Spring Vale Pen
William Atherton owned Spring Vale Pen at the same time he owned Green Park Estate (reported on in a previous post) in the late 1700s. Spring Vale was used to raise cattle which were used to raise mules and oxen necessary to haul the cane, run the sugar mill and other estate work. Since the Spring Vale Pen was up in the cooler mountain climate with fewer mosquitoes, it was used by the Planting Attorney, Overseer, Bookkeepers and other British managerial staff to recover from the malaria and yellow fever prevalent in the coastal Green Park Estate and as a refuge from the coastal heat. In the 1824 Jamaica Almanac stated that Spring Vale Pen had 186 slaves and 571 head of cattle and was 1,972 acres in size. In 1910, both Green Park and Spring Vale were sold by the heirs of Edward Atherton. The house is presently the office of Valley Fruit Company which grows pineapple, papaya and sugar cane. For additional background information, especially during the 20th century, one can go to the following website: http://www.cockpitcountry.com/springvale.html .
The house is located in a beautiful meadow surrounded by mountains. It is made of two foot thick stone walls which some parts have been covered with stucco and painted white and other parts still show the natural rock. The trim has been painted a forest green. A verandah extends across the front and right sides of the house. The roof is an “M” style, common in the larger great houses of Jamaica. The original roof was cedar shakes, as evidenced by the underside of the roof but is now covered with a corrugated metal roof. The windows are a combination sash and louver styles. The first and second floors are made of wide mahogany wood planks as well as the interior walls. The floors are a dark wood, the walls are white and the doors are painted forest green. There are numerous interior louvers and lattice work to facilitate the flow of the cool mountain breezes.
Spring Vale Pen is located 4.4 kilometers south of Deeside Baptist Church and 8.7 kilometers south of Wakefield. The road is mainly gravel with occasional asphalt paved patches.