Annaberg Plantation Ruins

Activities / History / Uncategorized / July 17, 2022

Annaberg Plantation Ruins: A Journey Through Time on St. John, USVI

Nestled within the lush confines of the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, the Annaberg Plantation Ruins stand as a testament to the island’s complex history. Overlooking the serene Leinster Bay and the azure expanse of Sir Francis Drake Channel, these ruins offer visitors a sobering glimpse into the past, highlighting St. John’s storied sugar and rum industries, Danish plantations and slavery.

Knowing something about the ruins you’ll see provides a context for viewing and experiencing these places.

A Historic Planation

Once the largest and most productive plantation on St. John, Annaberg was named “Anna’s Hill” by Dutchman Solomon Zeeger in 1758, in honor of his wife, Anna deWindt. Spanning nearly 1,300 acres at its peak in 1808, the plantation included adjacent properties such as Mary’s Point, Betty’s Hope, Munsbury, Leinster Bay, and Brown Bay. However, by 1871, Annaberg had fallen into decline and was eventually abandoned.

Today, while the wooden structures have succumbed to time, the resilient stone and coral edifices, including storage buildings, a windmill, and facilities for rum production and sugarcane processing, remain standing. These ruins serve as silent witnesses to the plantation’s plantation industry past and the role it played in the island’s history.

Exploring the Ruins

Visitors to the Annaberg Plantation Ruins can embark on a journey back in time, guided by the knowledgeable volunteers of the Virgin Islands National Park. These dedicated individuals provide profound insights into daily life on the plantation and the significant events that shaped its history. Self-guided tour handouts are also available, offering detailed descriptions of the site’s major structures and their historical significance.

As you wander through the remnants of the plantation, you’ll find yourself contemplating life in a very different era, where the echoes of the past resonate through the ancient stone walls. The site’s historical significance and preservation make it a must-visit destination for those seeking to understand the heritage of St. John.

Getting There

To reach the Annaberg Plantation Ruins, embark on a scenic drive along North Shore Road from Cruz Bay. Pass by the picturesque Maho Bay, and after approximately 1.5 miles from the “split,” you’ll encounter a “Y” intersection. Taking the left fork will lead you to Francis Bay, while the right fork directs you towards Leinster/Waterlemon Cay and the Annaberg Plantation Ruins.

Parking is available in the lower lot, from where a wooden walkway will guide you to the base of the ruins. As you ascend, the breathtaking views and historical ambiance promise an unforgettable experience.

Plan Your Visit

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply someone looking to better understand the history of St. John, the Annaberg Plantation Ruins offer a unique and enlightening experience. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the island’s past in stark contrast to the stunning natural beauty that surrounds this iconic site.

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