atlantic Airlines, Pan American
Airways, and frequent non-scheduled carriers, the runways
are available for use by private aircraft. A large hangar,
built during the past war, may, by special arrangement, be
used by sportsmen pilots and others who operate small
planes. This field and a larger one on St. Croix comprise the
aviation facilities in the Virgin Islands. Amphibious planes
are essential for service to many outer islands where no
landing fields exist. St. John has no airport, nor does Tortola
in the British Virgin Islands.
RADIO WSTA, an English language
BROADCASTING broadcasting station has been
established on the outskirts of
Cha-Cha Village, near Char-
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 43
lotte Amalie. This station carries news and notices of local
and world-wide events, together with the music of the local
hotel orchestras, to the people of the Virgin Islands who
have heretofore depended on shortwave reception from the
States or Spanish-language programs from Puerto Rico.
THE An important adjunct to the
CHAMBER OF COM- Federal and Municipal bodies
MERCE OF ST. THOMAS which are concerned with
the growth and welfare of St.
Thomas is The Chamber of Commerce of St. Thomas. A
wide, representative membership of merchants, proprietors,
and other businessmen in St. Thomas gives import to what-
ever suggestions this unofficial body of citizens may offer to
either the Municipal Council or to the Governor.
U.S. manufacturers who wish to distribute their products
directly through Virgin Island principals are encouraged to
address the Executive Secretary, Mr. Frederick Dorsch, The
Chamber of Commerce of St. Thomas, P. O. Box 324, Char-
lotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. A regularly pub-
lished bulletin carries such information to the membership
if, in the opinion of the Executive Secretary and the Execu-
tive Board, the inquiry is serious in intent and emanates
from a substantial source. General membership lists are not
circulated. Specific inquiries are promptly answered if ad-
dressed to Executive Secretary; Frederick Dorsch.
POLICE Polite, helpful, and very toler-
DEPARTMENT ant of the innocent violations
of a newcomer, the Police of
St. Thomas are a fine body of
men who enforce the laws of public safety with efficient
directness. They are extremely courteous to visitors and you
may always feel free to ask the nearest policeman for direc-
tions or suggestions.
44 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
CABLE SERVICES, Two radio-telephone and
INTERNATIONAL cable services connect Char-
TELEPHONES lotte Amalie with the outside
world. These are; All Ameri-
can Cables and Radio, Inc. with its offices on the northside
of Main Street and Cable and Wireless (West Indies) Ltd.
on North Street. From the States, cables may be sent either
by All-American Cables or through Western Union. Parties
in the States who wish to telephone friends or business
people in St. Thomas can do so, but they must realize that
no immediate connection may be expected. The call is
placed through to the cable office in Charlotte Amalie and
that office then locates the party called and arranges for an
appearance at the cable office at a given time when he or she
may speak, from the cable office, with the Stateside caller.
This is necessary since the local telephone system is not yet
inter-connected with the radio-telephone facility from the
States. Inter-island radio-telephone service, now only avail-
able to the government, is expected to be installed, in the
not too distant future, on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Because
the present telephone system is archaic and inadequate to
meet the needs of so rapidly growing a colony, a modern
dial system will soon replace it.
PUBLIC LIBRARY Long term visitors and resi-
dents will find the St. Thomas
Public Library an excellent
source of contemporary and
historical reading matter. Registration is simple and the
usual low charges are made for books kept out overtime.
Cool and spacious reading rooms may be used for research
or reference. The library is located on Main Street in the
Municipal Council Building.
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 45
ELECTRIC LIGHT Since St. Thomas has no natu-
AND POWER ral fuel resources or water-
power, the Municipal Power
Authority operates the local
Diesel power-generating plant and the former naval generat-
ing plant at the Submarine Base. The standard current is
1 o Volt, AC, which makes all standard American electrical
products usable throughout the island. All types of house-
hold electrical gadgets may be purchased in the electrical
supply stores of Charlotte Amalie.
WATER SUPPLY Since no permanent streams
or deep wells exist on St.
Thomas to provide a large
supply of fresh, potable water,
a system of municipal catchments located on the hillsides
has been devised to store rainwater in nearby reservoirs.
This supply has recently been supplemented by under-
ground reservoirs into which the new runway at the airport
drains off the daily rainwater which falls on its large sur-
This municipal supply is supplemented by the private
cisterns which store the rains draining from the roofs of
nearly every private dwelling. In this manner an adequate
supply of potable water for human consumption is kept in
reserve. All islanders practice economy in the use of water
and for the most part shower baths are used instead of bath-
tubs. In Charlotte Amalie, salt water is piped throughout
the city for sanitary flushing purposes, thereby conserving
the fresh water supply. City water is safe to drink, but house-
holders customarily keep a supply of boiled water in their
iceboxes for drinking purposes. Hotels and guest houses
provide boiled iced water for the rooms of their guests at
46 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
LAUNDRY AND DRY- Several laundries and two
CLEANING SERVICES modern cleaning plants assure
the temporary visitor of very
prompt service in bringing
soiled wardrobes back into circulation. Some of the guest
houses have arrangements with native laundresses who can
work exceedingly fast if time is an important element.
COOKS, Native Virgin Island women
DOMESTIC SERVANTS make very satisfactory house-
hold servants as they are be-
coming more and more accus-
tomed to the likes, dislikes, and idiosyncrasies of Continental
employers. Cooks have ways of doing things in the kitchen
usually based on old island methods, but once they are
trained to modern appliances and learn the likes of their
mistresses, they almost always develop into loyal family re-
tainers. Housemaids too often spurn new-fangled plastic
brooms and elect to do their work with their accustomed
palmfrond brooms. A little training, backed up by practical
demonstration, will produce very satisfactory service, usually
accompanied by softspoken polite conversation .. if any
TOURIST TRAVEL The office of Virgin Island
SERVICES Tours, located on Main Street
just a few doors north of the
Post Office in the Grand Ho-
tel is available to all visitors in St. Thomas who wish to
arrange sightseeing trips on the island or inter-island excur-
sions to St. John, St. Croix, or Tortola in the British Virgins.
The St. Thomas office of the Virgin Islands Information
Service located on Main Street facing Old Market Square,
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 47
will advise visitors on places to see and things to do as well
as on business opportunities in the islands.
HOUSING, A shortage of private hous-
APARTMENTS, ing will probably exist in St.
COTTAGES, Thomas for some time to
come since houses or apart-
ments for rental or sale are in great demand and short sup-
ply due to the lack of speculative building which would
customarily anticipate and provide such facilities. When
houses are available, rents run from $75.00 per month for
an unfurnished cottage, to $400.oo per month for beautifully
furnished private homes or apartments. Apartment houses,
as they are known in the States do not exist. A Virgin Is-
lands apartment is usually a whole floor, or "flat" in a two
or three story building, built on a hillside, with private en-
trances to the apartments on varying hillside levels.
MARKETS, Homemakers in St. Thomas
FOODSTUFFS, depend upon skillful buying
DAIRY PRODUCTS to keep their food bills down
to Stateside levels. This is ac-
complished, for the most part, by sending native servants
to early market for green foods; by going personally to early
market with basket in hand and by discovering and patron-
izing the various small specialty food shops which deal in
native meats, fish, green foods, breadstuffs and canned, pack-
aged, or frozen foods from the States.
