Learn about the journey of valuable sugar cane, which was weighed here at this traditional colonial station before being shipped to buyers all over the world.
The Scale House building played a significant role in St. Croix’s historic trading industry. It was here, behind the quaint yellow façade, that much of the sugar produced on the island was taken to be weighed before being shipped to Europe. View original measuring scales and step inside the office where the weigh master would have worked.
Built between 1855 and 1856, this two-story house is coated in the same bright yellow as many other colonial structures in Christiansted. Make your way inside through the arched entrance and take a close look at the heavy-duty scales. These were primarily used to weigh sugar cane that had just come from the plantations. From here, the sugar would be logged, packaged and put onto ships as cargo.
The scales also had a role to play in weighing other exports, such as rum, as well as goods that were imported to the island from abroad. Examine the scales closely and try to picture the huge loads this sturdy piece of equipment would once have held. After merchants visited the Scale House, they would usually move on to the nearby Customs House where they would pay their taxes.
Ask the staff to point you to the room that was originally used as the weigh master’s office. This room has been much altered since then. Try to imagine how it may have looked when the weigh master sat here pondering important decisions, which could have had a massive impact on the value of Caribbean sugar across the planet.
Read about St. Croix in the small information center. Find out more about the process of harvesting sugar cane and the preparations that had to be made to transport it over vast distances.
The Scale House is near the waterfront not far from Fort Christiansvaern. The building is open daily with the exception of major public holidays. No entrance fee is required.