Saba's Harry Luke Johnson Museum is appropriately located in an original Saban cottage in Windwardside. It stands in the middle of a beautiful romantic garden in landscape style, which is used as a public park for picnics, in the past also for Sunday croquet games, and Easter egg hunts.
Harry Luke Johnson (1914-1972) was a police officer and amateur artist, very interested in preserving Saba's heritage. He began Saba's first museum in 1970, when he bought a Windwardside cottage after the death of owner Ester Peterson at 103.
There, he put his personal collection on public exhibit along with his own paintings. When he died in 1972, he requested that then Commissioner Will Johnson (no relation) continue the preservation of Saba's heritage in a larger setting.
Commissioner Johnson contacted a Dutch museum curator from Gouda, who proposed that the museum should have a special theme.
Johnson suggested the island's involvement with the sea, since Saba is famous for its captains and had a navigation school in The Bottom from 1909-1922. The perfect solution was soon found in a Saban cottage built around 1840 by sea Captain Josiah Peterson.
The last Saban owners were Allen and Elsie Peterson who had nine children. Allen is buried on the property along with a daughter who died in infancy and two other family members.
In the 1970s, the property was purchased from its American owners, with the understanding it was to be turned into Saba's first official museum.