I made reservations to spend the next two weekends at different Jamaican great houses. This weekend I will spend a night at Tamarind Great House, which is a few miles south of Oracabessa. This was a part of the Crescent Estate and I will report more about the history in a latter blog.
The second great house is the Liberty Hill Great House. The Traceys established the Liberty Hill plantation in the late 1700s to grow pimentos. The owners expressed excitement that I will be coming to listen to the story of their property. If the owners agree, then I will also include in this blog, links to their various properties.
Today I start a blog, which I hope will someday lead to a series of books highlighting the great houses (plantation houses) of Jamaica.
Although the focus will be on the great houses, I will also be on the hunt for other structures built during the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of colonial Jamaica. The owners of the plantations built the great houses, on the backs of slaves, which resulted in massive wealth to the owners.
I hope to document not only great houses that the owners have lovingly maintained in almost pristine condition but also to visit sites of great house ruins. It ought to be a great adventure. It will not be easy, because the many great houses are tucked up and down isolated valleys with very little information about their location. I will have to track down their locations by asking local people if they know of a great house in their neighborhood. The internet will help in finding the plantation houses built by the most famous or infamous landowners but there are hundreds of plantations that were never huge or produced vast wealth for the owners. The internet has helped me in identifying the most likely parishes with a plethora of great houses.
That said, I plan to start my search in Saint Ann Parish, where I have located sixteen great houses using the internet.