Shopping Saturday – A.C. BOUGH STORES

My great-grandfather August Curtis Bough was one of the islands greatest merchants on St. Croix. When I settled on St. Croix in the mid 70’s, saw his name boldly posted (AC Bough Stores) on one of the buildings in the town of Christiansted; I made a subconscious commitment to know more about my family history. It would be two decades later when genealogy would take hold of my life.

August Curtis Bough was a popular and respected citizen who owned several establishments in the town of Christiansted dealing in dry goods, hardware, provisions, wholesale, retail and commission. His sons including my grandfather Julius Curtis Bough and many of the vendors went about the town and country selling his goods. The height of his business career may have been the best days of the island. He often talked about the money he made while sending his money to the bank in kerosene tins!!!

While visiting Estate Whim Museum looking through their collection of historic photos, seeing a picture of AC Bough store was pure excitement as well as discovering that he experimented with making and distributing soda pop.

A.C. Bough's Store Photographer  C.E. Taylor circa 1899
A.C. Bough’s Store
Photographer C.E. Taylor
circa 1899

It was particularly disturbing to learn from family members that his establishment was burglarized, but perhaps this was the turning point in his life, when he decided to enter into the ministry with the same zeal he had for his merchandising.

A.C. Bough was a proud and remarkable man who worked very hard for his family and community.

By shelley dewese

As I continue to search out my history, I am discovering how much I did not know. The more information that is disclosed about my ancestry, the more I learn and understand how I am the person that has evolved today. As a native New Yorker, with roots in Coastal Georgia and deep roots in the Danish West Indies, now the Virgin Islands of the United States or commonly referred to as the United States Virgin Islands, I have always had a yearning to return to my maternal homeland. In September of 1976, my family and I relocated back to St. Croix. While living in New York, I was always telling my friends about my trip back home, but here I was actually waking up every day, walking among the streets and people that I have identified myself with all of my life. At the time, I was not involved in any genealogical work, but I knew there was a missing link that became completed after I was offered the opportunity to transfer Danish documents into a database. That opened up my world and I realize that this was my niche. I now had the tools to explore and document my ancestry. Growing up, my mother always impressed upon her children the pride in being a “Bough”, which was her surname. Now I was able to track where that pride came from, through participating in family history projects and meeting new family, as we gathered together for the Bough Family Reunion on St. Croix in July of 2012. As I continued to research, I found my passion extending to photography. Sunsets and street art are my favorite features, as shown in my tumblr blog http://minkyadoo.tumblr.com/ I also began blogging, and found that it has help me to improve my writing skills. Through the comments and well wishes, I have been encouraged to continue to write the stories and events of my life. Whether or not your roots trace back to the Danish West Indies, you will find a beautiful tapestry of life that reflects our “baseball and apple pie”. This site affords you the chance to transform yourself to a time during the Danish period (1734-1917) where life was both simple and complex. If you have any questions, comments, or need assistance in searching for a Danish West Indies ancestor, I invite you to drop me an email.

4 comments

  1. Shelley, I can certainly understand the motivation behind you wanting to know more about your family and especially about your great-grandfather, A. C. Bough! WOW! What an amazing ancestor you have in your family tree. You mention that he went into the ministry . . . I am looking forward to hearing more about that are of his life as well. Is this your paternal or maternal great-grandfather? Thanks for sharing him with us and it’s mighty good to see you blogging again too!

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: