Elaine I. Sprauve Public Library
(340) 776-6359 Address: PO Box 30 Enighed Estate, St. John VI 00831
Head librarian, Carol McGuinness
 
                     
 
 
The mission of the Elaine I. Sprauve Library is to identify, select, organize, store,access and retrieve, lend, and maintain those resources which encourage and support cultural and recreational resources and materials for the life long learning of our citizens and to contribute to our patrons personal growth and quality of their life.
 
The library is a free non-sectarian public library whose aim is to provide useful and accessible information for all ages. The library subscribes to the ALA Library Bill of Rights.

The Elaine Ione Sprauve Library is connected to the all other public libraries through the Dynix Circulation and Catalogue System. The system can also search holdings in educational libraries, as well as the curriculum center.
Along with the usual library services, the Elaine I. Sprauve Library offers literature discussions, Spanish classes, story hours, craft classes, and a summer program for children. Facilities are available for tutoring.

The community library offers a selection of adult and children's books, as well as newspapers and magazines. An extensive reference collection concentrating on the Caribbean is located in the library.
 
Although no reference material may leave the building, the library welcomes researchers to use materials that may be unavailable elsewhere or out-of-print. The library also serves as a depository for all V.I. Documents.
 
All residents of the Virgin Islands may apply for a library card which can be used in any of the territory's public libraries. The card allows adults to check out five books , while children are allowed three books. Most material can be renewed in person or by phone. Reserves can be placed on books, and every effort will be made to obtain books from within the Territorial Library System for the patron.
 
The building was one of the first substantial buildings of its kind on St. John.  Most early buildings on the island were wooden structures and smaller dwellings. According to a map drawn in 1790 by Peter Oxholm, John Wood was the earliest recorded owner of Enighed Estate. Although no specific documentation exists, it is believed that the Wood family acquired the Estate some time between 1750 and 1757. A gravestone located in the cemetery next to library/museum indicates that William Wood died at Enighed Estate, St. John, on April 9, 1751. The estate remained in the family until 1791 when it was deeded to George Hassel (or Hazzel) and Co. During the time these two families owned the estate it became a major source of sugar production on St. John.

During the 1800's the estate changed owners several times. However it never realized the degree of agriculture success the original two owners enjoyed and by 1899 Judge Jorgensen purchased Enighed from the Danish State for the sum of $270.

After a fire destroyed the buildings at the beginning of the twentieth century, Enighed, a burnt-out ruin, remained uninhabited. In 1918 Captain Alfred White purchased the estate from Judge Jorgensen and began to sell off parcels of land. By 1941 White sold the remaining land and buildings to Alice Maude Nielsen. Three years Later Alice Nielsen sold the property to the Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. The government divested itself of most of the land, but retained ownership of .60 acre on which the old burnt-out ruin remained. The property remained untouched until the 1970's.

On July 1, 1976 the Enighed site was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places. Island Resources Foundation was awarded a contract for historical documentation of the Enighed ruins. A contract was drawn between Design Collaborative, Inc. and the Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs in May of 1977 for the restoration work. At a public forum the community was informed that the building would be too small for the original intended use as a community center. Because a library facility was desperately needed, the building was designated as a combined library and museum.

By June of 1979 building materials had begun to arrive at the site, and by September the exterior of the building had undergone an extraordinary transformation. One year later the entire building was accepted as significantly complete.

On February 7, 1980 The Thirteenth Legislature of the Virgin Islands honored Miss Elaine Ione Sprauve for her service to the government and her outstanding contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands with Act Number 4404, renaming the Enighed Estate House, the Elaine Ione Sprauve Library and Museum of Cultural Arts.

The library is temporarily under renovations with expected completion early 2009.