Exploring Frederiksted Afoot
|This once stately settlement is too much like a ghost town. It deserves better.|
Time: 1 hour. Difficulty: 1. Trailhead: Fort Frederik, near the cruise ship landing.
Frederiksted is located at the western tip of St. Croix, a 45-minute drive from Christiansted. Since its founding in 1751, it has been St. Croix's main deepwater harbor; all cruise ships dock here.
Visitors are then transported by bus to Christiansted and other points of interest. Compared to Christiansted , however, this is a ghost town with little happening, except at the fort when the cruise ships are in.
Unfortunately, the elaborate West Indian gingerbread trim on buildings such as the Lacy Victoria House, which was built before 1803, has largely fallen victim to time and hurricanes. One day, maybe, it will be replaced.
If you are arriving by cruise ship, my advice is take the first taxi out of town and leave Frederiksted for last. The fort is really the only thing worth seeing.
1. Old Town Pier: Now underwater, this is one of the finest night dives in the Caribbean. Lots of sea horses! See one of the dive shops along the waterfront.
2. Fort Frederik: Where the Governor General in 1848 announced the emancipation of all Danish-owned slaves; for this reason, the town today is still sometimes called " Freedom City " by locals. The Fort, begun in 1752, is where the flag of the thirteen rebelling U.S. colonies was first saluted by a foreign flag, in 1776. The fort is now a museum, restored to the way it looked in 1820. Adjacent to it is Buddhoe Park with a bronze statue of the slave rebellion leader.
3. Old Custom's House: Built in the late 1800s with a 20th century addition.
4. Victoria House: Built in 1803, fire destroyed it in 1878. Rebuilt, it is noted for its gingerbread trim and Victorian architecture.
5. The Market Place: In operation since the town was founded in 1751. On Queen Street, this can be a lively bartering place for fresh fruit and vegetables.
6. Apothecary Hall: On King Cross Street, is another example of the architecture popular in the mid-1800s.
7. Old Public Library: Built in 1803. In 1888 the staircase was decorated with bells by an owner named-- Bell.