CHRISTIANSTED – The National Park Service, Salt River Bay NHP & EP and NPS Historic Preservation Training Center Masonry Team will undertake the stabilization and restoration of the 18th/19th century Danish Well Tower located on the west side of Sugar Bay beginning February-March 2018. The tower was likely a water pumping mill used to funnel water through a channel for historic crops such as sugar cane or indigo. This tower is located on lands that were in cultivation as part of Estate Morningstar, 1750. The tower is constructed of stone masonry and coral block. The tower is approximately 16 feet in diameter and estimated to be over 40 feet high. The base of the tower has
two arched entrances and the interior is open to the sky. This structure is one of only a handful of surviving well towers in the Virgin Islands and is a significant resource for St. Croix.

The tower has become structurally unstable due to the intrusion of surrounding vegetation, repeated wind storm events beginning with Hurricane Omar (2008), and most recently, severe flooding from Hurricane Maria (2017). Phase I of this project will undertake site clearing and clean-up of extensive hurricane debris in preparation to install drainage mitigation and bank stabilization, which will provide protection to the tower base and structure during severe storm flooding. In Phase II, the team will remove vegetation and undertake masonry inspections and repairs to the tower, replace missing stones, and place mortar caps on all skyward surfaces.

NPS will restore the forest landscape surrounding the Well Tower with native trees. A visitor parking/pull off area will also be installed, on the east side of the road. A short trail and educational waysides will guide visitors along a gravel foot path to the tower, which will provide several views
of the tower and the surrounding forest.

During Well Tower construction the area will be closed for visitation. We ask our visiting public to
keep a safe distance from tower and surrounding area. Please stay outside of the orange construction fencing and all posted areas. We look forward to the completion of this long-awaited project and sharing this industrial archeological treasure and its story with our visitors.

The National Park Service thanks all of our community members and friends for 26 years of support for
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

Official Press Release: