Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: St. Croix lighthouse illuminates the island's history
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 Material Information
Title: St. Croix lighthouse illuminates the island's history
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: June 6, 1997
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00184
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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aDdy Nan, ay, Jm 6,197 t

St. Croix lighthouse illuminates

On Memorial Day weekend,
some friends and I camped out at
Annually Buy and between Annally
and Will Bay whe there are bays
for almost every gul dhat run down
froe the mountain side to lhb sea.
These eas am onef the few areas
on St Croix that have ner been
touched with man development
except for the 1700's snga mll and
great house at Will Bay plantation
which today are covered by sec-
Standing on Massive coral reo
fmation at Amnally Bay, one can
see at eight a lg in the distance
coming from the lighthouse on
Hams Bluff cliff. To my knowl.
edge there is only eoo lighhousein
the Virgin Islands. PuRa Rico, on
the other bimd Iha 15 lightiouse
Between 1851 and 1859, many
Spanish ships sank at the port of
Arecibo in Puerto Rico when they
came to pick up sugar and tobacco
orm the island.
The Spanish governmeas was
ander pressure from the local
plans and slaves that they decid.
ed iln 1861 tocralC.etUtnLUghil.
house Comiission to begin a co-.
peeuive land survey of Puerto
Rico and a plan to assist commaer-
dald nvigado. Thsu, a muaerpln
was created for lighthouses. The
iention of die Spanish was to cr-

ate a light belt around the entire
island ofPueio Rico.
Ships sailing toward the island, la
around it, or arriving at any trading Davis
poo anywhere in Puero Rico shoe,
would always have light guiding
them to the island. John Reycs, a U U
civilian Marine Information Spe-
cillist with the U.S. Coast Guard
said the fint proposed constuctinn hoe, 1889.
ofa eating lantere was San Felipe Other lighthouses were con-
dl Mano Castia a the enranceof muced in places like Isa Culebrina
San Juan harbor in he 184. in 1886: Isa Caja de Muertos in
This rotling lantera. he said, VYiques in 1889; Puias Higuero in
was base on the rapid increase of Rincon in 1892; Punta Tuna in
ade making place in and ou of San Mmnbo in 18 and Iss Moon in
Juan." San Juan was a major pot of 1900.
entry for European ships trading "The lighthouse plan was so
with the rest of the Caribbean remarkably well executed," Ryes
islands. Nonetheless, the Spanish said, "that it was later absorbed
envisioned 16 lighhouses. Only 15 without modification into the U.S.
were buil Of those. 13 a still in ULighthouse Service after the 1889
operation today serving the U.S. Spanish American War. And,
Coast Guad Aids to Navigatioa though transformed by today's
In 1845, the Puerto San Juan needs, the basic system is still in
light in El Mono became the firs operaio and most of the st ures
lighl use on Puerto Rico. Howev sill stand."
er, it was tull in 9l8.Thus, the Like Pueso Rito, thc liahbse
oldest surviving lighthouse strue-
lures is Punts Mules light in
Vieques, belt in 1895. In addition
to El Morro lighbthose. dthe ai:
Cabo Rojo lighiounse. 1882; Cabo
San Juan nlgbthouse in Pajardo,
18,0 Cayo Careon lighhouse in
Ponce, 1889; and Ouanica light-

the island's history
selling on Huns Bluff cliff on the facilities in the valley to tidal pools
northwest side of St. Croix is a and itesnting rockfomatcions.
symbol ofe past history of these Hams Bluff rises 700 to 800
island Late 1800s to early 1900s fet high to Maroon Ridge, Inter-
the Hins Bluff liglhtlMue was bill miutet stcasus flow froanm Mi n
on the cliff which represented how idge to the sa, creating life fora
Importual Prderiksled po was to wide number of organisms. Both
the island economy. Many people mona and eveagen forests a
do nit know how iportant a role represeed hei B inmost imp
the lighthouse played in the com- 1an1, mll patches of the on"
nicial oevigationnst n Quitix dominat ramn Joea of S t oax
Ihn a to Has clho clilde theyik still exist in the low valleys of
in to Him Bluff cliff wben they Hams Bluff.
lernod the history and function of H s Binff.
the lighthouse. Here on the cliff, HlM Bluff tural eninnitc
one can see Puerto Rico, St. provides an outdoor recreation
Thomas. St. Job, and the British al both for local and vis.
Virgin IdMils in the bickgound on I, anop" space for wildlife pro-
a clear suiy day. On your Kt, one tcliSo. and a scmic view that will
haisaglu viewof Amnally Bay. ke one's breath away. This place
In theold days,the Hms Bluff is special ot bec e fits binry.
lighthouse operated by a person but because it was once the only
turning onlil in the evei a place hat shed some light on the
offin the morning. Today, the lih. sea.
house is opera ed by solar power. Olasee Dani who has master
Hams Bluff ae is diverse, from ofscience degree n range manage-
manmnade biials raging fun thde m and forestry ecoloVy, is a St.
old s!lqr mill and modern Navy Croaiecolo ag, acivis and writr.

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