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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CUBA: HOLIDAY ISLE OF THE TROPICS

Tropic Café: 1901

Tropic Café: 1901

Circa 1901. "Hillside residences, St. Thomas, West Indies." To your left, the promise of REFRESHMENTS. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.

 

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St. Thomas was Danish

What are now the US Virgin Islands belonged to Denmark when this picture was taken. The explains the "Gade" in the name mentioned, since that is Danish for street. The United States bought the islands in 1916 for $25 million in gold coins.

Colorized

From this photoset on Flickr.

Background buildings mostly still there.

1-6 Guttets Gade, St Thomas, Virgin Islands

I used Apple's Maps application, which has 3D modeling of buildings and landforms to figure out where this was based on the two buildings at the top of the hill. The highest is a large villa on top of Berg Hill. The one below it has a distinctive balcony with four arches. Both these buildings, and most of the others in view, are still standing.

The address

It required a little Photoshop and detective work, but I'm pretty sure the address on the sign at the back is "No. 13 Wimmelskaft[s] Gade". Even after processing the highest-res image it was hard to make out, but the first letter was clearly a W. I happen to have a USPS resource with the street names in St. Thomas, and there are only 10 names that start with W, and this one clearly fit the blob.

Regrettably, Google doesn't have a very clear image of the street (nor street numbers), so it's hard to say where this exactly is. Also, USPS has Wimmelskaft, while Google lists it as Wimmelskafts. The blob looks like it might have an "s" at the end, so I suspect that is correct.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/9xwrEddB7MP2

[Now home to Massac's School of Nursing. - Dave]

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