In addition to the many smaller food shops, the establish-
ments of Downing & Bellows, Waldemar A. Miller and Clin-
ton's Market . all conveniently located on Main Street,
are most patronized by the Continental colony. Lille Gave,
on Orchid Alley also offers a wide range of condiments and
48 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
BUS SERVICE Charlotte Amalie Bus service
is operated by the Manassah
Bus Line which provides pub-
lic transportation quite gener-
ally used by the resident population as well as visitors. Effi-
cient and polite service and careful driving can be depended
upon. The Manassah Line runs to the east and west extremi-
ties of the populated area on St. Thomas.
HORSE RACES Frequent horse races at Sugar
Estate Race Track provide
ample opportunity for those
who like the ponies. These
races are usually marked by plenty of humor and excite-
ment. Don't miss the track if races are run during your
visit. Jockeys weigh-in on bathroom scales and ride bare-
footed or with only socks on if they are overweight. Any-
thing goes to speed the steed!
BEAUTY The beauty salons of St.
SALONS Thomas are all quite new
and modernly equipped. In
these islands, where the trade
winds blow constantly and swimming is in order every day,
milady will find comfort in any of the two parlors which
have been opened recently: Lynes Salon of Beauty, located
on Back Street near the Donk Shop Corner; The Beauty
Bazaar, on Hibiscus Alley in Beretta's Center, entered from
Main Street under the sign of the Magic Lamp.
MEDICAL Three government hospitals,
SERVICES located in St. Thomas, Chris-
tiansted, and Frederiksted pro-
vide ample hospitalization for
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 49
Islanders. The following medical doctors, resident in Char-
lotte Amalie, are in private practice:
Dr. Roy Anduze
Dr. A. M. Earle
Dr. Christian Moorehead
Dr. John Moorehead
Dr. Ptolemy Cobiere
Dr. Rudolph Lanclos
Dr. Gerhardt Sprauve
Dr. Eric O'Neal
Col. Earle M. Rice
Dr. Bernard Wheatley
Dr. Harold Bloch, optician
Dental attention is provided
in Charlotte Amalie by the
following licensed dentists:
Dr. E. R. Van Maltzahn
Dr. L. Venegas
COMMERCIAL All commercial banking in
BANKING the Virgin Islands is con-
ducted by the Virgin Islands
National Bank which main-
tains its Main Office in Charlotte Amalie and a Branch
Office in Christiansted, St. Croix. The Fourteenth Legisla-
tive Assembly of the Virgin Islands of the United States,
passed a new banking law, Bill No. 14, during its Ist Ses-
sion in 1949 designed to encourage the installation of addi-
tional commercial and development banking facilities in
the islands. As this book goes to press it is understood that
some moves are being taken to organize a bank with broader
lending powers than now exist in order to facilitate devel-
opment of island businesses and general resort improve-
Land in the Virgin Islands
has been traditionally difficult
to purchase for a number
of understandable, if unfortu-
50 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
nate reasons. Conditions on St. Thomas are the same as on
St. John and St. Croix. Much of the land still remains in
the parcel character of the old boundaried estates or plan-
tations. This land is owned by the descendent heirs of origi-
nal owners. In many instances these heirs cannot come to
agreement on selling this hereditary land. In other instances
differences of opinion on the values of land tie the proper-
ties up and keep them off the market. Then, too, there are
conflicts between original boundary surveys, some made a
century ago, and modern surveys run on old compass bear-
ings which frequently cause legal and title difficulties if own-
ers of bordering properties fail to agree.
These conditions have to a large extent retarded the de-
velopment of St. Thomas by preventing the acquisition and
subdivision of large tracts into parcels of a few acres on
which homes and cottages could be built. Fortunately, the
favorable attitude of the Government of the Virgin Islands
toward the use of suitable homesite land for resort and resi-
dential purposes, is persuading many landowners to place
their unused properties on the open market.
The American West Indies Corporation, incorporated
under the laws of the Virgin Islands of the United States,
has concentrated its attention on listing free and clear land
offerings for the consideration of development capital as
well as home builders and is available for consultation with
reputable land development principals. This firm, located
at 82 Main Street, also lists commercial and business oppor-
tunities, rentals, small and large acreage.
The Realty and Insurance Agency of Osmond Kean, in
St. Thomas, also offers full Real Estate service for the island
and is an old established agency.
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 51
THE V. I. TOURIST The Tourist Development
DEVELOPMENT BOARD Board is an official govern-
ment agency created and sub-
sidized for the purpose of
enlarging tourist traffic to the resort. It disseminates pre-
pared literature and works closely with steamship lines in
arranging cruise itineraries with calls at St. Thomas and
Frederiksted. Under capable management the Board has
done much to assist travelers and travel agents. It also coop-
erates with the Chambers of Commerce of St. Thomas and
St. Croix and the Virgin Islands Information Service.
NEWSPAPERS, The Daily News, founded in
PRINTERS 1930, is printed and published
by The Art Shop in Charlotte
Amalie. Ariel Melchior is Pub-
lisher-Editor. St. Thomas' most widely read newspaper, it is
noted for its energetic editorials and excellent coverage of
local and international news. The Photo News, "Virgin Is-
lands Picture Newspaper," is published by Ottley's Photo
Studio. Randolph L. Ottley is Publisher and Manager.
The facilities of both these newspapers are available for
commercial and advertising printing.
ARCHITECTS Designers of residences and
other resort housing are not
numerous in St. Thomas. The
specializations of architecture
are limiting and they rule out almost all northern architects
whose logical planning includes such facilities as dining
rooms, cellars and heating units. Virgin Islands architecture
by-passes these as non-essential.
Carbys Saxe, Architect, is a third-generation architect who
has resided in the Virgin Islands for the last several years.
52 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Son of the late W. Carbys Saxe, F.A.I.A., who founded the
firm now known as Zimmerman, Saxe & McBride, in 1882,
young Mr. Saxe has specialized on the problems and design
of tropical architecture. He was educated at the University
of Illinois. His knowledge of construction and design re-
quirements peculiar to the islands is recognized by all St.
Thomas contractors. His American affiliations enable him
to approach architectural work of any magnitude and the
finest engineering and technical staffs are available to work
under his guidance. Address P.O. Box 431, Charlotte Ama-
lie; Cable SAXE, St. Thomas; Phone Bourne Field #288.
CONSTRUCTION, Specialization in the use of
CONTRACTORS indigenous facilities and the
adaptation of local require-
ments to sound construction
principles earmarks a financially and technically equipped
firm of contractors Loucks-Jackson, Inc., Construction Con-
tractors. A St. Thomas firm, they are capable of undertaking
large contractual obligations in the construction field. They
warn potential builders that hillside construction, so often
required in St. Thomas, frequently poses problems with
which Stateside contractors and clients are unfamiliar. These
can be; delays in receiving supplies from the States; unex-
pected costs of rock removal; the necessity for cisterns and
making provision for water collection; the cost of building
massive retaining walls, etc. Often the cost of home construc-
tion includes the building of roads connecting with public
highways. In almost every case, specialized contracting ex-
perience is the answer to economical construction planning
THE ISLAND OF ST. THOMAS 53
LAWYERS The following is a list of es-
tablished attorneys in the Vir-
gin Islands. All have their
offices in Charlotte Amalie,
St. Thomas, V.I. Some of these law firms also have offices in
St. Croix. See Index.
