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Portland Jamaica

Ythanside, in the parish of Portland, named after places in Wales, was first owned by William Bancroft Espeut (1843-1892), member of a Jamaican family of Huguenot origin who settled in Portland in 1868. Espeut also owned Spring Garden estate in this parish, and it was here that he began to breed mongooses imported from India. The idea was that the mongooses would kill rats on sugar plantations, for the rodents had increased to such an extent that in six months as many as 39,000 rats were caught on one estate. The mongooses rid the island of most of the rats, but destroyed much poultry, so that the destroying of mongooses by setting traps for them became a necessity.

Allan Avenue, in Port Antonio, Portland, was named after the late Hon. Sir Harold Allan, Jamaican politician. He was Member of the Legislative Council for the parish of Portland, 193544, Member of the Privy Council, 194245; Member of the House of Representatives for Eastern Portland from 1944 until his death, and also Minister of Finance and General Purposes from 1945 until 1953. He was knighted by the Queen of England for his outstanding service to Jamaica.

Altamont was named after the Earl of Altamont, son of the Marquis of Sligo, Governor of Jamaica, from 1834-36, in whose tenure a settlement of Scottish persons was established here.

Alymers in St. Catherine, is named after Lieutenant Witgift Alymer, who it is claimed, came with a regiment from Scotland in 1657. In the ancient Guanaboa Vale Church in this parish there is a monumental inscription to him.

Balcarres Hill, Portland and in Mandeville, Manchester. Bangor Ridge, Portland, may have been originally named from the town in Wales. Belle Castle — named ‘Belle’ — is a beautiful spot, with one of the most extensive sea views in the island, extending from Morant Point Lighthouse on the night to Manchioneal Bay on the left. It was owned by John Ross from 1 811 and was said to be fortified against the Spaniards and freebooters who roamed the seas in the early days of its history. A part of this estate was acquired by the Baptist denomination in Jamaica in the 19th century but missionary work did not begin here (on the Belle Castle Hill) until 183 1, because of the difficulty non-conformists.

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Berrydale was originally a Scottish place-- name, and is found in more than one parish. Black Hill is the site of an extinct volcano. Blackness, in Trelawny, derives its name from the colour of the soil.

Boston, Portland, was owned in 1811 by James Trecothick. It may have been named after Boston in the U.S.A. A subsequent owner was the Rev. T.T. Ogle, B.A., one of the first island curates who in 1 816 established at Boston an Anglican Church known locally as ‘Content Church’ and ecclesiastically as St. Mark’s Church. This Church was in existence until 1927. Boston Estate is now owned by relatives of the late Errol Flynn, movie actor, and there is a white sand bathing beach there.

Boundbrook west of the town of Port Antonio, is a property which was first known as ‘Bog’. It was purchased between 1870 and 1880 by Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker and renamed by him Bound- Brook. It is said to be the first of several properties bought or leased by him for the growing of bananas and the establishment of a banana trade from Port Antonio to the United States.

Breastwork was so named because in 1730 a fortification was set up there by the English in their war against the Maroons.
Burlington, Portland, is a place-name originating in America.

Catherine’s Peak was named after Catherine Long, sister of the historian, Edward Long, and wife of Henry Moore, Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, 1 756-59. It is said that she was the first woman to climb this peak, which is 5,050 feet high, in 1760. Catherine’s Peak is often miscalled ‘St. Catherine’s Peak’.

Charles Town is a Maroon Settlement, named after Captain Charles Cudjoe, the second leader of the Maroons. Chester Vale was, in the eighteenth century, a coffee plantation owned by Squire Sedgewick from Yorkshire, England. He built a Great House there. In the nineteen twenties, it was run as a guest house by a

Miss Buck who had many distinguished visitors. Afterwards, it was owned by the Shekells, but it now houses the Chester Vale Youth Camp, set up there by the Government of Jamaica.

Clydesdale, Portland, was owned in the 19th century by Colonel MacClaverty. It is on the River Clyde, as is Clydesdale in Scotland. This Jamaican river supplied the power for working the huge waterwheel at the coffee works of this estate, at the side of which can still be seen the large barbecues on which coffee was dried. Clydesdale is now owned by the Forestry Department.

Cold Harbour is in Portland. The name of this Harbour and estate could have come from England, and there is also a Cold Harbour in the United States. Cold Harbour was bought from the United Fruit Company by a syndicate, and the whole area is now known as San San. It includes Frenchman’s Cove Hotel, and Goblin Hill Hotel; private modem residences have also been erected there.

