Wheel of Fortune is estate 39 in St. Croix’s West End Quarter. The 1799 and 1856 maps indicate a windmill to the east of the road to Frederiksted. Field reconnaissance failed to locate any ruins identifiable as a windmill.
The estate now known as Wheel of Fortune appears to have been settled in the French period under the name la Granderie. By 1750 sugar cultivation in the western portion of the estate, in estate 38, also included an animal mill and other structures. The portion where the windmill may have been built in estate 39 is occupied with a structure without indicating crops cultivated.
The first Beck map printing depicts an animal mill in estate 39 with no sugar machinery in estate 38. The second Beck map printing adds an animal mill in estate 38. Most of the annotated Beck maps and the manuscript copies of the 1760s depict the printed animal mills. However, one of the annotated maps omits the animal mill in estate 38 and another has it scratched out. Similarly, Oxholm’s 1778 map of Frederiksted depicts a single animal mill in the center of the combined estates with other structures surrounding it.
The 1750 map attributes ownership to the Widow Schempen in the west and Hans Nielsen Stang in the east. The annotated Beck map and manuscript copies dated 1766 attribute ownership to John Willet. The 1767 and 1770 maps attribute ownership to Jorgen Hardung of all of the Wheel of Fortune properties. The 1778 Oxholm map attributes ownership to Friederich Hardung’s heirs. The 1790s manuscript copies of Beck attribute ownership of the Wheel of Fortune properties simply to Hardung.
The 1799 Oxholm map includes a windmill in the center of estate 39 to the east of the road to Frederiksted, naming the area Wheel of Fortune. The 1856 Parsons map also only indicates a windmill in a similar location at Wheel of Fortune.
The 1920s topographic map locates structures at Wheel of Fortune in a similar configuration to the 1778 Oxholm map. While a chimney is identified, a windmill is not. The 1958 and 1982 topographic maps indicate ruins but none suggesting a windmill at Wheel of Fortune. Field reconnaissance found no evidence of a windmill.
As the McGuire geographic dictionary of the Virgin Islands (p. 198) describes, sugar cane was still cultivated here in the 1920s. The estate village was 1,500 yards east of the Frederiksted waterfront.