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Saint Ann

Saint Ann, (capital, Saint Ann’s Bay) is the largest parish in Jamaica. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county of Middlesex, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island. It is often called 'the Garden Parish of Jamaica' on account of its natural beauty. Saint Ann is the birthplace of reggae singers Burning Spear and the honorable Bob Marley (d. 1981), and The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey (d. 1940), one of Jamaica's seven National Heroes.

 St. Ann is one of the oldest populated areas in the island of Jamaica tracing back to 600 - 650 A.D.

 Major sites

  • Fern Gully: Close to Ocho Rios on the road to Moneague is a three mile long road through a canyon that was an old river bed. In about 1880 it was planted with about 200 species of fern. It still remains attractive with banks of ferns and other plants forming a canopy. Fern Gully is a National Park.
  • Marcus Garvey's Birthplace and Statue is located in the capital of the parish at thee St Ann's Parish Library. Through his skill as an orator and his newspaper Negro World, Marcus Garvey became one of the most influential black leaders of his time. Born and raised in Jamaica, Garvey travelled in Central and South America, then moved to England to continue his education. In 1914 he started the Universal Negro Improvement Association and began advocating worldwide black unity and an end to colonialism. In 1916 he moved to the United States and started a steamship company, the Black Star Line, a business venture as well as part of his "back to Africa" plan for Americans of African descent. In 1925 he was jailed after being convicted of mail fraud, but his sentence was reduced and he was deported to Jamaica two years later. Garvey eventually moved back to London, England, where he died in 1940. His body was returned to Jamaica in 1964.
  • Columbus Park This is situated to the west of Discovery Bay on the Queens Highway. It commemorates Columbus' visits to the island and operates as an open-air museum with sketches of Jamaican history. Kaiser funded its development.
  • Runaway Caves are popular tourist attractions located about 3.2 kilometers east of Discovery Bay. It is the entrance to the system of caves and tunnels that extend for over 9.6 kilometers. A lake, 120 feet down is called Green Grotto. Boat trips can be taken on the lake which is clear enough for stalactites to be seen growing from the bottom. Drawings have been left on the walls by Tainos and it is believed that the Spaniards and pirates used these caves probably as escape routes.
  • The Seville Great House This area represents the main stages in the development of Jamaica under the Europeans - Spanish and English. The Great House was built in 1745 on the site of the original Great House by the grandson of Richard Hemmings, the first English owner of the property. Over the years many changes have been made to the original structure. When the last owner died he arranged for the property to be given to the Government of Jamaica. It is now a museum owned by the Jamaica National Trust Commission. It explores the rich history of the Seville site.
  • Edinburgh Castle: This is the ruins of a two-storey fortified house with two towers at diagonal corners. This 'castle' was built by a notorious Scotsman, Lewis Hutchinson, who had settled in Jamaica. According to some apocryphal stories, his hobby was to shoot his departing guests from a loophole in the tower, and rifle the body of valuables. It is believed that he threw the corpses down a deep sinkhole nearby. After attempting to kill a neighboring planter, he was caught while attempting to flee the island. He was then tried, convicted, and hanged at the yardarm in Kingston, in March 1773. No skeletons have been found, however 43 watches (possibly belonging to his 'guests') were located. The eponymous "Hutchinson's Hole" claimed its latest victim in the autumn of 2003, when Carlton Rose, a resident of the district, committed suicide by leaping into the 325ft deep pit (the exact manner of his entry into the hole is somewhat disputed). Despite early efforts by the Fire Dept, the body was not recovered until three months had passed, when members of the Jamaican Caves Organization, led by RS Stewart, descended into the hole at the request of family members and retrieved the by then highly-decomposed corpse. Two descents were accomplished in aid of this, and these rank as only the second and third visits, with the one previous entry having been made by the Jamaican Caving Club, and cavers from Bristol U, in 1976. A partial descent was made in 1895 by Governor Sir Henry Blake, who was lowered on a rope. The story figured prominently in the Jamaican media, and a subsequent Press Release was issued by the JCO (found under External links below) to bring clarity to their involvement in the matter.
  • Dunn's River Falls: The unique thing about Dunn’s River falls is that the falls is at the mouth of the spring; right before it enters the sea. It is possible to travel up the 600 ft falls in groups holding hands for safety. It is one of Jamaica's most popular attractions.
  • Bob Marley Mausoleum This is at Nine Mile, the birthplace and burial site of Bob Marley. The site is run by the Bob Marley Foundation and some of the funds generated is used to improve community facilities and advance community development at Nine Mile.