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V.I. History Comes To Life In Emancipation Garden

a statue of a man blowing a conch shell in emancipation gardens in Charlotte Amalie

Written by Coconut Post

Whether you’re in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands as a visitor, a local — or always in spirit — Coconut Post keeps you posted on fun-filled news ’n views. Published monthly by Flamboyan On The Bay Resort & Villas, we’re focused on sharing our people, places, and fun things happening in paradise.

November, 2021

A stroll through Emancipation Garden in downtown Charlotte Amalie offers a step back in time. The park itself was named to commemorate the freeing of slaves by Danish Governor Peter von Scholten on July 3rd, 1848.

A perfect place to relax under a shade tree, the park hosts special events throughout the year including annual Emancipation Day festivities. During the holidays, lights and decorations in the park reflect the spirit of the season.

The  Conch Shell Blower statue (Top of page) on the west side of the park symbolizes a newly freed slave. That statue soon will be moved to a more prominent place in the park which is undergoing renovation as part of the Veteran’s Drive – Waterfront expansion. 

The park also is home to a reproduction of the Liberty Bell. Many people are not aware that every state and U.S. territory was presented with a replica of that iconic bell. 

the bandstand in emancipation gardens in charlotte amalie

Above: Official government ceremonies, concerts and community events frequently take place at the Bandstand in Emancipation Garden.

the bell hangin in emancipation gardens in downtown charlotte amalie st thomas

Above: A replica of the original Liberty Bell is on display in Emancipation Garden.

Directly below the bell in Emancipation Garden is a plaque given to the Virgin Islands by the Commonwealth of Virginia on the 350th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement. It honors the “Landing of Virginia Settlers” for a three-day stay in the Virgin Islands on April 4, 1607. That group of 144 English travelers bound for Virginia founded Jamestown, the first permanent English Settlement beyond the British Isles. From that colony grew the overseas expansion of English-speaking people. 

Adjacent to the park on the north side is Grand Galleria. The establishment opened in 1840 as the Commercial Hotel and Coffee House. In its heyday, the Grand Hotel was the accommodation of choice for wealthy travelers It remained a hotel until 1975. 

To find Emancipation Garden on Google Maps, click HERE.

Top of page: A statue of the Conch Shell Blower on the west side of Emancipation Garden symbolizes freedom from slavery. 


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