Cotton Valley is estate 11 in St. Croix’s East End B Quarter. Cotton Valley was involved in both cotton and sugar production. Sugar production here likely started after 1794. This windmill tower in very good condition and is the easternmost windmill for crushing sugar cane built on St. Croix. The date 1827 inscriped on the keystone for the main entrance suggests this construction date.
Estate Cotton Valley had sugar production arise after 1794, not atypical for an estate on the far East End. Like the entire eastern one third of St. Croix, no habitation is shown during the French period. The plantation is in cotton production by 1750, with ownership attributed to Jan Williams. Through the variations of the Beck maps, Jan Williams is attributed as the owner of the east half of the estate, with Jacob Dans owner of the west half on some of the maps. The early 1790s maps attribute ownership to Ed Shaw. Oxholm’s 1794 map indicates a cotton plantation in estate 11, calling it the grove. Parsons depicts a windmill in 1856 at elevation 245 feet with a complex of structures to the south, down the hill.
These structures appear on the 1921 USGS topographic map, with only the windmill on the 1982 photo-revision. On each of the USGS topographic maps, the base of the mill is placed at over 240 feet elevation and the top of the mill at 286 feet elevation, indicating a mill tower height of approximately 40 feet. As the McGuire description below shows, the estate still had cotton and sugar cane growing in the 1860s and this had changed to more common bush found in the area by the turn of the century.