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 The Caribbean Island Of St. John

Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI

St. John was first settled by the Arawak Indians who had migrated north from coastal Colombia and Venezuela around AD 300. The Arawaks inhabited the island until around the year AD 1300, when they were driven off by the more aggressive and warlike Carib Indians. Extensive archaeological work has been undertaken from 1996 to the present at Cinnamon Bay. The artifacts from this dig are currently being studied and should yield more detailed information on pre-Columbus civilization in the Virgin Islands (Taino).

Christopher Columbus is credited with being the first European to see the Virgin Islands during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. He named the island group "Once Mil Virgenes", or Eleven Thousand Virgins, in honor of the feast day of Saint Ursula and the 11,000 virgins who were martyred with her.

The Danish West India and Guinea Company represented the first Europeans to settle the island in 1718. They are also credited with naming the island St. John (Danish: Sankt Jan). The Danish crown took full control of the colony in 1754, along with St. Thomas and St. Croix. Sugar plantations, such as the famous Annaberg Sugar Plantation, were established in great numbers on St. John because of the intense heat and fertile terrain, which provided ideal growing conditions. The establishment of sugar plantations also led to the importation of more slaves from Africa. St. John was the site of one of the first significant slave rebellions in the New World in 1733, when enslaved Akwamu rebels from the Gold Coast took over the island for six months.

The Danish were able to defeat the enslaved Africans with help from the French in Martinique. Instead of allowing themselves to be recaptured, more than a dozen men and women shot themselves before the French forces could capture them. It is estimated that by 1775, slaves outnumbered the Danish settlers by a ratio of 5:1. The indigenous Caribs and Arawaks were also used as slave labor, to the point of wiping out their entire population. Slavery was finally abolished in St. John on 3 July 1848.

In 1917 the United States of America bought the Virgin Islands from the Danish government in order to establish a naval base whose purpose was to prevent German expansion in the western hemisphere. The U.S. government paid $25 million for the three islands. They also agreed to recognize Denmark's claim to Greenland, which they had previously disputed.

Virgin Islanders are now U.S. citizens, although they cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections and have only non-voting status in Congress. The Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated territory of the US, and since 1972 have elected their own Governor. They enjoy a large degree of self-rule through a local 15-seat legislature that covers all three of the islands.

In 1956, Laurance Rockefeller donated most of the land he had acquired on the island to the United States' National Park Service, under the condition that it must be protected from future development. The remaining portion, the Caneel Bay Resort, continues to operate on a lease arrangement while the park owns the actual land. The Virgin Islands National Park borders encompass 75% of the island, but various in-holdings within the park boundary (e.g., Peter Bay, Maho Bay) reduce the actual land the park owns to 60%. However, much of the island's waters, coral reefs and shoreline are protected via their inclusion in the park. This protection was expanded in 2001, when the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument was created.

 Things To Do In St Johns

Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center: it offers an introduction to the park, which covers over half the island as well as 5,650 acres of submerged land around the island. The Park Service offers a five-hour guided hike of Reef Bay Valley where you can see petroglyphs (rock carvings) and visit the ruins of a sugar mill. There are also various trails to explore on your own.

Annaberg: This partially restored sugar mill and slave housing complex lies in a fabulous and serene setting.
Cathrineberg: Harder to find and more intimate than Annaberg, visiting this unique and photogenic mill ruin is fun.

Island Hopping: One of the most popular trips, is the full day excursion to Jost Van Dyke. It's like stepping back in time. Jost Van Dyke is an exciting place to explore. There is no better way to enjoy the beauty of the islands than by sea.

Fishing: Off shore light tackle fishing is a great way to spend a half or full day. There are numerous charter boats to choose from.

Hiking: There are numerous trails on St. John maintained by the National Park Service.

Inquire at the Visitor's Center for maps and schedules of interpreted trail hikes.
Snorkeling: There is a wide diversity of sea life and corals at the many different beaches on St. John. Full and half day snorkel trips are available aboard motor and sail vessels.

Shopping: Its duty free status makes St. John a shopper's paradise. There are several jewelry stores and many gift shops with imported goods and local crafts located in the heart of Cruz Bay.
Night Life: There are many bars and restaurants located in Cruz Bay, as well as a few in the East end's Coral Bay. The bars are hopping at night, and dress is casual. One can usually find live local music on any given evening.

Transportation: If you want to enjoy the freedom of having your own vehicle during your visit, all of our islands offer many options for car and scooter rentals.
Whether renting a vehicle or simply crossing a street, it is vital to remember that you must drive on the left side of the road. Speed limits are 15-20 mph in the country and 10 mph in town, unless otherwise posted.

 Getting Married In St John

st. john getting married

Obtaining your US Virgin Islands Marriage License: Getting Your Marriage License for your US Virgin Islands Wedding is an easy process. Everything can be done by mail. To obtain a marriage license in the US Virgin Islands, simply fill out the application form, there are no blood tests required and paperwork will take eight days working days to process. You can download an application here, and mail it in with a $100 certified check or money order made out to the Superior Court of the VI (NO PERSONAL CHECKS OR CASH ACCEPTED). You must pick up the license together and in person, before the ceremony. The court is open Monday through Friday  8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturday from 10:00 am to noon.  Be aware that the Virgin Islands has additional holidays - especially in April for Carnival and Easter so call before to ensure it will be open.

Picking up your US Virgin Island wedding license: To save yourself a trip back to St. Thomas to get your license, plan to arrive by 3:30 pm, at the latest, between Monday and Friday. The court is an easy taxi ride from the St. Thomas airport. It is located on the waterfront in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Both must be present at the Territorial Court, with a passport or photo ID, to pick up your marriage license.

Application Procedure:
Six weeks prior to arrival - Complete Application for Marriage License and mail with a certified check or money order for $100 ($50 for application and $50 for the license )

 To: The Superior Court of the Virgin Islands- St Thomas- St John
The Alexander Farley Building   P.O. Box 70
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands 00804
Attn: Ms. Brenda Monsanto

Telephone # (340)774-6680 ext. 6607
Fax # (340)777-8254

What to include: Fill out all the information on the application and include a cover letter providing the following information:

Date: Date you will be arriving, date you will pick up your marriage license.
Include: Copy of your Passport or Photo ID, Certified Check for $100
Status: If either is divorced, you must send a certified copy of the divorce decree. If either is widowed, you must include a copy of the death certificate. You will not receive these documents back so do not send the originals.   

Mary Bartolucci is the Registered Marriage Officiate for the license.


Our source: Over 70% of the information on this page was taken from the other information was  from knowledge of the island and

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