Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday! I know that many of you enjoy exploring the island, and unfortunately you are not able to physically be on St. John right now. So we’re going to continue bringing some of our favorite spots to you virtually. Today’s virtual trip will take you over to a site on St. John’s North Shore that’s rich in history – the Cinnamon Bay Sugar Factory.
The Cinnamon Bay Plantation was one of the most prosperous sugar cane operations on the island, according to the National Park Service. Established by the Danes in 1717, it was one of the earliest sugar plantation settlements on St. John. Its owner, Daniel Jensen, played a pivotal role in the slave rebellion which swept the island in 1733. The uprising shook the Caribbean, and the final stages saw the participation of French and English forces to suppress it. (Source: NPS.gov) Its ruins, located along North Shore Road are expansive and are easily accessible.
The Cinnamon Bay Trail Loop is a half-mile long and take less than 30 minutes to walk. Some of the areas are uneven, and can be slippery when wet, so please watch your footing. Parking is available onsite beside the factory ruins (space for 1-2 vehicles) or across the street at the Cinnamon Bay parking lot (ample parking).
The Cinnamon Bay Factory ruins feature a horse mill where the cane juice was squeezed out using iron rollers. That juice then flowed into a nearby boiling room. The spent cane would be stacked in the “bagasse shed” where it would dry and then be used to fuel fires under a series of boiling kettles. There are some remains of the cauldrons inside the boiling room for you to view. (Source: NPS.gov)
The Cinnamon Bay Estate Home serves as the home of the plantation’s owners and managers. There were few great houses around the island, as incomes were marginal at best which precluded lavish dwellings. You may recall a recent hike we posted about to the Murphy Great House. That Great House is located above the Annaberg plantation. (Click here to read all about it.)
The Cinnamon Bay Factory ruins also include slave quarters, two cemeteries and a warehouse.
The sounds of nature are so powerful in this area. We recorded a short clip to share with all of you. Press the play button below to listen.
Want to Explore STJ and see the Cinnamon Bay Factory Ruins yourself? We would love to take you there and to other interesting places! Please visit www.ExploreSTJ.com to learn about our full and half-day island tour offerings.