Seven Arches Museum
Tucked along a narrow alley next to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Government Hill is the Seven Arches Museum (Knud Hansen Alley, 340/774-9295, www.sevenarchesmuseum.com, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat.–Sun. noon–4 p.m., $7), a historic home open for public tours.
First surveyed in 1805, early structures on this spot were destroyed by hurricanes in the first half of the 19th century. Italian Andre Bonelli constructed the present building in 1857 as a gift to his daughter, Annette Margareth. A number of prominent black St. Thomas families owned the house over the next decades, including the Corneiro family.
Seven Arches Museum proprietors Barbara Demaras and Philibert Fluck bought the building in 1993 and opened it to the public for tours. It is also their home, and when you go you will be greeted by the couple’s friendly family of dogs and cats. The Seven Arches Museum is furnished with antique West Indian mahogany furniture.
Together with the historical construction of the home itself, the furnishings and decor are the main attraction. Recent archaeological work at the site has suggested that part of it was once a communal cooking area for the free black community of Charlotte Amalie.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition