Broadway's musical blockbuster "Hamilton" continues to play to packed houses in New York, and its touring company does the same in other U.S. cities. And that buzz, albeit at a much lower volume, can also be felt in Nevis, where the statesman Alexander Hamilton was born, and in St. Croix, where he spent some of his formative years.
Although neither island will get rich off the proceeds from museum admission fees or guided walking tours incorporating sites where Hamilton lived and worked, the historical angle offers a different twist on a typical Caribbean getaway.
In Nevis, the modest Museum of Nevis History/Alexander Hamilton Birthplace has attracted many visitors since the show opened in August 2015.
Although a museum representative could not give specific attendance figures, she reported a greater number of cruise passengers, daytrippers from St. Kitts and guests on Nevis streaming in each weekday.
"I am always running out of postcards of Hamilton's birthplace," she said.
The $5 admission fee grants access to a small room with displays telling the story of Hamilton's days on Nevis he spent his early years there before heading to St. Croix in 1765 and his contributions as a founding father, statesman and the first U.S. treasury secretary.
Beyond the museum courtyard is a small, wooden house where Hamilton is said to have been born in 1755, although there is some debate about that; while some historians cite this house as his birthplace, others believe it occurred at another house nearby that no longer stands.
The small, wooden house behind the Museum of Nevis History is believed to be the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton. Photo Credit: Gay Nagle Myers
Several hotels on Nevis are capitalizing on the Hamilton craze with packages focused on the native son. The Four Seasons, for example, has a Hamilton package that includes a museum visit and dinner with a storyteller who shares stories about Hamilton's early days on the island.
On St. Croix, a guided, three-hour walking tour offered twice weekly by Crucian Nature and Heritage Tourism takes visitors to the places in Christiansted where Hamilton lived and worked.
In addition, two Crucians have created a self-guided geocache tour retracing the roots of Hamilton through six Christiansted landmarks, using GPS-enabled devices and a specific set of GPS coordinates.
Both tours have generated considerable interest, according to Jennie Ogden, editor of GoToStCroix.com, an online vacation guide for the island.