About St. Croix
Photo courtesy of Jason P. Heym
Just 28 miles long and 7 miles wide, St. Croix is largest of the three inhabited U.S. Virgin Islands. It lies 40 miles south of St. Thomas, St. John, and the 50-plus other islands that make up the chain. Thanks to its more isolated location, St. Croix is often referred to as "the quiet Virgin." This moniker belies a somewhat turbulent history. When Christopher Columbus landed at the Salt River in 1493, Arawak Indians were the island's only inhabitants. Over the next 400 years, St. Croix was ruled by Spain, England, France, and Denmark. In 1917, the United States purchased the area known as the Danish West Indies for $25 million dollars, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were born. Today, this variety of influences is still felt – vehicles travel on the left side of the road, natives speak a patois that has French overtones, and Victorian and Danish Colonial buildings dot the countryside.