- The Virgin Islands Best Guide
Elaine Ione Sprauve Public Library is located just outside of Cruz Bay. In addition to books, the library’s collection includes interesting old photographs of St. John, newspaper clippings and paintings. The library is housed in the restored Enighed Estate House (pronounced en-nee-high). Visiting the library is a wonderful opportunity to explore one of the first substantial buildings of its kind on St. John. The plantation greathouse dates to 1757. The earliest recorded owner was the Wood family. A gravestone located in the family cemetery next to the greathouse/library indicates that a William Wood died on the plantation estate on April 9, 1751. The estate and house change hands multiple times over the century. In the early 1900’s a fire destroyed the greathouse. The burnt out shell, a shadow of its former beauty, would remain in this ruins for decades. On July 1, 1976 the site was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places; and by 1977 there was discussion of restoration. In 1980, with the restoration complete, the Enighed Estate House was renamed the Elaine Ione Sprauve Library and Museum of Cultural Arts – in honor of Sprauve’s service to the government and contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands. Today the facility no longer includes the Museum of Cultural Arts. The Elaine I. Sprauve Public Library is operated by the Virgin Islands Division of Libraries, Archives and Museum. The library is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 1pm, and 2pm to 5pm (they are close between 1pm and 2pm). For more information call: (340) 776-6359.
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