Virgin Islands Stories

A Collection of Blog Posts about the Islands' History

Virgin Islands Transfer Day Ceremony ~ 1917

Transfer Day Ceremony ~ 1917

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St. Thomas Travelogue: In the Wake of the Bucaneers ~ 1936

St. Thomas Travelogue ~ 1936

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Beautiful Cruz Bay Painting by Andreas Riis Carstensen up for Auction ~ 1903

Cruz Bay Painting A rare coastal watercolor of Cruz Bay, St. John in the US Virgin Islands is up for auction. It’s by the Danish artist, Andreas Riis Carstensen. Carstensen specialized in maritime scenes using bright tropical colors which reflected the natural beauty of his environment. This rare find is signed by Carstensen himself in the […]

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photograph of house in danish West Indies

The Oldest Inhabitant from St. John Dies ~ 1909

The Obituary of  Salome Anthony of the Island of St. John Finding obituaries in the old newspapers is a wonderful way to learn about the history of the Island’s inhabitants. I found Salome Antony’s obituary fascinating. She was reported to be the oldest inhabitant from the island of St. John to pass away. Here are […]

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How the Moravian Church in St. John Celebrated their First Harvest Festival ~ 1901

What was a Harvest Festival and how was it celebrated in St. John? A Harvest Festival was an annual get together that celebrated the success of the harvest grown in a given region. It was a time when families displayed their appreciation for the nourishment crops provided. The week was traditionally honored with Church celebrations and family […]

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Rare Pissarro Drawing from St. Thomas on Exhibit in London by Dr. Dante Beretta

Stern Pissarro Gallery in London is hosting an incredible exhibition, “Camille Pissarro: Works from the Gallery Collection”,  from November 17 through December 4, 2021.  The collection, which includes 45 pieces of his artwork, spans Pissarro’s entire career!   Born on the island of St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies, Pissarro (1830-1903) is one of the most influential members […]

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Bluebeard's castle, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Bluebeard’s Castle, A Poem by Cyril Creque ~ 1920s

Bluebeard’s Castle By Cyril Creque Round the tower where legends have had their decay– Above me a mild blue, below me the bay, Birth wavelets reflecting the deep of the sky Where white veils of the angels flit brokenly by, Gentle blown by the song shaking breath of the trees__ Fall the copper-red rays of […]

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the attention of your femme de chambre; and in retiring to rest, it behoves thee to lift the netting with caution, and to insinuate thyself within its folds, in such a manner as to prevent their entrance at the same time. The comforts and coziness of a well- furnished, carpeted room, appear to a new comer, no trifling desideratum among tropical comforts, but they are rendered superfluous by the climate, and inadmissible from the multitudes of insects and vermin which infest the dwellings; whence every indispensable article of furniture is so constructed as to afford them as little shelter as possible. Miss Betsy was more liberal in providing the " re- past of ease" in the morning, and "cavished" fish, which the West Indians manage with exquisite regard to the palate, was one of the several dishes which graced her breakfast-table. We marvel much that this excellent plan of serving up fish cold, has not been introduced commonly in England. The process of frying it, and afterwards steeping it in vinegar, with some green capsicums and spices, and a flavour of garlic, is simple; and the compound may be preserved in jars for a great length of time. We confess a gusto for the thing.the attention of your femme de chambre; and in retiring to rest, it behoves thee to lift the netting with caution, and to insinuate thyself within its folds, in such a manner as to prevent their entrance at the same time. The comforts and coziness of a well- furnished, carpeted room, appear to a new comer, no trifling desideratum among tropical comforts, but they are rendered superfluous by the climate, and inadmissible from the multitudes of insects and vermin which infest the dwellings; whence every indispensable article of furniture is so constructed as to afford them as little shelter as possible. Miss Betsy was more liberal in providing the " re- past of ease" in the morning, and "cavished" fish, which the West Indians manage with exquisite regard to the palate, was one of the several dishes which graced her breakfast-table. We marvel much that this excellent plan of serving up fish cold, has not been introduced commonly in England. The process of frying it, and afterwards steeping it in vinegar, with some green capsicums and spices, and a flavour of garlic, is simple; and the compound may be preserved in jars for a great length of time. We confess a gusto for the thing.

Who was the First Local Band to Play in the Emancipation Garden? ~ 1907

For those who are curious, the first local band to play in the Emancipation Park was the Lionel Robert’s Brass Band. Here is the article that appeared in the St. Thomas Tidende on March 23, 1907. The Lionel Roberts Band “The Lionel Roberts’ Brass Band, composed of some 18 musicians, played in the Emancipation Garden […]

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steamer victoria louise harbor

How Hotel Italia in St. Thomas Became a Popular Movie Venue During World War I by Dr. Dante Beretta

Opening Night:  Lights, Camera, Action! Light from the half moon shimmered on old Charlotte Amalia harbor. Gentle trade winds cooled patrons gathered in the yard facing the sea. After announcements were made, the crowd hushed as newly installed electric lamps were switched off. The distinctive click-click-click-click of the 35-mm film feeding through the reel and […]

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