A collection of suface scatter encountered at Estate Beverhoudtsberg in Februrary 2013 (SJHS photo)
Detail from the cover of a Hamberg-American Line brochure, c1911 (Image courtesy D. Knight Collection)
A Magazine advertisement for Creque's Department Stores, c1938 (Image courtesy D. Knight Collection)
Horseback riding on St. John (Photo by Allan Rinehart, 1936 [Donated to the SJHS by Barbara and Dave Murray, 12-2012])
Silk Screen print of St. John by the popular graphic artist James "Jim" Tillet of St. Thomas (Image from a postcard, c1965)
Participants in St. John’s 4th of July parade set out to Cruz Bay from the JESS ball field in 1966.
Note the ruined condition of the Enighed estate house on the hill in the background. The building was gutted by fire in the spring of 1899. It stood abandoned until 1982 when it was restored by the V.I. Government to become the Elaine I. Sprauve Public Library.
[Photo donated to the SJHS archive by Lindy Schweickert (photographer unknown)]
A St. Johnian household on Sessmann Hill after the 1916 hurricane
(Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Moravian Settlement of Emmaus in Coral Bay, St. John. Destroyed by the hurricane of October 9-10, 1916
(Image from the book, “The Virgin Islands: Our New Possessions and the British Islands,” T. deBooy & J. Faris [j.b. Lippincott Company, 1918])
A locally-built cargo sloop lowers sail and prepares to come alongside the Cruz Bay dock, c 1959. Up until the 1970s Caribbean-built cargo vessels such as the "Baby Mac," "Pride of Tortola" and "Miranda Stout," were St. John's primary link to the outside world, carrying everything from fuel oil and livestock to mail and passengers. (Image courtesy Eleanor Gibney)
The impact of modern development on St. John's landscape becomes staggeringly apparent when you compare Chocolate Hole today with how it looked in the late 1950s (Image courtesy Eleanor Gibney; photographer unknown)
Not all vernacular structures on St. John are represented by stone and/or wood-framed buildings reflective of the Danish, English and Afro-Caribbean legacy in the Virgin Islands. Beach-sand cement structures, such as "Sewer's Cut-Rate Store," display United States and Puerto Rican architectural influences that dominated local development in the Post-WWII period. (Photo postcard by "The Art Shop," St. Thomas, VI, c1960).
Ron Morrisette Sr., father of SJHS board member Brion Morrisette, inspects the Reef Bay petroglyphs in this postcard from the early 1960s. (Postcard published by Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc.). The SJHS would like to thank Mr. Herbert Coles for his contribution of this and 11 other vintage St. John postcards to the Society’s archive.
This stunning street scene of a fruit vendor on St. Croix by Emelie Langkjaer was among the images that were presented by Anne Walbom at the December 2011 SJHS membership meeting. (Photo courtesy Anne Walbom)
A local sloop rushes for the shelter of the Cruz Bay Creek in the summer of 1951. Back when this photo was taken in 1951, the primary method of notifying the public of an approaching storm was the hoisting of the red gale warning flags from the flagstaff at the Battery: One flag for a gale; two flags for a hurricane. (Photo by Dr. George H. H. Knight)
Locally-built fishing boats pulled up on shore at "The Creek" in the Cruz Bay Quarter, circa 1950. (Photo by Dr. George H. H. Knight)

  • Events

    Image of Picnicking on the beach at East End, circa 1909
    • Upcoming Events

      For 2013-2014 our regular schedule of activities, which occur monthly from November through April, will continue to be held on the second Tuesday evening of each month for membership meetings, and, in most cases, the following Saturday for additional events or activities.

      Scheduled for December are:

      • It’s holiday party time! Everyone please join us on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 5 p.m. on the terrace of the beautiful Lindholm Guest House for A Celebration of the St. John Market Basket. Relax, enjoy the sunset, and savor an eclectic pot-luck while learning about the history and deep cultural significance of St. John’s iconic market basket. Members and guests are encouraged to bring their locally-made baskets to share with the group. Please bring hors d’oeuvres, dessert, or a finger food for the pot-luck. There will be a holiday sales table, wine and punch, so bring your friends, have a good time, and help support the SJHS.

      There are lots of exciting activities and events on tap for the upcoming season. Don’t forget to check your newsletter and the SJHS website for details as they become available. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Articles

    Read selections from archived SJHS Newsletter articles and supplemental articles about the history and culture of St. John. Recent additions include:

  • Photo Collections

    Explore our growing collection of photographs. Recent additions include:

    Historic Buildings (LOC-HABS/HAER)

    An extensive series of photographs and architectural drawings of historic buildings on St John. These works were drawn from the Historic American Buildings Survey Collection of the Library of Congress.

    Family Album of Anna Dohm Nose

    It was front page news on December 21, 1937, the local Daily News in fact, when Peter and Elsa Dohm and family arrived in their 10 meter yawl, Restmore, after a five year voyage. When the voyage began, Anna was four months old. Thus begins a family album covering the activities of this adventurous and entrepreneurial family. Luckily for us, this family believed in cameras and keepsakes, for Anna’s family album chronicles, with a small hiatus for the war years, the development of Cruz Bay and Red Hook from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.

    St Thomas Scenes

    This collection includes early 20th century photographs of St Thomas.

  • Presentations

    View our slide-show presentations:

    • Governor Pearson. The early history of US ownership of the Virgin Islands come alive with these detailed and heartfelt written accounts and letters authored by the USVI’s first civilian governor, Paul M. Pearson. Pearson’s granddaughter, Barbara Grove, and her husband, David Grove, prepared this presentation which paint a picture of the depressed state of the territory upon Governor Pearson’s arrival, the fervor with which he was welcomed, and his genuine love and concern for the people of these islands.
    • Enduring Eloquence, a brief background of historical images of St. John, by former SJHS President David Knight.
  • Documents

    View copies of primary documents relating to the rich historical legacy of St. John. Selected documents include a list of early settlers dating to 1722, plans for the Cruz Bay Battery drawn in 1780, a census for Lovango Cay from 1846, and many more...

  • Shop

    Come visit our online store!

    St. John – Life in Five Quarters

    Selected readings from the archives of the St John Historical Society.

    This 200+ page book of local stories, pictures, and history includes accounts of prominent people and notable places, firsthand descriptions of earlier ways of life on St John, fact-based histories of estate ‘ruins’ we have rambled, and an impressive collection of interesting and beautiful images and photos, many of which have never been previously published.


    New St. John Historical Society merchandise is now available

    The SJHS is pleased to introduce the Society’s exciting new line of custom t-shirts and caps. All affordably priced at a donation of just $20! Plenty of shirt styles, colors, and sizes to choose from: long sleeve with pocket, standard short sleeve, ladies short and three-quarter sleeve in scoop- or v-neck. All t-shirts are high-quality 100% cotton and printed with eco-friendly ink to protect our environment.

    Plus, high-quality custom embroidered caps with a leather adjustment strap in four fabulous colors.

    All items are available through the SJHS web store at:
    and from the sales table at any of our meetings or events.

    Step out in style and help support the SJHS with your donation.