Bailey, Wm. W. Hoffman, Louis
Christian, Alphonse Maas, David E.
Corneiro, Francisco Maas & Bailey
Dench, Eustace McGowan, Joseph
Dreis, Harry Michael, Cyril
Dudley, Geo. H. T. Moore, Herman E.
Dudley & Hoffman & Rodriquez, Jorge
McGowan Thiele, C. G.
Young, Warren H.
EDUCATION An excellent public school
system provided for native
children is based on Stateside
educational standards under
direction of the Department of Education. The Catholic
Schools reportedly have an excellent college admission rec-
Parents moving to the islands for permanent residence
with their children will be pleased to know of The Antilles
School, a private school of excellent social and educational
standing, which has been organized in St. Thomas. This
new educational institution satisfied the desire of many par-
ents to have their children close to them all year, instead of
sending them to private schools in the States.
The Antilles School will be open from October ist
through July 31st and will provide a long vacation at
54 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Christmas and Easter. Facilities will be available for stu-
dents from kindergarten through eighth grade. Inquiries
for tuition and further details may be directed to The An-
tilles School, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V.I.
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN
A few miles across the deep blue waters of Pillsbury Sound
lies the lush little island of St. John. Its twenty square miles,
lying within the borders of an irregularly indented shore-
line, contain rising hills and slopes that reach the island's
crest on the summit of Bordeaux Mountain with an alti-
tude of 1277 feet above the aquamarine waters fringing this
No automobile roads exist on St. John, and travel is by
horseback over the wide trails that are remnants of the old
wagon roads over which the sugar cane of yesteryear was
carried from the high valleys and terraced slopes for grind-
ing in the ancient windmills that once dotted St. John's
plantations in the days of slavery.
An automobile road, connecting Cruz Bay with Coral Bay
0 C eq,,
56 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
has already been authorized, but lack of vehicular need for
it has delayed construction. This road was planned to follow
the route of the Centerline trail over the back of the island,
but many now feel that with the development of St. John's
north shore as a resort area, it would be of greater service
interlinking the existing or future north-shore developments
of Coral Bay, Maho Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Trunk Bay, Denis
Bay, Hawksnest Bay, and Caneel Bay with the seat of govern-
ment at Cruz Bay.
Although St. John fits well into the definition . "an
island is a body of land . entirely surrounded by the
need for transportation," this is not exactly true, for St.
John is twice daily approachable by the Government boat
which carries freight and passengers to Cruz Bay. Visitors
from St. Thomas to St. John may also depend upon the
regular morning sailings of the Caneel Bay boat. Both of
these boats leave from Red Hook landing, on the East end
of St. Thomas, and are available for passage at a small
St. John, a little over one hundred years ago, was very
heavily cultivated. Even its steep hillsides were covered with
sugar-cane plantations. Today, along the high Centerline
trail between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay, one passes the ruins
of old plantation buildings and greathouses, whose propor-
tions speak of the comfort in which the estate owners lived
before the emancipation of their slaves.
Tall jungle growth covers St. John's mountain slopes but
very little of the timber is usable for building purposes since
not enough of it is of hardwood varieties. As elsewhere in
the islands, there is a profusion of guava trees and the trails
are often sheltered by the spreading radiance of flamboyant
Riding these upland trails is one of the great pleasures
of a vacation on St. John. One peers down from the heights
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN M5
to gaze upon beautiful shorelines indented with little half-
moon bays filled with clear blue water.
On the Reef Bay Trail, which is very densely sheltered
with high jungle trees, are found the famous pre-Columbian
rock carvings known as the Carib Rocks. Their inscriptions
have never been deciphered by archaeologists. The signifi-
cance of their location appears to be an ancient tribute to a
now extinct waterfall which apparently was revered by the
early Carib Indians from whom the Caribbean Sea, far be-
low, takes its name. This site makes a very easy half-day
horseback ride from any point along the shore and is well
worth visiting, but be sure to have a guide with you who
knows the location of the site. After a picnic lunch, brought
along, the return journey will bring you back to your resi-
dence in ample time for a good swim before dinner.
It was on St. John, in 1733, that the slaves made their first
serious attempt to gain freedom from their Danish masters.
The revolt was precipitated by a year of excessive hardship
brought about by droughts and a severe hurricane which
destroyed the little gardens of the slaves and almost caused
starvation. The planters refused to provide food for them,
unrest grew rapidly, stern laws were enacted to discourage
an uprising but on the 23rd of November the embers of dis-
content broke out into the violence of open rebellion which
nearly obliterated the white population of the island and
was only suppressed, many months later, by the importation
of French soldiers from Martinique.
Island folklore, supported by historical records, tells of
the final days of the suppression of this revolt when the
rebellious slaves were gradually driven to the brink of the
high .precipice known as Mary Point. Here, rather than
submit to capture, several hundred male and female slaves
hurled themselves over the bluff in mass suicide. The rocks
of Fungi Passage, where they fell and died, are reportedly
58 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
avoided by many St. Johnians today who still believe the
place to be ghost-ridden.
For many years the pungent bay leaves of St. John yielded
the essential bay oil from which the famous Virgin Islands
Bay Rum was made. This was the product so popular as a
hair tonic and after-shave lotion in the days of Barbershop
Quartets. Prohibition put an end to the distilling of bay
rum, because of its alcoholic content, but the bay trees still
flourish on St. John and any visitor to the Virgin Islands
will do well to revive the manly use of St. John's bay rum
by bringing a few bottles back for male friends.
Some excellent properties on St. John hold promise for
future resort developments and many spellbinding view
sites will probably be capped with the comfortable cottages
of people who seek quiet and peace in retirement. St. John
promises to become fashionable in her own quiet way . .
a retreat for those who would bask on her white beaches and
swim in her safe waters, leaving hustle and bustle to her
neighboring sister, St. Thomas.
CRUZ BAY The little village of Cruz Bay,
on the western end of St.
John, opposite St. Thomas, is
the residence of the Adminis-
trator of the island's affairs, who is a representative of the
Governor. Government House, the official residence of the
Administrator, is a very ancient fort which has always
served as residence of government officials on the island.
Cruz Bay has a white, sandy beach and visitors who come
over on the Government boat, if even for a day, enjoy pic-
nicking under tall coconut palms and bathing in the crystal
clear waters of this little harbor. A few scattered cottages,
some old ruins, a dispensary, one or two stores, and a post
office make this little center St. John's metropolis.
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN 59
Up in the hills and at Marys Point, Coral Bay, and East
End are the little settlements of the Negro residents of the
island who derive their simple living by farming, fishing,
picking bay leaves, making charcoal for export to St.
Thomas, or weaving the very much sought basketware,
place-mats, and sunbonnets for which they are famous.
Very gentle are these native sons and daughters of St.
