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[photo] Frederiksted Vicinity Estate Whim Sugar Mill
National Park Service photo, Walter Smalling Jr., photographer

The Frederiksted Historic District symbolizes 200 years of western St. Croix's political history. Frederiksted was laid out in a grid plan by surveyor Jens Beck. Fort Frederik constructed by the Danes the following year to protect them from pirates, was the focal point of the town plan. Building codes resulted in the characteristic low buildings, with overhanging galleries supported by arched arcades on slender wood posts. By 1800, the town's population included dock and warehouse workers, white and free-African craftsmen, house servants, merchants, planters and government officials. In 1878, plantation workers dissatisfied with low wages, set fire to much of the town. The burnt-out area was immediately rebuilt, with many of the buildings incorporating popular Victorian architecture detailing. Important buildings in the district include the fort, the Customs House and the Victoria Home, one of the most elaborately detailed buildings in the Virgin Islands and St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, built in 1848. The Benjamin House, at 48 Queen Street, is a fine example of early 19th century Danish residential design.

The Frederiksted Historic District is roughly bounded by Fisher St., the cemetery, Fort Frederick and the shoreline on St. Croix Island, U.S. Virgin Islands. Fort Frederik, a National Historic Landmark, is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:00pm and Saturday 1:00pm to 4:00pm; call 340-772-2021 for further information. In the park and the district, guided tours are recommended, but people are free to roam. The district also features small shops and restaurants.


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