Island Icon St. John Map and Guide Book Sell, But Will Remain Familiar


Arne and Barbara Jakobsen, center, recently sold their popular map and guide books to Island Treasure Map owners Jennifer Knowles, at left, and Denise Barbier, at right. Photo by Steve Simonsen

After 25 years of printing the iconic St. John Guide Book and St. John Map, Arne and Barbara Jakobsen are selling the publications to fellow St. John mapsters Island Treasure Maps.

But don’t worry; the familiar cartoon drawings by Linda Smith Palmer, which have come to define the publications, will remain the same, explained Arne Jakobsen.

“It was important to us to sell to people on St. John who were going to keep the same style that we have created over all these years,” said Arne Jakobsen.

While the Jakobsens still own Great Dane Inc., the 2013 editions of both the St. John Guide Book and St. John Map will be the final ones published by the couple.

Starting in 2014, the St. John Guide Book and St. John Map will be produced by Island Treasure Maps owners Denise Barbier and Jennifer Knowles.

“We didn’t want to sell the publications to someone new who would just come in and change everything right away,” said Barbara Jakobsen. “We’re very happy to be selling to local St. John residents who have lived here for a long time and who know the island and know our concept and style.”

Barbier and Knowles, who have both called Love City home for years, first published their St. John Activity and Road Map in 2010 and branched out to St. Thomas the following year.

Knowles and Barbier will continue to publish the Island Treasure Maps and, starting in 2014, also publish St. John Guide Book and St. John Map. The Jaksobsens will continue as consultants on those editions, Arne Jakobsen added.

“We are retiring, but we are still on St. John and we will be consultants on the next guide book and map,” he said.
Arne Jakobsen will also keep busy working on his  historical novel “Countess Daisy” about a Danish pioneer woman, he explained, which is available by emailing

The Jakobsens decided to sell their long-standing publications after seeing what a great job Barbier and Knowles did on their Island Treasure Maps, explained Barbara Jakobsen.

“Over the years we’ve seen other maps come and go,” she said. “But these guys didn’t go away and they continued to do a great job. We saw the opportunity and approached them.”

“We believe the younger people can do it a little better than us at this point,” said Arne Jakobsen.
Barbier and Knowles are thrilled with their new acquisition, and new friendships which have developed since starting negotiations with the Jakobsens.

“After 25 years, it’s almost like St. John owns the map and guide book,” said Knowles. “We were flattered when they approached us. And the most wonderful thing that has happened through these business negotiations is that we’ve become great friends.”

Island Treasure Maps will also still publish its maps and will unveil its new iPhone app “What to”

“We will still do the Treasure Maps and we believe that they offer something different to different people,” said Barbier. “We also have our free app coming out which is a compliment to our maps.”

“There are many different ways to reach people and reach people of all different age categories,” said Knowles.

The Island Treasure Map women are excited to have an expanded medium to work with, explained Barbier.

“We have always been stuck to two pages and now we have all of these pages to play with,” she said. “We are really excited to have so much more space and all these pages.”

“Customers can expect more excitement and inter-activity with the same whimsical humor,” said Knowles.
Island Treasure Maps will also continue its popular “Win a Trip Back” contest, with the winner for this year set to be announced this week.

Everyone seems to be pleased with the St. John Guide Book sale, even long-time advertisers, explained Arne Jakobsen.

“People are stopping me in the street and congratulating me and kissing me,” he said. “It’s not bad walking around and getting kisses.”