Black River

St Elizabeth, Jamaica

The historic town of Black River is now a sleepy country town, but in days gone by it was a thriving and active port with ships coming in regularly to drop off and pick up logwood, pimento, cow skins, and other cargo.

Logwood tree trunks ... a major export of the parish ... were floated down the river to the port to be shipped to England for making dyes.

The town also played a major part in the slave trade ... slaves were brought here and sold at auction at the Farquharson Wharf, known then as the "Town Wharf", and which is still standing today.

It is a quaint and historic town, and in 1773 it replaced Lacovia as the capital of St. Elizabeth.

By the early 1900's it was the second most important commercial, economic and transhipment port in Jamaica ... second only to Kingston.

There are many historic buildings in the town ... one of them Waterloo House, located on the High Street, is believed to have been built by the Shakespeare family ... probably related to William Shakespeare, the famous English playwright.

In 1893, John Leyden who then owned Waterloo House, brought the first car and the first electricity generator to Jamaica.

Waterloo house became the first residence, and the town was the first in Jamaica to have a car and electricity.

In 1999 on April 8th the Jamaica National Heritage Trust designated the town as a Protected National Heritage District.

I have no hesitation in recommending a visit to this quaint, historic, fascinating and friendly town, which I used to visit every week with my Dad when he used to bring pimento to the wharf for shipment, and the occasional visit to Doctor Johnson, who unlike today's doctors mixed all his medicines in his own dispensary.

As kids we used to love stopping at the now derelict Black River Spa for a swim.

Places to Stay

Waterloo Guest House
Caters for families.
Tel: + 876 965 2278


What To Do and See the Area

Black River Safari

Golf at the delghtful 9 hole Manchester Club in Mandeville

Treasure Beach

YS Falls

Accompong Maroon Visit

Appleton Rom Tour

Little Ochi Seafood Restaurant in Aligator Pond

Pelican Bar

Pepper Shrimps in Middle Quarters


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