John and sometimes very shy since not many visitors to the
island make the deep horseback excursions to the higher
valleys and plateaus in which many of them live. So law-
abiding are St. Johnians that only two policemen are sta-
tioned on the island and neither can be accused of being a
traffic cop, for only a handful of motor-vehicles are in use
there for farming purposes. These are limited to a mile or
so of road from Cruz Bay to the high lands of the Susanna-
berg plateau where active truck farming is being currently
60 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
revived to supply the St. Thomas markets with fresh green-
CORAL BAY Coral Bay, seven miles from
Cruz Bay, on the east side of
the island, was once a very
popular anchorage in the days
when the Spanish Main boasted tall ships bound to and
from Europe with rich cargoes. Its indented shoreline,
inside the harbor, afforded very safe mooring in times of bad
weather or intensive pirate activities in the area. It was on
a high promontory now called Fortberg Hill, that the Danes
built their first stronghold when they took possession of
St. John in 1717. Within four short years twenty-eight plan-
tations were established on the fertile lands of this little
The people of Coral Bay are aware of the past glory of
their beautiful harbor and are cognizant of the fact that as
the colony grows it may become a very popular yachting
RESORTS, Visitors who plan to vacation
GUEST HOUSES, on St. John should consider
COTTAGES well the length of stay they
plan and the manner in which
they want to live since accommodations are as yet relatively
few, but even in this scarcity there is a rather wide selection
of types of tourist housing to choose from.
Boulon's (Trunk Bay) Guest House, and Caneel Bay
Plantation are extremely popular vacation spots. At Cruz
Bay, Payne's Cottages and Caribsurf Cottages offer the facil-
ities of small, comfortable housekeeping at moderate rentals
for guests staying on this island retreat for several months
at a time. Overnight or short-term guests will find Keating's
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN 61
Guest House a quiet little spot with somewhat of the flavor
of the South Seas in its quaint colonial appearance. On the
east end of St. John, at Coral Bay, Gerda Marsh's Cottages
offer simple living for long or short-term visitors.
TRUNK BAY This guest house situated on
a small promontory overlook-
ing the little halfmoon beach
and cove known as Trunk
Bay, is a haven of retreat for those who seek simple living,
delicious native-style and American cooking, and a carefree
manner of life that permits beachwear almost every hour of
the day. Here the visitor feels more like an invited guest
in the homelike atmosphere created by Paul A. Boulon and
his charming mother and hostess, Erva Boulon. Swimming
and spearfishing on nearby reefs are excellent. Visitors enjoy
sailing on the waters of Pillsbury Sound or game fishing in
62 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
the Windward Passage and horseback riding or hiking on
the ancient trails. Five rooms accommodate ten guests at this
house and rates are consistently $1o.oo per person per day,
American Plan, with a special rate of $85.00 per week,
double. Address: Trunk Bay, St. John, or Virgin Islands
Information Service, 27 East 38th Street, New York 16, N.Y.
PAYNE'S At Cruz Bay, with easy access
COTTAGES to a sandy beach and delight-
ful bathing, Payne's Cottages
are extremely popular with
artists, writers, and quiet folk who want to relax in a thor-
oughly tropical island atmosphere. These cottages are small,
comfortable, and ideal for those who wish to settle down for
protracted periods of a month or more on an island where
roads are only blueprints and life is what you make it with-
out any artificial assistance. Cottages are listed at $75.00 per
month and up. Each is fully equipped for comfortable liv-
ing, with gas stove, gas refrigerator, bath, linen, china, and
silverware. The grocery store is in the village; green foods
are bought from the native farmers, and fish from the boats
at government dock (or catch your own) and meats from
the farmers in the hills. Just put in a standing order for a
big steak and you'll have it at your door when you want it
for charcoal broiling. Address: Helen Payne, Cruz Bay, St.
John, or Virgin Islands Information Service, 27 East 38th
Street, New York 16, N.Y.
CARIBSURF COTTAGES These cottages are attractive
to people who are self-suffi-
cient and happy in the sim-
plicity of natural tropical sur-
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN 63
roundings. One cottage consists of a large terrace open to
bathing in Pillsbury Sound; large dropped living room, two
bedrooms, kitchen with refrigerator, bathroom, and dressing
room. A neighboring cottage, a little smaller and ideal for
two creative people has an all purpose room with studio
bed; kitchen with refrigerator and a bathroom. Another
cottage in this group of three, also on the beach, has a large
all-purpose room, two beds, kitchen, and bath. All three are
equipped for housekeeping. The cottages may be rented on
a monthly, season or off-season basis at rates that are equita-
ble and from $1oo.oo to $2oo.oo per month, subject to
arrangements made. Servants, if required, are available from
nearby Cruz Bay village at very reasonable monthly rates.
Address: Caribsurf Cottages, Cruz Bay, St. John, V.I. or
Virgin Islands Information Service, 27 East 38th Street, New
York 16, N.Y.
MISS KEATING'S Miss Andromeda Keating, a
COTTAGE native of St. John, has a little
cottage in Cruz Bay Village
which is available to quiet
guests who enjoy Creole-type cooking in the surroundings
of this delightful community. Any visitor will be enchanted
by the comforts of a traditional mahogany fourposter bed
in a large, breeze-swept room. Delicious American-plan
meals, nicely served on a verandah criss-crossed by lacy
shadows of coconut palm fronds, may be accompanied by
the pleasantries of conversation with friendly native neigh-
bors. Miss Keating is a most gracious hostess, and those who
would see the high interior of St. John will do well to make
their first overnight stop here. One can have a fine swim in
lovely Cruz Bay; engage horses and a guide for the overland
trip to Coral Bay, and relax in the sublime quiet of this tiny
64 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
port on St. John. Address: Miss Andromeda Keating, Cruz
Bay, St. John, V.I.
GERDA MARSH'S Facing east, over the historic
COTTAGES AT and still-isolated waters of old
CORAL BAY Coral Bay, Miss Gerda Marsh,
another daughter of St. John,
has guest facilities for a few visitors who may venture into
this lovely but quiet community. Artists, writers, and nature
lovers will find the solitude of Coral Bay most relaxing. The
approach to Coral Bay is either by horseback from Cruz Bay
at the west end of St. John, by the Government boat, on
the days it visits this end of the island, or by private yacht.
Gerda Marsh is a member of the family whose lands in the
Coral Bay area include many of the famed old St. John bay-
tree plantations. Here you will find a scattered community
of St. Johnians . scattered only for the reason that there
is no need for crowding. Descendants of the old slaves of
St. John, these gentle people at Coral Bay are not too fre-
THE ISLAND OF ST. JOHN 65
quently visited by strangers, yet they are always congenial
Miss Marsh has a cottage or two for visitors and will make
satisfactory arrangements for the long-term stays of those
who clearly understand that Coral Bay has no movies
and no night-life. This is not yet a developed resort area
and only serious people, who love the outdoors, nature, and
natural people should contemplate a visit here. Self-con-
tained and well-mannered folk are always welcome, well
received, and will be very happy in the feeling of the self-
satisfied isolation which permeates Coral Bay. Riding, hik-
ing, exploring, swimming, and sailing to nearby British Tor-
tola are daily available to guests here at low rates. Address:
Gerda Marsh; Cruz Bay, St. John, or Virgin Islands Infor-
mation Service, 27 East 38th Street, New York 16, N.Y.
