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town on the west coast of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Christiansted. Historically, the town was a mercantile centre for the sugar-based economy of St. Croix because of its deep-sea port and warehouse facilities. Innovations in cargo handling, the termination of the sugar industry, and the improvement of facilities at Christiansted in the 1960s and '70s led to the town's economic decline. Since the deepwater roadstead harbour was Frederiksted's only natural resource capable of reversing the trend, major improvements to the pier were initiated in the late 1970s, and tourist facilities were developed. The town's Victorian architecture dates from its reconstruction after a fire in 1878. Two miles away is one of the island's great showplaces, Whim Greathouse, restored to depict the life of the sugar planters at their peak. Pop. (2000) 3,767.