This 36 square mile island enjoys an unspoilt, sophisticated beauty, which is second to none in the Caribbean. The majestic Nevis Peak located in the centre of the island rises to 3,232 feet. More often than not, the peak is covered in cloud. This is actually how Nevis got it’s name. The cloud covered peak reminded sailors of a snow capped mountain, so the island was called Santa Maria de las Nieves, “Nieves” in Spanish meaning “snow”.
Nevis is an island rich in history. For example:
• Did you know that Alexander Hamilton, the First Secretary of the US Treasury, and one of the framers of the US Constitution, was born in Nevis on January 11, 1757? The place where he was born now houses the Museum of Nevis History and the Nevis House of Assembly. The face of Alexander Hamilton appears on the US$10 bill.
• Did you know that the Bath Hotel in Nevis was built in 1778, and was the first resort hotel in the Caribbean? The water from the Bath Springs (located on the grounds of the hotel) is naturally heated to 107˚F by hot volcanic magma along a fault line running beneath the spring. The mineral content and temperature have remained consistent since it was first discovered and analyzed over 200 years ago. A bath in these waters is known to have curative powers.
• Did you know that Lord Horatio Nelson, the great British Navel Admiral, whose statue stands in Trafalgar Square in London, came to Nevis in 1786 as captain of HMS Boreas, and married a local young widow, Frances Nisbet, at Montpelier Plantation in March 1787? Frances Nisbet’s family estate is now the famous Nisbet Plantation Resort hotel located in the north of the island.
The spring which Lord Nelson used to water his ships is now known as Nelson Springs. The spring water is now being commercially bottled and used to provide good tasting drinking water on Nevis.
• Did you know that Cottle Church in Nevis was the first Anglican Church in the Caribbean built for all people, regardless of colour? The church was built in 1824 by Nevisian plantation owner Thomas Cottle where his family, and the family of his slaves could worship together.
• Did you know that a thriving Jewish community made up one quarter of the population of Charlestown in the 1720’s? At that time, the Jews were suffering religious persecution in Brazil, so many fled to the Caribbean, and became planters in the sugar industry. A synagogue was constructed around 1688 and there is a Jewish cemetery in Charlestown. As is the Jewish custom, all the graves face east/west, and little stones are placed on the graves to let the spirits know that you were there. The oldest grave dates back to 1679.