CANEEL BAY Built around the historic
PLANTATION ruins of a once great sugar
RESORT estate, Caneel Bay Plantation
Resort is situated in a setting
of white sand beaches, beautiful seaviews, and complete
privacy. Several private cottages, each with a private beach
are located on amply landscaped acres. All cottages are
completely furnished and have one or two bedrooms, living
rooms, baths, fully equipped kitchens each with a gas stove;
electric refrigerator, silver, china, and glassware. Screened
porches, electricity, and radios assure complete housekeep-
ing comfort. Rates begin at $1oo.oo per week per cottage
for two persons to $2oo.oo per week per cottage for six
persons. Services of a housemaid and cook are included in
these rates which do not, however, include food. A com-
missary on the property stocks complete supplies of meats,
fish, vegetables, staples, and liquors at reasonable prices.
A dining and cocktail terrace at the commissary provides a
66 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
congenial gathering place for guests resident in the cottages
and daily visitors. Swimming is excellent and horses or
mules may be rented for trips over the island's trails. A
private launch makes two trips daily from Caneel Bay to
St. Thomas. Address: Caneel Bay Plantation Resort, Caneel
Bay, St. John, V.I.
The future development possibilities of St. John are, of
course, limitless but the chances are good that St. John will
always be a little island gem, a haven for quiet people who
seek relaxation in the natural surroundings for which this
island is famous.
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX
The eighty-four square miles that comprise this historic
island offer such a wide variety of contours and settings that
people from all over the United States can find something
to remind them of home. Prairies, rugged rockbound coast-
lines, sweeping sandy beaches, rolling hills, high mountains,
lush farmland valleys, and contrasting cactus desert areas
. . all these are compactly bestowed by nature within the
shorelines of this island in the Caribbean Sea.
The mountainous north-western section of St. Croix
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX
boasts of winding roads through miles of dense tropical jun-
gle forests, cool in the shadows of mighty trees and sweet
with the scent of rich soil and wild flowers.
The south shore, facing across the Caribbean toward the
lands of Central America, slopes gradually into savannahs
and prairies and it is on this flat terrain, not far from
Frederiksted, that St. Croix's big airstrip is located.
The central region of this island is generously covered
with acres of sugar cane, grown by the Virgin Islands Corpo-
ration. This cane is now converted to private, non-govern-
mental manufacture of rum. Many of the fine Virgin Islands
rum brands derive from the vast fields of sugar cane which
70 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
grow in the sunlight of this fertile valley where the winds of
the northeast trades keep the soil well watered. In turn, the
vegetable crops keep the people busy on the plantations and
farms that dot the St. Croix countryside and the ruins of old
sugar mills and the great houses of bygone days bring forci-
bly to mind the fact that St. Croix has always been an
agricultural island and bids well to remain so-as an ad-
junct to its new tourism.
The central part of St. Croix offers scenery which has
been likened to the Berkshires but as one approaches East
Point, the most easterly tip of American soil, the flora
changes suddenly to produce replicas of our colorful west-
ern cactus deserts. This contrast to the jungles of the western
part of the island, less than twenty miles away, gives one the
feeling that St. Croix is a miniature continent, with all kinds
of scenery to draw upon as one drives the one hundred forty
miles of roads inter-lacing the terrain.
If anyone wishes to ponder the scenes on St. Croix in the
old days of slavery, when the island was part of the "sugar
bowl" of the West Indies, then contemplate the windmill,
built to grind sugar cane, located on the top of Mt. Bodkin
at an altitude of 993 feet.
Some six thousand head of cattle dot the pasturelands in
various parts of the island, while goats, pigs and shorthaired
sheep are also raised. Goat meat, although generally dis-
dained at first by incoming Continentals, may be served in
many delightful Creole recipes that defy identification but
are universally delicious.
The towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted were impor-
tant urban centers as well as seaports in the days when the
great estates were flourishing. Today, as one whips over the
fifteen miles of hard surfaced Centerline Road which con-
nects the two towns, it is difficult to believe that in years
gone by, fine saddle horses, and private coaches travelled
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 71
the same routes at such a slow pace that the planters deemed
it well worth their while to establish "town houses" in these
two urban centers. Here they dealt with shrewd New Eng-
land captains who traded barrel staves, corn meal, and plan-
tation hardware, for the sugar, molasses, and rum of the
island. Those were the days when Alexander Hamilton
clerked in the two-storied, arcaded building on King Street
in Christiansted, before he rose to fame in the United States.
It was in those days that culture reached a peak on the
island of St. Croix. Planters developed the fine arts of enter-
taining, both in their "big houses" on the estates and in
their "town houses" in Christiansted. Elaborate feasting,
dancing, and drinking were the order of the day. Silver
candelabra illuminated tables set with priceless silver service
upon which the farm produce of the plantations in fruits,
vegetables, and meats were embellished with fine wines,
brandies, and liquors from foreign lands, the whole topped
off with imported cheeses and sweet-meats.
Visitors will see these old Great Houses of town and
countryside still standing today and several of the guest
houses of St. Croix have been established in a modernized
fashion within the walls of these once famous Estate Houses
of long ago.
Cards, horse racing, cock-fighting, billiards, and even
Shakespearean performances lent color and entertainment.
They contrasted the rigors of plantation life and the hard
business trading of the period when St. Croix was the "Gar-
den of the West Indies." Much of the old atmosphere is left
and much of it can be felt as one walks the narrow streets of
its two towns and realizes that the same gentle trade winds,
waving palms, and glorious sunsets remained unchanged as
the perpetual natural setting for life in this old West Indian
The intricate history of St. Croix, much too complex for
72 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
inclusion in this handbook is documented quite adequately
in the publications listed in the Bibliography on page 174.
Those who plan permanent residence in the islands will do
well to equip themselves with the knowledge of the interest-
ing past, so that they may better appreciate the surroundings
in which they will be living.
Like St. Thomas and St. John, the first question that
arises in the minds of Continentals is, "Would I like St.
Croix and how would I fit into the community?".
St. Croix is essentially an agricultural island, and agri-
cultural communities are notably quiet and reserved. Life
is more natural and the day is attuned to the rising and
setting of the sun. The native Negro peoples who form the
vast majority of the population, follow this pace of life,
rising early and retiring early too. In the season of the full
moon, people stay up a little later, to sing and to dance in
the silver light for which the tropic moon is noted. This
quiet atmosphere has been attracting Continental colonists
who have found this peaceful atmosphere to their liking.
Many of these Continentals have closed substantial estates
in the States and have rented or built retirement homes in
St. Croix. These are people who do not need artificial en-
tertainment; they are happy within themselves and in the
company of congenial neighbors who live a mile or more
away. Cocktail, dinner, and card parties are sufficient for
their social lives. Night-clubs are not necessary to them and
do not seem to be missed.
The tourist, however, will find plenty of gay nightlife on
the terraces and in the cocktail lounges of the various hotels
and guest houses where Calypso orchestras are hired when-
ever a party mood calls for dancing. There is, however,
plenty of healthy vacation life to be had on St. Croix and
the following pages will outline the facilities available for
visitors or permanent residents on St. Croix.
