Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Gifft Hill

For this, my fourth year doing the challenge, I've decided to share place names from the Virgin Islands. For such a small spot in the ocean, it seems like every rock, cove, hill and house has been christened. The names are a unique mix of Spanish, Danish, French, Dutch, English, and African to name a few.

Gifft Hill, St. John

I've written about Gifft Hill alot. You can take your pick HERE.

We Denhams were the first white people to live up at Gifft Hill and there is no question it was our favorite place. It didn't matter that it was a shack without running water and electricity, that there were holes in the floor, or that yellow mushrooms sprouted from the walls around Christmas, there was something magical and wonderful about the place.

Our first visit.

Me, at around six with our dog, Happy.

My sister Erva, at ten or eleven. It looks like we were destitute, but we weren't. You can see behind her a stone cistern my father was building, something we all had a hand in making.

Happy, my mother and me, (still around six year old) in her rock garden. The 55 gallon drums contain gasoline and kerosene. The large tree in the background to the right was where my father hung a swing on my 10th birthday

This is where we took our baths. The cistern is near completion.

Having to sell the property and move to St. Thomas was a heartache for all of us.Here is my father's cistern as it looks today. 

And this is the view I had from my swing, sans houses and roads.

Other G Names:
Great Cruz Bay, St. John
Genti Bay, St. John
Green Cay off St. Croix is a National Wildlife Refuge
Grass Cay is between St. Thomas and St. John
Gorret Rock is off the north side of St. Thomas
Grouper Point is on the east end of Thatch Cay

Gibney Beach, St. John. Part of Hawksnest Bay

Government House on Government Hill, St. Thomas, built between 1865 and 1867.

The Grand Hotel, St. Thomas
 Built between 1839-40, The Grand was a favorite watering-hole for many locals. It had a ball room and lovely upstairs terrace overlooking Emancipation Gardens (to the right in this picture) where one could get THE BEST hamburger, fries and soda or tea, for $1.00. Now it is shops and offices.

Government House, St. Croix, was build built around 1830 and housed the government until 1871 when it was moved to St. Thomas. However the building continued to be used for governmental purposes. Today the buildings host special governmental cultural and social events.

 The ballroom inside Government House.


  1. What a Gift growing up in such a place. I have fond memories of our original beach house with the holes in the floor and the no running water, and the 3-party telephone line. Fun stuff back then.

  2. Wow, what a view!

    Cute you named your dog Happy. My first cat was named Happy, too.

  3. What a fascinating childhood you must've had. The pictures are lovely.

  4. What a treat looking at all your photos, especially the old ones of your early home and your family. I love that gleaming ballroom. Did you ever dance in it? Wouldn't that a be most extreme time to waltz around that floor.

  5. I'd say you were blessed with the greatest wealth--love of a wonderful family.

  6. Thanks for sharing your memories. What adventures you must have all had in that place as a family.

  7. The buildings are all so grand!
    And you probably lived a life richer than most.

  8. What a beautiful place!

    And Happy is the perfect name for a dog. :-)

  9. What a magical childhood! The Denhams were definitely brave explorers.

  10. I think your childhood was probably much different from most of ours. And it looks like so much fun!

    Those buildings are beautiful.

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  12. Wow beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!
    Shawn at Reading Practice

  13. Looks like you had a wonderful childhood, the pictures are so great.

  14. Beautiful old photos, it looks like a great place to visit one day.

  15. STUNNING!! What a perfect place to grow up. Beautiful photo's!
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  16. Absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to get there some day. Love the old photos, quite fun.

  17. The pictures of your family home are priceless. Best post so far.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!