River is estate 3, 14, & 15 in St. Croix’s Prince’s Quarter. Based on appearances on historic maps, the windmill was likely built in the 1760s. Only one of the three windmills that may have been built here has been found. The one remaining tower had the floor lowered nearly 5 feet and then the windmill put back into operation. The windmill tower is in good condition.
Sugar cultivation arrived relatively early at River, with a depiction in the area on the French map. The 1750 map indicated sugar cultivation and an animal mill in the estate 14 & 15 side. The Beck maps followed suit, with the printed maps depicting an animal mill in estate 14.
The annotated Beck maps mostly convert the animal mill into a windmill by adding sails. However, the 1766 annotated copy added a windmill in estate 15, the location of the windmill ruins found in the field.
The 1799 Oxholm 1799 map shows three windmills at River. One sits atop a hill in estate 15, corresponding with the ruins found in the field. The other two windmills sit on a ridge to the west of the road and stream in estates 14 and 3 and have not been located in the field. Parsons’ 1856 map depicts a windmill on a hill corresponding to estate 15 with no windmills or towers in the area of estates 3 or 14.
All the 20th century topographic maps include ruins identifiable as a windmill in the location where the ruins can be found in the field. The location of the other two windmills has no ruins identified.
The 1750 map and the Beck variants attribute ownership to Johannes de Windt and Abraham Dunker for estates 14 & 15, except the 1767 annotated map that replaces Dunker with Lt. Estatioes. By 1790 ownership transitioned to William & James Newton.
McGuire geographic dictionary of the Virgin Islands (p.158) makes a note of River Mill without much additional description other than overall size and certain ownership aspects.