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 73
TRANSPORTATION Visitors have a choice of four
TO ST. CROIX ways to reach St. Croix, which
lies forty miles south of St.
Thomas and St. John. By sea,
directly out of New York, the Furness West Indies Line
makes regularly scheduled calls at Frederiksted every two
weeks. These steamers anchor in the roadsted and pas-
sengers are taken ashore in the ship's launches. Baggage and
freight is lightered ashore at the same time.
Visitors to St. Thomas, who wished to make the crossing
by sea to St. Croix, may do so as deck passengers on either
Furness West Indies Line or Alcoa Line when they sail
for St. Croix. In reverse, passengers are carried by these
lines from St. Croix to St. Thomas. Inter-island boats,
mostly schooners, are also available for the more venture-
some but are not regarded as regular means of sea travel
between the islands. Yachts again are to be had as chartered
transportation where parties wish to sail in privacy between
74 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
By air St. Croix is approached via St. Thomas several
times daily by Caribbean Atlantic Airlines originating their
flights to the islands from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The
flight from San Juan, which connects with and carries pas-
sengers from Pan American Airways and Eastern Airlines
planes from the States, takes one hour and fifteen minutes
from San Juan to St. Croix. The flight between St. Thomas
and St. Croix takes only about twenty-five minutes. Rates,
being variable, are best secured from the lines or from your
travel agent at the time of planning travel. Pan American
Airways makes two flights a week from St. Juan to St. Croix
direct, with no intermediate stop at St. Thomas.
The harbor at Christiansted is not currently dredged to
receive ocean liners. Small yachts and schooners from St.
Thomas may, however, sail directly to Christiansted and
find safe anchorage in its harbor.
YACHTING Christiansted harbor holds
FACILITIES considerable promise of be-
coming the future anchorage
of many yachts which either
visit St. Croix as a port of call on a cruise or which are
sailed down to permanent moorings as their owners take up
residence on the island.
There is room, however, for a modern boat yard and
marine repair facility for small craft. Modest perhaps to
start with but designed for expansion as traffic increases with
the growth of the colony.
U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Chart #935 shows the
waters of Christiansted Harbor and the channel approach
through the coral reefs which shelter the harbor from heavy
seas. Plans to dredge the harbor, when effected, will greatly
improve this picturesque anchorage. The Comanche Club,
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 75
named for the 72' yawl which rides at anchor off the
club's landing, is the rendezvous of the yachting frater-
nity and provides comfortable quarters ashore while visiting
this port. The run from St. Thomas harbor is approximately
forty miles on a southeasterly course across the stretch of
open Caribbean water which separates the islands.
AIRPORT Alexander Hamilton Field,
FACILITY the airport on St. Croix, has
a newly surfaced runway ca-
pable of receiving the largest
types of airliners now in service. It is hoped that traffic will
soon justify non-stop flights to St. Croix from New York and
Miami, thus eliminating the changeover at San Juan for
passengers heading directly to St. Croix. Private aircraft
have access to several auxiliary runways as well as the main
airstrip used by the commercial planes. The constant trade
winds, coming always from the northeast, make it unneces-
sary to have additional runways in varying directions. The
one, very long and well-surfaced runway, heading into the
trade winds is quite sufficient.
TAXI The St. Croix Taxicab Associ-
SERVICES ation numbers several very
dependable owners and opera-
tors who are pledged to cour-
teous service and who have published rate schedules ap-
proved by the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce. The cabs
of Association members carry insurance on their passengers
and may be hired for sightseeing drives. The drivers know
the island and on long trips act as Chauffeur-Guides, point-
ing out places of interest and recounting the history of many
old plantation sites.
76 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
HOTELS AND The St. Croix Hotel Associa-
GUEST HOUSES tion lists eleven hotels and
guest houses which provide
for approximately two hundred and twenty guests. Plans for
at least one cottage-club are in the blueprint stage which will
add facilities for eighty more visitors. As the resort grows
more popular it is inevitable that additional new resort
housing will be built on some of the view sites for which St.
Croix is noted.
THE BUCCANEER This hotel derives much of its
HOTEL atmosphere from the fact that
it was built from the ruins of
an old plantation settlement.
From its spacious terrace one looks to the west across Chris-
tiansted and its always colorful harbor. Two miles from
town, The Buccaneer lists twenty-two doubles and four
singles, with bath; private beaches on the property; horse-
back riding and occasional trips to nearby cays without
charge. Rates $1o.oo and $14.00 per day per person, Ameri-
can Plan, with excellent cuisine.
CLUB On the downtown harborside
COMANCHE of Christiansted Club Coman-
che is a favorite rendezvous
of resident Continentals who
like its marine atmosphere. A large dining and dancing
pavilion overlooks its shorefront swimming pool and a
ful-size windmill which pumps fresh sea water from the
harbor continually into the pool. American Plan, six doubles
with bath, $17.00oo to $22.00 per day per room; one cot-
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 77
tage with one single and one double and one bath, $1o.oo
single; $14.00 double. The 72' yawl Comanche may be
chartered by the day or for extensive inter-island cruises.
CRUZANA A completely restored manor
CLUB house with all modern con-
veniences, Cruzana Club is
situated a few minutes' walk
from the center of town at Christiansted and from its hill-
side position commands an excellent view of the harbor
across old plantation lands. The club is noted for its con-
genial surroundings, cocktail terrace, and tropical garden.
It features picnic lunches at nearby beaches; tours of the
island and beach barbecue dinners once a week. American
Plan, 5 doubles, i single with bath; $8.00 to $12.00 per
person per day. Ancient windmill on the property lends
oldtime charm. Cuisine is Creole and American.
HAMILTON Situated on King Street, a
HOUSE stone's throw from the
wharves where island schoon-
ers load and unload their
cargoes, Hamilton House occupies the historic West Indian
building where Alexander Hamilton clerked in his youth.
Beautifully furnished in a cheerful but quiet decor, this
charming guest house is patronized by those who seek
relaxed "in town" living. American Plan accommodations
for eight in four cool, spacious rooms with all modern con-
veniences. Native and continental foods featured are fresh
fruits, vegetables, fish, lobster and pasteurized milk. Nearby
transportation to beaches, boating, fishing, and tennis. $8.oo
single, $14.00 double, per day.
78 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
HOFFMAN'S On a large estate in the center
GUEST HOUSE of the island, near the Fred-
Hoffman's Guest House offers
plantation surroundings and the dignified decor of a great
house furnished in the manner of the old days of mahogany
fourposter beds, rocking chairs, and priceless objets d'art.
Here is a retreat for those who care more for flowers and
gorgeous scenery than proximity to a beach or cocktail bar.
American Plan, four doubles, one single, one community
bath. $7.50 per person per day. Trips to beaches are made
at the small charge of fifty cents per person in groups of
three or more.
