Black River. You can't help but feel strongly about the place where your family has lived for 6 generations.
My hometown is a place where you can relax and breathe deeply, and take time to enjoy life's small pleasures.
The town sits at the mouth of the river from which it gets its name. Up to the early 20th century it was a bustling commercial centre at the forefront of many developments taking place in Jamaica.You'd never guess it now, but it was the first town in Jamaica to get electricity, had the first telephone exchange, received Jamaica's first registered car, and had the best racetrack on the island.
You can see traces of the town's former glory in the 18th and 19th century buildings still standing in the town. Here's a short video on the town's heritage. (That's me sounding scholarly!)
What drove this development? Logwood. This tree was used to produce natural blue-black dye which was in demand in Europe. The logs were floated down the river, and the town was the main port from which they were shipped abroad. With the development of synthetic dyes, the industry declined and Black River's life in the fast lane slowed to a crawl.
And many of us don't mind. We may moan and groan about the limitations of our small town, but we love its peaceful nature and calm pace. And we feel we're an important part of Jamaican history. Click here for great pictures and information on Black River history.
The town today is a picturesque seaside haven for both residents and visitors.
Here are some of the things you might like to try if you spend some time with us...
Click here for more pictures of the river and the town. Crocodiles included!
In the early morning the sea looks like textured blue glass. In the middle of the day it gets moody, and it's a really hot walk. But at sunset the water is golden, and in the moonlight, sparkles bounce off the tops of the waves.
The sunrises and sunsets range from beautiful to outrageously beautiful, the colours from soft peach to crimson.
Sunday Service at 8 am is a cultural and often moving experience, British and African heritage fused in worship.
The former Farquharson Wharf, on the northwestern side of the Black River bridge, was the site of a thriving slave auction. Notices were published in the papers describing the slaves to be sold, and the landed proprietors would arrive in their tandems to make their purchases. Today there is a monument to the Africans on the Zong, a slave ship whose Captain drowned scores of prospective slaves in order to collect insurance.
I'll let you discover some things for yourself. But be sure not to miss Sunrise Bakery's coco bread. Their peg bread and hardough bread are really good too - I don't think peg bread is made anywhere else in Jamaica. There are also a number of small restaurants offering tasty local food.
And if you time your visit for Easter (beaches are at their best at that time), you won't want to miss our hugely popular Flower Show.
Almost forgot - although it's not in great condition, the Spa, our own mineral spring, is still used for an occasional swim, or to ease aches and pains.