Hassel Island

We  went to Hassel Island and saw the marine railroad.  We also saw Shipley’s Battery and some officers’ quarters.  We saw some really old glass.  It was a shiny blue.

Imagine diving in this to repair a boat bottom

Imagine diving in this to repair a boat bottom

Shipley's Battery old glass at officers' quarters

Last Sunday we went hiking on Hassel Island before we left Charlotte Amalie for Red Hook.  Sometime in the 1800s the Danish separated Hassel Island from the rest of St Thomas to promote better drainage through the harbor.  Since there are still advisories against swimming, it appears it didn’t quite work. The island is quite lovely and has traces of several uses over the years.  From the 1840s until the 1960s a marine railway hauled ships onto land for repairs.  Before that, the British occupied the island and built a fort to defend against the French during the Napoleonic wars.  The island also has the remains of a small pox hospital and a leprosarium, a hospital for people with leprosy.  In addition, the island had many more cobbles and more soil than most of the islands we have hiked.  Hannes enjoyed finding pieces of glass and pottery from bygone days and wrote the description at the beginning of the post.

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