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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsPhoto Focus: Ram Head Dedication Expands the Fortsberg History Trail

Photo Focus: Ram Head Dedication Expands the Fortsberg History Trail

About 40 hearty souls braved moody skies and a rocky climb to watch history unfold Sunday on St. John. They came to witness the unveiling of a historic plaque designating Ram Head overlook as a part of the Fortsberg history trail.

Hearty souls ready to hit the trail. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

The hike began at Salt Pond Beach along Route 107, leading down to a rocky shoreline, then up… up… up… to the top of a hilly trail nine-tenths of a mile away.

A directional sign to Ram Head from Salt Pond Beach. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

National Park Service Interpreter Ahmad Toure welcomed those who gathered at the top around noon. He told them that one of his first duties after arriving on St. John was planting the sign at the top of Ram Head. “Too often, events like this — too often our enslaved people — are talked about in a diminishing manner about the things they have accomplished and did accomplish that allow us who have descended from them to be here today,” Toure said.

National Park Interpreter Ahmad Toure unveils the historic plaque on Sunday. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

Among those embracing the moment was Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett. As the sponsor of HR 7496, the delegate helped win Ram Head recognition as part of world history. St. John Administrator Shikima Jones-Sprauve, Senator-At-Large Angel Bolques Jr., and V.I. National Park Acting Superintendent Scott Simmons and former St. John administrator Leona Smith also joined the trek to the top.

V.I. Delegate Stacey Plaskett sponsored HR 7496, declaring Ram Head a historic site. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

So did about 20 members of the Ivanna Kean High School Devil Rays, many of them members of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Devil Rays witness history. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

They were rewarded with views of the Caribbean Sea on the way down, close-up views of rocky cliffs and barrel cactus — both beautiful and intimidating along narrow stretches.

Southern view of Ram Head (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

Left behind for the world to see, a tale 290 years in the making, and the sharing of the Akwamu people’s freedom fight story on St. John approaching its 40th observance in November.

Left behind for all to see, a tale of St. John history. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

And a twist of fate along the way, as volunteers from St. John Rescue were on hand to aid a visitor at Salt Pond Beach who suffered a medical emergency on Sunday morning.

Emergency services in action at Salt Pond Beach. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

One of the volunteers said they were asked to be in the area in case of emergency during the hike and plaque dedication. A park ranger raced up the trail to alert security on hand as part of the event, who in turn called Fire and Emergency Medical Services in Coral Bay.

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