Cotters Wood, in the hills of Portland, derives its name from the Maroon word, Catta-wood, which means “scatter to the woods”. This was exactly what the Maroons did when pursued by the English. Cudjoe Town is named after Captain Charles Cudjoe, the second Maroon leader. Darl1ngford is named after Sir Charles Darting, Governor of Jamaica, 1 857-62.
Downers Hope is named after the first owner (1730-45), who it is claimed had a sugar works and Great House there.

Dragon Bay, near Port Antonio, Portland, is a luxury cottage colony located on 40 acres complete with a private white sand beach.

Drapers is named after Drapers, the first owner. He was Member of the Assembly for this parish in 1726. Eccleston, in the hills above Manchiofleal, Portland, had as an early owner, F.A.G. Haggart. It is claimed that currently (1971) the community is supplied with cattle, milk and meat from the two properties comprising

Eccleston. There is also a registered depot where fish is sold on a wholesale basis. Eddington is in the hills above Manchioneal in Portland. Egg Hill may be named for its shape. In the 18th century, there was an estate there under absentee ownership of the Henderson family from England. It was afterwards inherited by Maria Henderson, who lived there. In 1877 the land was sold to local persons.

Fair Prospect on the coast, could have been named for its geographical location. It was owned in 1811 by Isaiah Aguilar and D. Fernandez. Fair Prospect is now a residential area. Fairy Hill is near Port Antonio, Portland. (The reason for this name is uncertain.) It was a property owned by the late Frederick Barnett Brown, and Mrs. Annie Brown (Americans), who, according to Mr. Brown’s will (dated May 14, 1918), gave the property and house “to be used, kept, and maintained for the purpose of a Rest Home for missionary workers, teachers, and respectable poor persons”. The Home was named, after their daughter, “Winnifred Rest Home”, and still functions under that name.

Flat Grass was named for its terrain. Folly Estate is referred to as “millionaire’s folly” because, in one version of the origin of the name, Alfred Miller of Conn., U.S.A., built the concrete mansion with unwashed sea sand. Another story is that the pillars being of iron, and the mansion being on the edge of the sea, the sea salt corroded the iron, and the mansion collapsed. The property was acquired by the government in 1949 for a housing scheme. However, the old Folly Mansion remains in ruins as a place of interest to sightseers.

Folly Lighthouse nearby is named from Folly Estate (prec.). Forte on the edge of Manchioneal Bay, has the eighteenth century spelling of “Fort”. On the Forte lands was a hospital for slaves which was known as a “Hot House”, and a famous doctor known as “Deacon” pounded herbs in his mortar and made his own medicine. Forte was owned by the late Mr. T.A. Gray in 1935, but was purchased in 1945 by the late F.M. Jones of Hector’s River, and the house then was known as “Rodney Hall” and was given to the public as a health centre, as before this there was no place for medical attention for the public in that area.

Frenchman’s Cove is in Portland. This place was originally known as Cold Harbour, a name which could have come either from England or the United States. It is only since the ownership of Mr. Garfield Weston that it has been called Frenchman’s Cove. Between 1730 and 1745, it was owned by one Downer, who had a Great House there and a property in the hills above Cold Harbour which was known as “Downer’s Hope”.

Happy Grove in Portland, near Hector’s River, was owned in the eighteenth century by William Collins Codrington, who married Sarah Smith King. Codrington served in the St. George Militia as ensign in 1799, as lieutenant in 1803, and as captain in 1809. He had three children: George, who lived at Happy Grove in 1837; Mary, who was born in 1818 and married Eleazer K. Foster in 1838, and lived there for the rest of her life, dying in 1872; and Margaret, who was married in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. Andrew’s Hall on the Happy Grove Estate was the home of the Codringtons. It was afterwards leased for many years by a Dr. Honiball. Happy Grove was purchased by the Friends Mission of America in about 1881, and the Mission established the Happy Grove Girls School there in 1898. Miss Alsina Andrews was the first headmistress. Happy Grove School is now coeducational.

Hector’s River is in Portland. The Great House and the village took their name from the river. Hector’s River is the boundary-line between the parishes of St. Thomas and Portland. Hector’s River Estate was purchased in 1765 by Jasper Hall Esq., who was Receiver General and Speaker of the House of Assembly in 1778. At his death, it came into the ownership of his grandson, Commander E. Codrington Hall, who, after 21 years of distinguished service in the navy, retired in 1851, and, with his wife, Fanny Page Hall, took up residence here. He became Custos of Portland and remained in that office until his death. During his tenure a post office was established at Hector’s River. The Estate is now owned by Hall’s heirs.

