St. John History

Today, we hiked over to the Annaberg plantation and sugar mill ruins.  The hike itself was beautiful with a salt pond and a wide variety of trees.  These mangroves were really a sight.

Mangroves, St. John

Mangroves, St. John

We think that we yet again successfully avoided the poisonous machineel tree.

Machineel tree warning

Machineel tree warning

Built largely in the mid 1700s, the plantation produced around 100,000 pounds of sugar a year using slave labor to make the economics work.  The buildings were destroyed during the revolt in 1733, but later rebuilt.  Now, it is part of the national park and makes for a great history lesson.

Here is the windmill which was state of the art at the time it was built. The mills crushed the sugar cane.  The other mill, a horse powered mill could crush 50 cartloads of sugar cane a day, but the windmill could crush 75-100 cartloads.

Annaberg Plantation, St. John.  16 Dec 2013

Annaberg Plantation, St. John. 16 Dec 2013

The walls of the buildings are constructed with whatever hard materials were available so some parts contain a lot of beautiful coral.

Door at the Sugar Mill, Annaberg Plantation, St. John.

Door at the Sugar Mill, Annaberg Plantation, St. John.

After crushing the cane stalks, the juice ran down to the boiling room.  It was boiled in a series of 5 vats resulting in a concentrated sugar solution at the end.

Sugar Mill, Annaberg Plantation, St. John.

Sugar Mill, Annaberg Plantation, St. John.

Trees and plants are making there home here.  Take a look at this root structure:

Annaberg Plantation, St. John

Annaberg Plantation, St. John

And these plants.  They are Tradescantia spathacea, or Rhoeo discolor.  also knows as moses in the boat, or a boat lily.  Thanks Stef.

Annaberg Plantation

Annaberg Plantation

Meanwhile, the squalls are continuing.  They pass over at a pace of about every two hours which guarantees that any excursion on land will have at least one shower.  We had two on the hike this morning.  That took care of the monthly shower.  We’re good for the rest of the year now.

Francis Bay Squall

Francis Bay Squall

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