Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands

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Town of Frederiksted
Along Company Street In Downtown Frederiksted
Along Company Street In Downtown Frederiksted
Nickname(s): Freedom City
Town of Frederiksted is located in the Virgin Islands
Town of Frederiksted
Town of Frederiksted
Coordinates: 17°42′42″N 64°52′55″W / 17.71167°N 64.88194°W / 17.71167; -64.88194Coordinates: 17°42′42″N 64°52′55″W / 17.71167°N 64.88194°W / 17.71167; -64.88194
Country United States
Territory  United States Virgin Islands
District District of Saint Croix
ZIP code 00840, 00841
Area code(s) 340

Frederiksted is both the town and the general western side of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. A grid planned city, designed by surveyor Jens Beckfor, originally to 14x14 blocks but built 7x7 to enhance the island commerce in the 1700's. Frederiksted is less than 1,000 people in the town proper, but nearly 10,000 in the greater western side of the island. Christiansted (mid-island on the north) is about 30 years older but commerce was limited by its natural, shallow protective reef. Frederiksted was built in the leeward side of the island (shadow of the wind) for calm seas and a naturally deep port. It is home to Fort Frederik, constructed to protect the town from pirate raids and attacks from rival imperialist nations and named after Frederick V of Denmark, who purchased the Danish West Indies in 1754.

Frederiksted is often referred to as "Freedom City" by locals. This nickname has to do with the fact that the town was the site of the emancipation of slaves in the then-Danish West Indies. The emancipation of slaves was proclaimed on July 3, 1848, at Fort Frederik on the waterfront at the northern edge of Frederiksted by Governor-General Peter von Scholten after slaves led by General Buddhoe (a slave) revolted.

Frederiksted is home to one of two deep water ports on St. Croix and is the main port for cruise ships visiting the island. Passengers disembark at the Frederiksted Pier, where they may explore the town, enjoy the beaches, rent a car, or catch a waiting taxi that will bring them to other points of interest across St. Croix. The other deep water port is located at the South Port which includes Hovensa oil refinery tank farm and Renaissance Industrial Park.

In the 1990's and early 2000's, Frederiksted was a port for Seaborne Seaplane as well as the inter-island ferry.[1] Political influence and funding have moved these economic hubs to other ports. The seaplane was relocated to Christiansted and the Ferry was damaged and has not been replaced.

Today, Frederiksted is mostly a sleepy town. In its peak month, Frederiksted receives about 15 cruise ships (January) and 0-2 ships in summer months compared to St. Thomas' 3-8 ships per day. This lack of cruise ships makes St. Croix and Frederiksted a premium destination for people who enjoy a quieter lifestyle and easy access to the beach (walking distance from the Pier). Most cruise ship ports are bustling with jewellery districts retail. Frederiksted retains its quiet Victorian charms, relaxed lifestyle, and is impressively lacking in a retail shopping zone. The Frederiksted Pier and the west end reefs remain a tropical scuba diving destination along with the calm waters and many expansive beaches. There are several restaurants, beach bars, a few water sports companies (N2theBlue Scuba Diving, Freedom City Surf Shop, and WestEnd Water Sports), and one cafe (Polly's). Retail is limited but opens and livens up when a ship comes to port.

History[edit]

Fort Frederik

The town was destroyed by a labor revolt (known as "The Fireburn" because arson was utilized as a means of revolt) in October 1878, which was led by four Crucian female laborers. Frederiksted was later restored during the Victorian era, as reflected in the town's architecture.

Modern Frederiksted operates at a slower pace than Christiansted, except for carnival in January and whenever cruise ships dock in Frederiksted's deepwater port. In recent years successful redevelopment efforts have begun to restore and revitalize this National Historic Site. The 2000 census population of the town was 732, and that of the larger sub-district was 3,767.[2]


Things to do[edit]

Seahorse at the pier in Frederiksted.

Scuba diving in Frederiksted is ideal and rated one of the best dive sites in the Virgin Islands.[3] Calm waters and shore entry make this side of the island a destination for scuba with warm waters and more dive sites than most of the island combined, featuring the Pier, wrecks, reef, seahorses, and underwater archaeology.[4] The Pier in Frederiksted is considered the best night dive in the Caribbean with a dive shop directly at the pier.[5][6]

Jazz in the Park is featured every third Friday of the month from 5:30-7:30pm.[7] Admission is free as this is a community sponsored event featuring food and drinks.

Carnival is the biggest event of the year starting in late December and ending the first weekend of the New Year. The event startes with the construction of Carnival Village, which is the traditional county fair. The last weekend hosts the largest parties with J'ouvert at the crack of dawn, followed the next day with the Food Fair. The first Friday is the Children's Parade and the blowout event is the Adult Parade with its full festival status.

Paddleboarding is very popular with the calm waters on the Frederiksted side of the island. Weekly events for night boarding and general competitions are hosted by Freedom City Surf Shop, as well as the internationally recognized Coconut Cup.[8]

Wilderness tours are available by both bicycle and ATV.[9][10][11]

Points of interest[edit]

Frederiksted maintains its original seven street by seven street city design and is host to several historic structures. Among them are St. Patrick's Catholic Church built in the 1840s and its primary school, the Customs House, the 19th Century Apothecary, and many other buildings; some which due to hurricanes past have fallen into ruins.

