If you remember, my first post was about the new found appreciation that I have for my home. Now, I feel that it is absolutely necessary for me to know more about my island and so I’ve been doing research. Part of that research includes me physically going out and getting to know the island on a deeper level. I’ve been going on hikes, taking photos, keeping notes etc. and I would like to share some of what I’ve found with you!
My most recent hike was at the Annaberg Plantation on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The plantation was once the heart of St. John’s most profitable business, rum and sugar. On the plantation there were the sugar cane fields, a windmill, a horse mill, a boiling room, a rum still, and the slave quarters. Each of these structures played an important role in the production of sugar and rum which dominated the island for 150 years.
Parts of these ruins are still standing to this very day. They are protected by the Virgin Islands National Park service. As I wondered through the ruins I couldn’t help but notice the architecture of these structures. Everything about the ruins are interesting to me. They make you ask questions. What did they look like before the walls began to fall? How are they still around today? What kinds of things happened behind these walls? What was everyday life like on the plantation? The design is interesting and the views are amazing but I think its history is what really makes this place beautiful.
Every year the National Park service hosts a mini festival on the plantation. Its a special program that gives elders in our community the opportunity to gather together and reminisce. At the same time it teaches younger generations and visitors about our rich culture and history. Luckily the program will be held next week! I plan to pay the plantation another visit during that time. My hope is to gather more information that I will be able to share with you all.
Tune in next week for more pictures and vivid representations of Caribbean life through art and history!