Visiting a former plantation, which for a long part of its history was worked by enslave labour, is a bit of an odd activity while on vacation. Being confronted by the history of modern slavery doesn’t exactly scream “fun tourist attraction!” but nevertheless I ended up among a tour group visiting the Estate Whim Museum on a sunny Saturday morning this February.
The grounds are vast.
The buildings are sparse.
Fruit trees dot the property.
We are guided carefully through the house and then free to wander the grounds.
Some of the signage is missing.
Not much is original to the estate.
Even the Great House is not that great.
Somehow this lends to the beauty and tranquility of the estate.
And that’s the thing, even with all my thoughts about the former residents of the estate, I could not deny that it was beautiful and a nice way to spend an hour while visiting St. Croix.
The Great House of Estate Whim
The Great House has three rooms
The furniture from the front room and the middle room has been swapped to accommodate concerts held in the larger front room. We were lucky enough to tour the house when a professional musician was practicing on the piano. It’s the best background music I’ve ever heard during a guided tour.
Our tour guide pointed out interesting items inside the house
The Great House was originally constructed and expanded in the 18th century and the pieces are of-the-period, or earlier, but are not original to the estate.
The exterior of the Great House and nearby buildings
The buildings surrounding the Great House are filled with exhibits illustrating life on the estate.
Sugar Cane Processing Mills
Little remains of the original sugar factory but various processing mills have been added to show the different ways sugar was processed. (The animal mill is a replica.)
The Grounds at Estate Whim
Two Views: From the Great House, From the Watch House
Estate Whim, St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands