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Trunk Bay: Pretty, & Pretty Interesting

October 22, 2012

There’s more to this pretty bay than meets the eye…  Here’s a little historical background on our most popular beach.

First settled around 700 AD by the Taino tribe, Trunk Bay supported a thriving village for about 2 centuries.  Apparently at that point, circa 900 AD, there was a compelling and urgent reason to leave, as archaeological digs in the area have turned up cooking pots that were abandoned with food still in them (www.seestjohn.com).  The bay was once again a bustling community in the colonial era, when it became a successful sugar estate.  This prosperous period came to an end in the wake of the 1733 slave rebellion on St John, culminating over a century later with the emancipation of the colony’s slaves by the Danish Colonial Governor on July 3rd, 1848.

The next interesting era in Trunk Bay’s history began in the late 1920’s, when Paul Boulon Sr purchased Trunk Bay and the adjoining 100 acres for, get this… $2500.  The Boulon family built a home on the eastern headland of the beach (now known as Windswept Peninsula), and ran a small guesthouse on the beach for the next few decades.  In 1956, the Boulons sold 59 acres of non-beachfront property to Laurance Rockefeller, who would go on to donate that property, along with most of his other St John holdings, to the National Park (St John Historical Society). In 1957, the Boulons sold the beachfront property to the National Park, keeping only the 3 acres on Windswept for the family.

For more interesting information on the Boulon family, Trunk Bay, and other aspects of the history of St John, I strongly suggest you visit The St John Historical Society.

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