Hassel Island Chronology

From Fred Gjessing’s 1992 Cultural Resources Assessment of Hassel Island, Appendix E.
Distributed K. Wild’s SJHS Meeting 1/12/08

1687John Jenifer map of St Thomas Harbor, Prince Rupert’s Cove. “In this Harbor Prince Rupert careened some of his ships when he was in America.”
1689Central ridge section of peninsula under cultivation by Christian Lassen.
1719Peninsula Plantation owned by David Jansen. Habitat shifted from ridge to Careening Cove.K
1732Peninsula Plantation owned by Adrian Jansen.
1748Johannes Lorentz Cartens writing in Denmark from memory of St. Thomas in the late thirties bemoans the fact that not enough is done for serving ships, although natural facilities, materials and tools are available. Careening Cove is not mentioned by name but by description.
1788-1779A water battery is designed and built by Lt. Peter Lotharius Oxholm at Magens Pyndt. Later named Prince Frederik's Battery, Oxholm makes recommendations for the defense of St. Thomas Harbor which for the peninsula presages the British installations two decades later.
1801Ownership of the peninsula by James Hazzel senior prior to the first British occupation can be presumed.
1801-1802First British occupation March. Cowell and Shipley Batteries built & Fort Shipley established. Prince Frederik Battery renamed Fort Willoughby.
1806James Hazzel senior and his son James Hazzel junior agree that each have a half share in the Careening Wharf.
1806-1815Second British occupation. Fort Shipley reestablished and expanded upon. The magazine is built.
1815Crowell and Shipley batteries and the magazine are alienated from the Estate Orkanhullet. Other facilities of Ft. Shipley revert to the Hazzel family.
1816August–Half of Careening Wharf for rent. Apply to James Hazzel junior.
1816December–Half of Careening Wharf owned by James Hazzel junior to be sold by forced auction.
1817 JuneJames Hazzel senior deeds his share of Careening Wharf to his son and dies one month later.
1837The English Colonial Bank establishes a branch in St. Thomas and the same year local businessmen form a St. Thomas Bank.
1839James Hazzel junior agrees to lease irrevocably a section of the north east shore line of Estate Orkanhullet to Mr. Bahrenson. The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Ltd. was founded in England.
1840Mr. Bahrenson’s lease is transferred to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd. The St. Thomas Marine Railway Company is founded, and acquires by purchase six acres of Little Careening Cove of Estate Orkanhullet.
1840-1842Both the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Ltd. and the St Thomas Marine Railway Co. set up their facilities.
1851James Hazzel junior dies. The same year his Estate is distributed between his son and his four daughters.
1857Heirs of James Hazzel rent to John B. Cameron (Superintendent of RMSP Co Ltd.) for six years with options to renew for five to ten years their facilities in Careening Cove.
1862St. Thomas Floating Dry Dock Company founded and given this concession to provide a Dry Dock within two years.
1865Danish financed harbor improvements, including dredging of main harbor and cutting a channel for small boats through Haulover making the peninsula an island.
1871Hamburg America Line acquires 8 acres on Hassel Island and establish a depot. CIE Generate-Transatlantique set up their operation in Long Bay. Royal S.P. Co. Ltd. announces their intention of transferring their headquarters to Barbados.
1875Broensted Co. leases the north shore of Careening Cove.
1888Royal Mail Packet Company Ltd. transfer their headquarters to Barbados, but retain a branch office on St. Thomas.
1903The East Asiatic Co. establishes a coaling wharf on Hassel Island.
1905The East Asiatic Co. completes docking facilities and creates the Danish Westindian Co. to manage its operation in St. Thomas.
1907The Broensted Co. is dissolved.
1909The Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. amalgamates with the St. Thomas Floating Dry Dock Co. to form the St. Thomas Dock, Engineering and Coaling Co.
1911-1915The Danish Westindian Co. starts dredging and other improvements of the harbor and removes its facilities to Long Bay after buying out the French Company.
1915the Hassel Island Dock is abandoned.
1917The Danish Virgin Islands are ceded to the U.S. and the Hamburg American Line properties are confiscated.
1917-1932Navy Station on Hassel Island.
1929Haulover cut is deepened.

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