St. John History Comes Alive for Danish Interns

Danish students Tilde Christensen, at left, and Tilde Jessen, at right, are watching history come alive on St. John.

After spending months pouring over documents in the Copenhagen Archives, history is coming to life for two Danish V.I. National Park Archaeology interns who are spending a month on St. John.

Tilde Jessen and Tilde Christensen, both history majors at the University of Copenhagen, will do field research at Mary’s Point and Estate Beverhoutsberg during their month-long internship, made possible from a grant from the Friends of V.I. National Park.

“We’ve been looking at these estates back in the archives in Denmark,” said Jessen. “We know Beverhoutsberg operated as a sugar plantation, but other people lived there as well.”

“There was a physician who lived at the estate from 1825 through 1832 so we’re going to be checking to see if we can find some old bottles or other artifacts from that time,” said Christensen.

For the Danish interns, being on St. John brought the pages of their archival studies to life, explained Jessen.
“It’s so exciting to see these things we’ve been reading about,” Jessen said.

“We had images in our heads about what things looked like and it’s been fun to see how things really are,” said Christensen. “It’s been great really, like seeing the whole thing come to life.”

Jessen and Christensen plan to share details of their research with the St. John community at two tentatively scheduled public forums at Maho Bay Campground and St. John School of the Arts. Call Maho at 776-6226 and SJSA at 779-4322 for details about the forums.