The coconut palms lining North Shore Road as you pass by Big Maho Bay have always been my favorite. And the closeness of the road to the beach and sea always tempts me to slow down to take in the view. I recently finished reading a local history book, The Night of the Silent Drums, by John L. Andersen, detailing the history of St. John and the slave rebellion that occurred here in the 1700’s. In it I learned that the plantation at Big Maho Bay planted and harvested the coconut palms that you see there today! My hope is the VI National Park will work on sharing the history of that area now that it is part of the park. You can still literally walk through much of St. John’s history since development has been limited. It is not necessary to visit only the ruins to see the history of St. John. It can be seen everywhere once you learn about the island’s past. If you want to walk through the coconut palms, I recommend bring a hard had since the coconuts do not give warnings before falling from the trees!
The Night of the Silent Drums is out of print, so if you want to read it you have to find an old copy. Thankfully, locals and visitors have traded in old copies to the Coffeeshop / Used Bookstore called Papaya Cafe at the Marketplace. I don’t know if they ship or not, but the book run about $40 or so, many hardback editions. You may also find a copy online. A great island read if you are visiting St. John!