History of Water Island
As far as we can tell the Taino Indians were the first to inhabit the island. They were fierce enemies of the Carib Tribes that surrounded Water Island. The Taino had on the island what others wanted, fresh water ponds.
So popular was the island, years later pirates frequented the island as a quick stop for fresh water.
Again in the 18th and 19th century Water Island was owned by several free blacks and mulattoes who farmed on cotton plantations and raised healthy livestock. In 1905 the land was sold to the Danes and for some reason was not a part of the 1917 sale to the United States. Water Island was not a part of the original islands secured by the United States in 1917 and no one knows why.
The US did purchase the land at the end of World War II 1944 in hopes of building a submarine base and many outer buildings which were later turned into guest homes and even a hotel. The hotel was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo. Ownership of Water Island was transferred from the Federal Government to the Territorial Government in 1996. The US recently decided to develop the Island. To learn more about Water Island click here!