HOTEL-ON-THE-CAY Occupying the site of a former
official residence of Danish
times, the Hotel-On-The-Cay
consists of a Great House and
several cottages located on a private island in the harbor of
Christiansted. Reached by rowboat from the wharfside at
the foot of Christiansted, this hotel is at all times conspicu-
ous in its delightfully quaint setting. Coco palms shade its
cottages and fringe its sandy private beach where buffet
luncheons are featured for guests who would dine in the
cooling trade winds. American Plan, ten doubles, six singles,
one suite. All except four rooms have private baths. Rooms
are in the main house and four cottages. Cuisine features
delicious Native and Continental dishes. Rates from $ 1.oo
per day, per person.
LA GRANGE HOUSE Five minutes from Frederik-
sted La Grange House is the
center of a large estate. Swim-
ming available at the nearby
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 79
beach club and tennis on its private courts. American Plan.
Eight doubles, two singles, private baths. $1o.oo to $1i.oo
per person, per day.
PENTHENY'S HOTEL On the waterfront at Chris-
tiansted, Pentheny's Hotel is
perhaps the oldest hotel on
the island and was once the
popular stopping place of planters and traders visiting St.
Croix. Four doubles, ten singles, three community baths.
$8.oo per person, per day, American Plan. Close to shopping
district, taxi service to beaches, boating, and fishing facil-
PINK FANCY The furnished apartments
and cottages of Pink Fancy,
located in an interesting old
section of Christiansted, are
much sought by those whose long stays permit all the
comforts of home including full housekeeping. Beautifully
furnished to the last detail and ready for luxurious "at-
home-in-the-islands" living, the General Electric kitchens are
complete and every facility has been provided for guests.
Interspersed with luxuriant gardens of pink hibiscus, the
cottages and apartments surround a private swimming pool
which is a focal point by day for residents of Pink Fancy and
their guests. Each of the four apartments and two cottages has
been named individually in the tradition of the old plan-
tations; "Flattery," "Frivolity," "Fantasy," "Felicity," "Up-
per Joy" and "Lower Joy." The market and shopping cen-
ters are only a block or two away from Pink Fancy. Cooks
and housemaids at very moderate wages are available. Apart-
ments and cottages, accommodating two, three, or four, rent
from $15o.oo for two weeks to $350.oo per month. This is
80 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
an excellent interim residence for those who are building
their own homes on St. Croix.
RICHMOND On the western outskirts of the
GUEST HOUSE town of Christiansted, this
historic building, flanked by
four cottages, has been a much
sought "out-of-town but close-in" residence for vacation
visitors. As this book goes to press, it is rumored that with-
out change of name, this charming estate, with its magnifi-
cent views of Christiansted Harbor, the town and the reef,
will become the center of a popular cottage club colony
offering country residence on its forty-three acres with the
convenience of being within minutes of Christiansted's
shopping facilities. For information, Cable: Richmond, St.
Croix, address: Richmond, Box K, Christiansted, St. Croix,
or the Virgin Islands Information Service, 27 East 38th
Street., New York 16, N.Y.
SUNSET INN At Spratt Hall, on the shore
road a few minutes' drive
north of Frederiksted, Sunset
Inn is well named for its views
of the setting sun as it dips into the blue Caribbean. Private
beach is five hundred yards from the guest house. No charge
for horseback riding on this two hundred acre farm-estate.
Features quiet country and beach life. Great house and
modern cottage annex accommodate six doubles and two
singles with bath, two doubles without private bath. $7.00
to $1o.oo per day, per person. American Plan, Native and
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 81
HANNCHEN HUS On Queen Street, in Christian-
sted, Hannchen Hus is a tiny
and tidy pension available to
those who like the simplicity
of bed and bath without board. Two doubles, one single,
$2.00 per day per person. Breakfast coffee gratis.
OUTDOOR SPORTS This quiet island is not highly
ON ST. CROIX organized for outdoor sports,
but with the exception of golf,
sportsmen can find facilities
that will enable them to indulge in most of the active sports
sought by vacationers.
TENNIS Rarely played by short-term
visitors, who suspect the trop-
ics are no place for such
endeavor, this is very often
an important sport for those who have come to stay either
permanently or for protracted periods on St. Croix. The St.
Croix Tennis Club, an exclusive private club, extends mem-
bership or temporary playing privileges by invitation in cer-
tain cases, at the request of members.
RIDING Excellent island-bred saddle
horses, often with good racing
blood, may be rented through
the various hotels and guest
houses of the island. No bridal paths, as such, exist, but the
island has excellent back-country roads and mountain trails
that cross old plantation properties and ruins winding
through the hills and mountains. Riding enthusiasts find
this an excellent means of exploring St. Croix. Rates are
very reasonable and lunches are often packed along. Good
82 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
grazing is nearly always available for the mounts on day-long
trips. One or two ranch-type guest houses will one day be a
distinct addition to the vacation facilities on St. Croix, since
the climate and the terrain are ideal for such vacation life.
GOLF Many excellent properties
lend themselves to golf-club
layout but until a cottage-club
development plans to under-
take the construction of a good golf course, it is not likely
that one will be built. Putting greens could easily be added
to the facilities of a few of the guest houses and at least one
of the hotels, but as yet they are not on the list of things to
BEACHES The beaches of this island dif-
fer from both St. Thomas and
St. John in that considerable
surf bathing can be enjoyed
from time to time as the weather rolls good breakers up on
the beaches of the southern or western shorelines. Safe and
sandy, a number of private beaches are open, by arrange-
ment, to guests of various resort establishments and an ex-
cellent public beach near the east end of the island, at
Kramer's Park, is much enjoyed as a picnic ground and a
place for swimming and sun bathing. The Beach Club at
Frederiksted is a popular spa.
THEATRES Regarded as adequate for the
present resident population of
the island, it will be some
time, from an economic point
of view, before a sufficient demand justifies the addition of
new theatres to the present motion picture facilities on St.
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 83
Croix. There has been some talk of establishing repertory
"Summer Stock" theatre in Christiansted by Broadway pro-
ducers. This would encourage the "big time" dramatic talent
of New York to visit St. Croix and contribute enormously to
the cultural and entertainment aspects of life on St. Croix.
SIGHTSEEING, So diversified in scenic values
ISLAND TOURS, is St. Croix, that many very
ROADS pleasurable sightseeing trips
may be taken throughout the
different parts of the island. Old plantation ruins may be
visited and regarded with the same contemplation as are the
relics of the past which are to be seen throughout the world.
One is spellbound by the realization of what the magnitude
and splendor of plantation life must have been in early
colonial days as evidences of slavery on one hand are con-
trasted with the crumbling walls of Great Houses which
permitted the luxurious living of those bygone eras.
In both Christiansted and Frederiksted, many historic
colonial sites will be pointed out to the visitor that bespeak
in architectural treatment and sheer antiquity of life when
the colony was rich in sugar and sea-island cotton, cattle
and West Indian trade.
Members of the St. Croix Taxicab Association will be
glad to quote rates for extended group sightseeing tours of
the island. Such arrangements may be made through the
managements of hotels and guest-houses. As this book is
being prepared, Cruzan Tours, with offices at 5 Kongens
Gade, Christiansted, plans a number of diversified island
excursions at special group rates that will include a mid-day
swim as a refresher for the afternoon's sightseeing.
The 140 miles of roads on St. Croix are for the most part
smooth surfaced in the lowland valleys. The mountain
84 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
roads are well kept gravel or dirt surfaced. Since traffic on
the byways is limited mostly to donkey-carts or saddle horses,
there is no lack of comfort for the motorcar explorer who
ventures off the beaten paths to visit the "hinterland."
Roads along the shorelines do not permit highspeed driving
any more than do the roads of the French Riviera as they
wind along steep mountainsides in many places, afford-
ing breathtaking views of the Caribbean as it breaks over
the coral reefs or spends itself on rocky projections. In the
jungled areas of the northwestern part of St. Croix, the
visitor is reminded of the lush growth of Bali, Sumatra,
Tahiti or the Marquesas Islands. Everywhere, at every turn
of the road, one finds vistas that reward the visitor who
takes the time to motor over the roads of St. Croix as part
of his vacation pleasure.
RACING Under the auspices of the
New St. Croix Turf Club,
racing meets are frequently
held at Manning's Bay Race
Track and these events are very much enjoyed by the Native
population as well as the Continentals on St. Croix. Purses
are small, running usually from $75.00oo to $1oo.oo per race.
The excitement is not limited to betting alone since the
rivalry between the stables assures many humorous incidents
to add to the gaiety of these occasions. Horses are of fairly
good racing stock, wearing the colors of Moon Stables, Palm
Tree Stables, La Grange Stables, Seaview Stables, Almond
Tree Stables, Tamarind Tree Stables, Farmhill Stables,
Christiansted Stables, Western Suburbs Stables, and Home-
stead Stables. You can't lose much, in either time or money
at these races, but you can certainly have a lot of fun and
meet a lot of people.
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 85
DONKEY RACES A relatively new sport, de-
veloped by a group of resident
Continentals, these side-split-
ting events are staged fre-
quently under the auspices of the St. Croix Donkey Club for
the benefit of the St. Croix Hospital Fund. The motto of
this club is Breed for Speed and the club's colors are, per-
haps very significantly, Black and Blue. The Donkeys, pull-
ing their quaint and often gaily painted little carts, are
encouraged by their drivers to follow the course, but Don-
keys being what they are, usually have their own ideas and
the results are almost certain to become hilarious. Prizes
are given for the Best Conditioned Donkey and for the Best
Decorated Cart and all these events are, as a result, ex-
tremely colorful and a field day for candid camera addicts.
Purses are very small, usually about $20.00 with prize money
running from $2.50 to $5.oo to the winner.
The Great West Indian Steeplechase is the classic event,
with a grand prize of $xo.oo to the winner. The Steeple-
chase is open to all, runs a half mile, and Donkeys may be
ridden, led, shoved over or through a series of obstacles
placed along the course. Admission is 250 and 500 additional
for grandstand seats. Kids under 3' 6" are admitted free.
Donkeys are limited to 44 inches maximum height at the
shoulder and excessive whipping is forbidden by the Stew-
ards. You'll find the Donkey Races a riot of fun, sport and
amusement so don't miss one if it is scheduled while you are
visiting St. Croix. This sport is fast becoming a popular
pastime unique to the island.
SHOPPING The commercial centers of
FACILITIES Frederisksted and Christian-
sted are reminiscent of bazaars
in that they offer a very wide
86 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
selection of duty-free imports from all over the world. Visi-
tors will find shopping both interesting and profitable as St.
Croix is also a Free Port and rare importations may be pur-
chased at extremely low prices under the $500.oo allowance
regulations for those who have remained outside the terri-
torial limits of the United States for more than twelve days.
Like St. Thomas, a wide range of importations, from
the United States and abroad, is available to the resident
householders of St. Croix. Hardware, domestic appliances,
electrical gadgets (i ov; A.C.) farm supplies, foodstuffs and
clothing are a few of the things offered to the permanent
population by storekeepers in both towns.
Christiansted, being the larger community also boasts of
a number of specialty shops catering to Continental resi-
dents and visitors, offering attractive sportswear, native
crafts, gifts and commodities usually bought on vacation
trips. King Street and Company Street abound with such
little stores. An attractive shopping-rendezvous center is lo-
cated in an ancient rum storage yard off King Street and
named "Avocado Alley" from a huge avocado tree which
shades its patio. Here, in gaily flowered surroundings, tall
planter's punches are served at umbrella tables and a num-
THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX 87
ber of attractive and colorful little shops, lining the flag-
stoned patio, make shopping easy for visitors who come to
meet their friends, sip their cool drinks at shaded tables.
Strictly a St. Croix (Cruzan) institution is The Inter-
national Shop, at the foot of King Street, where Virgin
Island Character Dolls, all patiently made and dressed in
Native costume by Cruzan needleworkers, are a specialty.
This shop also features interesting ceramic gifts, made on
the island and well stocked shelves offering importations
Sporting equipment, such as fishing tackle, swimming and
spearing paraphernalia, tennis rackets and 3 speed English
bicycles (with baskets for shopping) may be rented at
Robert F. Fiske's shop on King Street.
Books, souvenirs, postcards, baskets, island woven straw
hats and many other little things to take or send home will
be found in the Gift Shop at Hamilton House, near the
foot of King Street and up a short flight of stairs off the
Elverhoj, with their main shop in St. Thomas, also have
a well supplied branch shop on King Street, across from
Hamilton House and one flight up. Attractive West Indian
designed sports clothing can be found here which is always
colorful and distinctive.
On company Street, across from the Blue Room is the
colorful shop called Ay Ay after the original Carib indian
name for St. Croix. Cruzian "chainee" and silver jewelry,
French perfumes, art selections and delightful resort cloth-
ing are on display.
The Cage, located on Main Street, combines a display of
sportswear and gifts, with excellent luncheon, dinner and
catering facilities. Its cocktail bar is the first oasis you come
to on entering Christiansted from the west.
El Burro, across the street from The Cage, is easily spotted
88 THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
by looking for a gaily painted donkey cart (without a
donkey) in front of a little shop festooned with weathered
palm fronds. This shop offers a wide range of fabrics for
adorning yourself or your home, if you are planning resi-
In general, both King Street and Company Street com-
prise the shopping center of Christiansted and while all the
shops are not listed they will unfold before you as you stroll,
fascinated, down the middle of narrow Company Street or
in the shade of the arcaded side-walks for which King Street
has long been noted. While in this downtown area, don't
miss visiting the beautiful gardens in the spacious patio of
Government House and at David Hamilton Jackson Park
on the picturesque waterfront.
GROCERIES, Both groceries and green food
FOODSTUFFS markets are plentiful in the
towns of St. Croix but Chris-
tiansted boasts of a new and
well stocked "super-market" run on the serve yourself style
now so popular in the States. This is Rasmussen's Market
on Church Street. Stateside brand names products, frozen
vegetables, fruits and meats supplement local greenfoods,
meats and pasteurized milk on the shelves of this new
addition to comfortable, healthful living on this island.
BUS LINE The towns of Frederiksted
SERVICE and Christiansted are con-
nected by the buses of Flem-
ing's Bus Service and Francis'
Bus Service. The buses of these companies operate on regu-
lar schedules and rates are $.75 for the round trip between
towns; $.4o for one way trips; from either town to Kingshill
the rate is $.20; distances between both towns are the rate