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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 8, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTHE FACTS ABOUT CARAMBOLA

THE FACTS ABOUT CARAMBOLA

For the past few months, the issue of the Carambola property has been in the news. Many people approached me to find out my opinion about Mr. Jeffrey Prosser purchasing of the Carambola property. First of all, the name Carambola is misleading to the Virgin Islands public. Carambola is just the name given to the golf course area in the early 1980's by the developers who purchased a little over 4000 acres of St. Croix northwest land sometime in 1983 from the Rockefeller family.
In 1990, I stated in the Virgin Islands Daily News, "an outside developer tried to purchase Fountain Valley on St. Croix, which was really 17 estates including such estates as Sweet Bottom, Annaly, Mount Stewart, Ross Hill and so on. It was some four thousand acres of primarily agricultural land including forest lands, steep slopes, mountains, rich fertile soils, flood plains and beach fronts. This area was also known for slave revolts, which made the area sentimental to Virgin Islanders beside the natural beauty of the land."
I further stated, "Today, this area is owned by Carambola Beach Resort Real Estate Sales. Some people then and now believe that the Virgin Islands government and some of our senators sold their birthrights when Fountain Valley was purchased by an outside developer." For those who wanted to know why I did not uttered a word about the so- called Carambola property from the beginning when Mr. Jeffrey Prosser made his interest publicly known about purchasing the property, was because of time. I was personally involved from 1983 to educate the public that the northwest should be owned by the people of the Virgin Islands.
My protest and others in the early 1980's fell on deaf ears. In fact, the Rockefeller family, as I was told, offered the property to the Virgin Islands government before it was advertised on the market for sale. I love my government, but somehow this government has poor eyesight for the future of the people of these islands. Today, here we are talking about the same property that was offered to the government many years ago. Nonetheless, let us get back to the name Carambola. If you ask an old Cruzan where is Fountain Valley Estate located, he/she can tell you.
On the same note, if you ask an old Cruzan where is Carambola located, he/she has no idea what you are talking about. Too often we are easily being mislead when we do not know our history. You see if we know our history collectively, we would not have been mislead, when somebody wants to sell us a six for a nine. History is always the key I believe for opening up the doors of the future. As a people, we will continue to be misled as long as we don't question things, and as long as we take things sitting down.
The 2,800 acres is not Carambola. The Carambola property falls within the Fountain Valley Estate. Carambola is a small section of the 2,800 acres which included other northwest side estates, the remaining of the 4000 acres Jake Jacobus purchased in 1983. That is why I mentioned earlier if we know our history, then you would understand why the northwest of St. Croix should mean a lot to the people of these islands, particular Cruzans. This 2,800 acres is extremely historical, cultural, and environmentally sensitive.

To me, it is interesting that the Rockefeller sold the 4,000 acres to Jake Jacobus for 10 million dollars. Whereas, they donated land in St. John to the people of the Virgin Islands, thus creating the Virgin Islands National Park System. Laurance S. Rockefeller, for the 40thanniversary of the Virgin Islands National Park stated: "The Park is one of the crown jewels of the National Park System, and for four decades it has provided millions of visitors an extraordinary environmental and recreational experience under the American flag in the Caribbean setting. Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. and I have been proud to have a part in the creation of this great resource."
In 1955, Laurance S. Rockefeller mentioned in a letter to John Schofield, "I grew up with a family tradition of conservation . . . the possibility of setting a part of St. John aside for future generations first came up in 1939. With World War II the plan was shelved. Then a couple of years ago one of my islands neighbors, Frank Stick, sent me a copy of the original proposal and suggested that the idea be revived. We had never met, but I agreed that we should get together and discuss the possibility. To my complete surprise, Stick rounded up signed options on about half the land we needed. We've spent about one million on the land and expect to spend as much more to complete the Job."
This tradition of conservation with the Rockefeller family began in 1886 with John D Rockefeller Jr. who visited Yellowstone National Park as a little boy. To make a long story short, the Rockefeller family gave millions of dollars over the years to parks in our nation as well as the Virgin Islands National Park. We cannot thank the Rockefeller family enough for their foresight and wisdom for establishing the park on St. John. I always wonder in the back of my mind, "why the Rockefeller family didn't donated the 4000 acres or some of the lands to become a park as it was done on St. John in 1956 for the people of the Virgin Islands."
I don't have the answer. Anyway, Mr. Jacobus was discouraged in the early 1980's about purchasing the 4000 acres of northwest property on St. Croix. This due to few people who opposed the ideal of an outside developer owned all that primary agricultural land on the north side of the island. Well, the former Gov. Juan F. Luis called a special session and Mr. Jacobus got the 4000 acres rezoned from agriculture to other uses.
Mr. Jake Jacobus or the company he represented made an agreement to preserve land on the north side when they went in front of the zoning board. "The approval conferred by section 2 of this act is expressly subject to the condition that Delray Land Inc., its successors and assigns, shall establish "open space" in an amount not less than 50% of the total acres consisting of 4140 acres, more or less more particularly described in Table 7 of the "Zoning Amendment Application" filed by Delray Land Inc. and approved by the Virgin Island Planning Office on October 27, 1983, in the "Report on Proposed Amendment to Official Zoning Map no. SCZ 4 &5 of which not less than 1,000 acres shall be dedicated to a perpetual scenic and preservation easement."
Keep in mind, this is some of the land Mr. Prosser is talking about purchasing. We will talk next week on the issue of the so-called Carambola property.

