Chatting With Dr Leonard Richardson

Main Street: The Stores and Their Proprietors, Part Three



We continue our virtual stroll down the middle section of Main Street, also known by its Danish name, Dronningens Gade. First, a brief history Saint Thomas and its harbor, particularly because it is in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie: After St. Thomas became a free port, it experienced palmy days during the second half of the 18th century as a regional shipping center. A significant amount of exchange of goods took place via the large merchant houses along Dronningens Gade. St. Thomas Harbor became one of the most important commercial ports in the West Indies of the 1800s. The traffic in the harbor was extensive because of its good situation and fine facilities. It was popular among merchants and trading companies for its excellent facilities: the West Indies’ largest floating dock, good machine shops, clear channel marking, and inexpensive harbor fees.  But it was also notorious for 2 problems: hurricanes and diseases, particularly yellow fever and cholera. In the 1800s, an average of 2,000-3,000 shi