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Jost Van Dyke

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At roughly 8 square kilometers, or about 3 square miles, Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the four main islands of the British Virgin Islands, the northern portion of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Jost Van Dyke lies about 8 km to the northwest of Tortola and 8 km to the north of Saint John. Little Jost Van Dyke lies off its eastern end.Like many of the neighboring islands, it is volcanic in origin and mountainous. The highest point on the island is Majohnny Hill at 321 meters (1054 ft).HistoryDespite rumours that the island's name comes from that of a 17th-century Dutch privateer, Joost van Dyk, who used its harbours as a hideout, there is no factual evidence supporting this claim. Just who Jost Van Dyke's namesake is remains a mystery. John C. Lettsome (of Little Jost Van Dyke), founder of the Medical Society of London is Jost Van Dyke's most noteworthy resident.Although the English captured the BVI in 1672, it seems that Jost Van Dyke was mostly ignored until the mid-18th century. A map drawn of the BVI in 1717 by Captain John Walton does not depict either Jost Van Dyke or Little Jost Van Dyke.The remains of a sugar works on the ridge above Great Harbour provide archaeological evidence that some sugar cane was under cultivation and processed, though probably not in any great quantity.
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