  • Sunset Jazz -- every 3rd Friday of the month[12]
  • Live music most weekend nights: Blue Moon, The Pink Spot, Terres Veho, Rhythms at Rainbow Beach
  • Crucian Christmas Festival is celebrated on St. Croix throughout late December and early January
  • The Frederiksted Pier -- 0.29 miles long and a very popular location for scuba and snorkeling
  • A Taste of St. Croix -- every April, one of the destinations for this weeklong event is on the Frederiksted Pier
  • St. Patrick's Catholic Church (c.1840)
  • Customs House c(.1800)
  • Fort_Frederik c.1756
  • Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge One of the top beaches in the US Virgin Islands and location for the last scene from the movie Shawshank Redemption [13]

In Media[edit]

Movies:

Tourism promotion video:

Music:

Climate[edit]

Frederiksted has a tropical climate with warm weather year-round.

Water temperatures of 78-79'F in winter and ~85'F in September. The waters are typically very calm as Frederiksted is in the leeward side (shadow of the island's wind) with ~12 inch tide.

The sunrise varies from 5:30 a.m. in summer and 7:00 a.m. in winter. Sunset varies between 5:40 p.m. in winter and 7:10 p.m. in summer. St. Croix does not use the daylight saving time. The ultraviolet index or UV index varies from 10+ UV index in the summer and a maximum of 7 UV index in winter.

Persistent 19-knot (35 km/h; 22 mph) Easterly trade winds, moving from east to west across the island year round create a cool breeze. Present conditions can be found at http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/st_croix

Rainforests are located on this western side of St. Croix due to the topography and 1,400 foot peaks and the tradewinds. This rainforest climate is unique to the Frederiksted side of St. Croix.


Climate data for Frederiksted, United States Virgin Islands
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 82
(28)
82
(28)
84
(29)
84
(29)
86
(30)
87
(31)
87
(31)
87
(31)
87
(31)
87
(31)
86
(30)
84
(29)
85.3
(29.8)
Average low °F (°C) 69
(21)
69
(21)
69
(21)
71
(22)
73
(23)
75
(24)
75
(24)
75
(24)
75
(24)
73
(23)
71
(22)
71
(22)
72.2
(22.6)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.2
(56)
1.9
(48)
1.6
(41)
2.6
(66)
4.0
(102)
2.7
(69)
3.3
(84)
4.3
(109)
5.6
(142)
5.4
(137)
4.5
(114)
3.6
(91)
41.7
(1,059)
Source: Weatherbase[15]

Hurricanes:

  • 1984 Nov. Category 1 Hurricane Klaus (1984) caused severe flooding
  • 1989, Sept. Category 5 Hugo devastates ~85% of St. Croix, destroying the Old Frederiksted Pier
  • 1995, Sept. Category 5 Marilyn causing severe damage to St. Croix, in particular to the Frederiksted side of the island and even more damage to St. Thomas.
  • 1998, Sept. Category 4 Hurricane Georges affected 15% of the island's power grid, wind and wave damage.
  • 1999, Oct. Category 2 Hurricane Jose (1999) minimal damage
  • 1999, Nov. Category 4 Hurricane Lenny passes 21 miles south of St. Croix, 15-20' waves destroyed many beaches dumping 6.5 ft (2 m) of sand onto coastal roads about 100 ft (30 m) inland,[16] wind damage, and flooding/erosion.
  • 2004, Sept. Category 3 Hurricane Jeanne
  • 2008, Oct. Category 1 Hurricane Omar (2008) 15 foot waves removed the entire beach in front of Frederiksted (still gone as of 2015). Nearly the entire island lost power, scores of boats were damaged or destroyed, and an oil spill.
  • 2010, Aug/Sept. Category 4 Hurricane Earl (2010) minimal damage, power outages
  • 2011, Aug. Category 3 Hurricane Irene hit St. Croix as a tropical storm, damaging beaches
  • 2014, Aug. Category 1 Hurricane Bertha (2014) hit St. Croix as a tropical storm, damaging beaches

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2003/05/08/flights-link-frederiksted-charlotte-amalie
  2. ^ http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/cb01cn172.html
  3. ^ http://www.scubadiving.com/travel/caribbean-atlantic/us-virgin-islands-top-10-dives
  4. ^ http://www.scubaearth.com
  5. ^ http://www.n2theblue.com
  6. ^ http://www.scubadiving.com/travel/caribbean-atlantic/2012-top-100-readers-choice-awards
  7. ^ http://www.gotostcroix.com/events/sunset-jazz-in-frederiksted
  8. ^ https://paddleguru.com/races/2ndAnnualCoconutCupSUPFestival
  9. ^ http://www.geckosislandadventures.com/
  10. ^ http://www.freedomcitycycles.com/
  11. ^ http://www.thingstodoinstcroix.com/
  12. ^ https://www.facebook.com/SunSetJazzinFrederiksted
  13. ^ http://onthesetshawshankredemption.blogspot.com/
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090972/
  15. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  16. ^ http://www.srh.noaa.gov/sju/?n=1999_lenny

External links[edit]