Holland — this place-name is found in two parishes, St. Elizabeth and Portland. Ken Jones Airport and Ken Jones Highway, both in the parish of Portland, are named after the late Hon. Kenneth Arthur Newton Jones, son of the late F.M. Jones and Gladys, his wife, of Hector’s River. Ken Jones was a planter, legislator, Minister of Communications and Works in the Labour Government, and M.P. for East Portland from 1955 to 1959, and from 1962 until 1965, the year of his death.

Long Bay in Portland affords sea views of unrivalled beauty. The Long Bay Beach Hotel is located there. Long Road is a lengthy strip of land on the Manchioneal coastline, once the burial ground for slaves on the Muirton Estate. It is now a district with shops, churches, and residences. Mill Bank is a name found in both Portland and St. Andrew. Modyford Gully is named after Sir Thomas Modyford, Governor of Jamaica(1664-l670).

Moore Town, in the hills above Port Antonio, Portland, was originally the site of land given to the Maroons, after they were driven from Nanny Town in 1734, and was known as New Nanny Town. Afterwards, it was named after Henry Moore, Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica (1760-2).

Seaman’s Valley is so named because in 1728 when the English were fighting the Maroons (who were known as the Eastern Maroons to differentiate them from the Maroons in other parts of the island) in this parish, 200 seamen went to the help of the Militia and were massacred in this valley.

Section Road is so named because it is at the borderline of the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas. Shake-Hand Market, Portland, is a square in the middle of a district where people meet and converse, and often shake one another’s hands. Shirley Castle, in Portland and St. Thomas, is named after its first owner, L.C. Shirley. Shot Over near Port Antonio, is a distortion of the French Chateau Vert.

Silver Hill and Silver Hill Gap, Portland, may be named from the beautiful silver birch trees which grow in that area.
Sir John’s Peak,, in the hills of Portland, is said to be 6,232 feet high, and is named after Sir John Peter Grant, Governor of Jamaica from 1866 to 1874. He was said to have been one of the most able reforming governors, some of his reforms being a unified police force, a Government Savings Bank, an island medical service, and the setting up of district courts throughout the island.

Spring Garden is named for its location. There is also a Spring Garden in Westmoreland. Spring Valley is found in three parishes: Portland, St. Mary, and Hanover.

Titchfield (Upper and Lower), in Port Antonio, Portland, bears the title of Henry, second Earl of Portland and Governor of Jamaica (1723), who was afterwards created Duke of Portland and given the title, “Marquis of Titchfield”. Upper Titchfield is on a peninsula and includes Fort George and the old military barracks, dating from 1733, which was afterwards converted into a school. Lower Titchfield extends along the seashore, where the wharves, court house, and goal are situated; it also includes the town, which at first was known as Titchfield Town. The name, “Titchfield”, was further perpetuated when a Titchfield Trust was established under Act 26, Geo. II, Cap. 7, now included in Cap. 106, by which 350 acres of land adjoining the town of Port Antonio were invested in certain trustees for the erection of a free school and the erection of a fund for its endowment and support.

TIVERTON, in Manchester, originally from Devon, England, is listed in 1920 as being owned by James S. Glanville. Wallenford was named after Matthew Wallen, an eminent botanist and a native of Ireland. Wallen came to Jamaica in 1747 as a naval officer. Having acquired Cold Spring (q. v.) property below Newcastle Camp, in the St. Andrew hills, he introduced a number of flowering plants, namely the pansy, violet, primrose, honeysuckle and nasturtium, the last of which still grows wild in these hills.

Windsor — this place-name is found in Portland, Manchester, Westmoreland and Trelawny. Windsor Castle in Portland was first owned (1811) by Jacob Neufville, “Neufville” a surname still known in this area. Windsor Forest in Portland was owned in 1811 by William Holgate, the family of whom still resides in Portland. Dumbarton in the hills of Portland, are originally from Perth, Scotland, and once constituted a large coffee property first known as “Gale Mountain”. It once was owned by Thomas Turpin in the 18th century.

Fern Hill is named for the same reason as Fern Gully and Friendship in Portland. Windsor Castle is evidently named after Windsor Castle in England. This place-name is found in Portland, St. Thomas, St. James, and Trelawny. Happy Grove — this place-name is found in St. Elizabeth and Portland.

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