Come Home to St. Croix
By Sonia Jacobs Dow
Come Home to St. Croix this July and explore Crucian history and culture as they come alive through drama, music, dance, exhibits, family reunions, old-time games, workshops and lectures. Taste traditional foods, ramble the grounds of Whim Museum, learn about healing plants and herbs and start exploring your family roots in the Library's Family History Center.
Crucians trying to reconnect with their history and visitors wanting to learn more about Crucian culture will find both at this 8-day celebration hosted by the St. Croix Landmarks Society with tradition bearers and historians there to answer your questions.
Spaces will be available at the Museum for family meetings, so start planning a reunion around Come Home to St. Croix! The week begins with a ceremony to honor ancestors on Sunday, July 17th and continues with the opening of exhibits featuring The People of Estate Whim and family trees of various Crucian lineages. The day closes with a Ruins Ramble or exploration of Estate Whim, one of the Places That Matter on St. Croix.
During the week, the Landmarks Society's Research Library and Archives will operate for extended hours to facilitate access to its extensive collection of census, church and other official records. Workshop topics include "Lash Yo Head, Tying Traditional Headties," "Walk Like a Mocko Jumbie," "Historical Role Play," and "Can You Dig It?"
Join us on Tuesday evening to discover who killed Whim plantation owner, Thomas Griffith. Was it one of his field slaves, his cook, or the house butler? "Who Killed Thomas Griffith?" will explore the facts surrounding the death of the one-time owner of Estate Whim.
Friday night, World Music Under the Stars concert series presents a Grand Crucian Quadrille, an opportunity to learn the VI's official dance with Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights entertaining with the best Quelbe. Lectures and workshops are scheduled for Saturday and the event closes with Sunday's Old-Time Family Day.
Come Home to St. Croix is expected to become an annual event that brings people from St. Croix, other islands, and abroad to celebrate their family history and traditions together.
The 63-year-old St. Croix Landmarks Society is the oldest preservation organization in the Virgin Islands operating three museums - the Estate Whim, Carl and Marie Lawaetz Family and Apothecary Hall Museums.
Whim is the only sugar plantation museum in the Virgin Islands where restored 18th century buildings stand as a testament to the skills and labor of enslaved Africans and the hopes and dreams of Europeans seeking wealth in the "sugar islands." Tour the stately Great House or contemplate the slave quarters, cookhouse and factory area on your own. Exhibits challenge visitors to imagine the former plantation and the history and power of those who might have lived there.
The Carl and Marie Lawaetz Family Museum showcases the Danish legacy on St. Croix, while the Apothecary Hall Museum, located in Christiansted, is an authentically furnished pharmacy.
Come Home to St. Croix is a celebration not to be missed by anyone lucky enough to live on St. Croix or to be visiting between July 17 and 24th. Nominal fees ranging from $5.00 to $15.00 apply.