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For the past few months, the issue of the Carambola property has been in the news. Many people approached me to find out my opinion about Mr. Jeffrey Prosser purchasing of the Carambola property. First of all, the name Carambola is misleading to the Virgin Islands public. Carambola is just the name given to the golf course area in the early 1980's by the developers who purchased a little over 4000 acres of St. Croix northwest land sometime in 1983 from the Rockefeller family.
In 1990, I stated in the Virgin Islands Daily News, "an outside developer tried to purchase Fountain Valley on St. Croix, which was really 17 estates including such estates as Sweet Bottom, Annaly, Mount Stewart, Ross Hill and so on. It was some four thousand acres of primarily agricultural land including forest lands, steep slopes, mountains, rich fertile soils, flood plains and beach fronts. This area was also known for slave revolts, which made the area sentimental to Virgin Islanders beside the natural beauty of the land."
I further stated, "Today, this area is owned by Carambola Beach Resort Real Estate Sales. Some people then and now believe that the Virgin Islands government and some of our senators sold their birthrights when Fountain Valley was purchased by an outside developer." For those who wanted to know why I did not uttered a word about the so- called Carambola property from the beginning when Mr. Jeffrey Prosser made his interest publicly known about purchasing the property, was because of time. I was personally involved from 1983 to educate the public that the northwest should be owned by the people of the Virgin Islands.
My protest and others in the early 1980's fell on deaf ears. In fact, the Rockefeller family, as I was told, offered the property to the Virgin Islands government before it was advertised on the market for sale. I love my government, but somehow this government has poor eyesight for the future of the people of these islands. Today, here we are talking about the same property that was offered to the government many years ago. Nonetheless, let us get back to the name Carambola. If you ask an old Cruzan where is Fountain Valley Estate located, he/she can tell you.
On the same note, if you ask an old Cruzan where is Carambola located, he/she has no idea what you are talking about. Too often we are easily being mislead when we do not know our history. You see if we know our history collectively, we would not have been mislead, when somebody wants to sell us a six for a nine. History is always the key I believe for opening up the doors of the future. As a people, we will continue to be misled as long as we don't question things, and as long as we take things sitting down.
The 2,800 acres is not Carambola. The Carambola property falls within the Fountain Valley Estate. Carambola is a small section of the 2,800 acres which included other northwest side estates, the remaining of the 4000 acres Jake Jacobus purchased in 1983. That is why I mentioned earlier if we know our history, then you would understand why the northwest of St. Croix should mean a lot to the people of these islands, particular Cruzans. This 2,800 acres is extremely historical, cultural, and environmentally sensitive.

To me, it is interesting that the Rockefeller sold the 4,000 acres to Jake Jacobus for 10 million dollars. Whereas, they donated land in St. John to the people of the Virgin Islands, thus creating the Virgin Islands National Park System. Laurance S. Rockefeller, for the 40thanniversary of the Virgin Islands National Park stated: "The Park is one of the crown jewels of the National Park System, and for four decades it has provided millions of visitors an extraordinary environmental and recreational experience under the American flag in the Caribbean setting. Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. and I have been proud to have a part in the creation of this great resource."
In 1955, Laurance S. Rockefeller mentioned in a letter to John Schofield, "I grew up with a family tradition of conservation . . . the possibility of setting a part of St. John aside for future generations first came up in 1939. With World War II the plan was shelved. Then a couple of years ago one of my islands neighbors, Frank Stick, sent me a copy of the original proposal and suggested that the idea be revived. We had never met, but I agreed that we should get together and discuss the possibility. To my complete surprise, Stick rounded up signed options on about half the land we needed. We've spent about one million on the land and expect to spend as much more to complete the Job."
This tradition of conservation with the Rockefeller family began in 1886 with John D Rockefeller Jr. who visited Yellowstone National Park as a little boy. To make a long story short, the Rockefeller family gave millions of dollars over the years to parks in our nation as well as the Virgin Islands National Park. We cannot thank the Rockefeller family enough for their foresight and wisdom for establishing the park on St. John. I always wonder in the back of my mind, "why the Rockefeller family didn't donated the 4000 acres or some of the lands to become a park as it was done on St. John in 1956 for the people of the Virgin Islands."
I don't have the answer. Anyway, Mr. Jacobus was discouraged in the early 1980's about purchasing the 4000 acres of northwest property on St. Croix. This due to few people who opposed the ideal of an outside developer owned all that primary agricultural land on the north side of the island. Well, the former Gov. Juan F. Luis called a special session and Mr. Jacobus got the 4000 acres rezoned from agriculture to other uses.
Mr. Jake Jacobus or the company he represented made an agreement to preserve land on the north side when they went in front of the zoning board. "The approval conferred by section 2 of this act is expressly subject to the condition that Delray Land Inc., its successors and assigns, shall establish "open space" in an amount not less than 50% of the total acres consisting of 4140 acres, more or less more particularly described in Table 7 of the "Zoning Amendment Application" filed by Delray Land Inc. and approved by the Virgin Island Planning Office on October 27, 1983, in the "Report on Proposed Amendment to Official Zoning Map no. SCZ 4 &5 of which not less than 1,000 acres shall be dedicated to a perpetual scenic and preservation easement."
Keep in mind, this is some of the land Mr. Prosser is talking about purchasing. We will talk next week on the issue of the so-called Carambola property.