History of St Thomas Island


St. Thomas starts out for us when Columbus went on his second discovery voyage for the Queen of Spain in 1493. But with the Queen´s flag flying and eventually France, England, Holland, Denmark and finally the United States, it wasn't until two hundred years later that St Thomas actually became a community. Yes, Columbus had a fort built there called Fort Christian, but until Denmark´s Danish West Indies Company managed the land, it was the only working structure.stthomashistory.jpg

The Danes built 4 sturdy structures that doubled for homes and taverns. They were very popular with the seamen and others living on the island that they lovingly called Beer Hall. You can imagine the delight the combination of beer, white sandy beaches, and lovely weather might bring together. The name Beer Hall stuck for almost twenty years, until Denmark's King Christian the Fifth renamed the coastal area Charlotte Amalie in honor of his lovely wife who gave him 8 children. 

Today Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas, and the largest city of the three main islands. It is located on the south side of St Thomas island. Because of its deep water port, Charlotte Amalie is the popular place for worldwide cruise ships to dock. There are many "Duty Free" shopping experiences for you and your family to enjoy. The city is home to one of two airports in the US Virgin Islands. Although the Grand Hotel is 19th century architecture, it is now famous for its wonderful Duty Free shopping. For information about Relocating to St Thomas click here!

There is a wonderful walking tour you can do on your own. The tour will take you to the many historic buildings at Charlotte Amalie, such as Fort Christian which is directly across the street from the Legislature Building. Emancipation Park is where St Thomas holds most of its special events and gatherings. Also on the list of must see is Blackbeards Castle and Haagensen House Museum. St. Thomas Island had a rather dubious background and flourished in slave trade and piracy. Giving the township the boost it needed, the unfortunate trades gave way to more respectable trading of merchant wares and sugar plantations. There are still stories most likely familiar to you about the Pirates of old, such as the story of Bluebeard!

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