St Elizabeth – Jamaica’s “Mix Up and Blend” Parish?
St. Elizabeth is the best testimony of the Jamaican motto – “Out of many, one people”.
There are Maroons, Dutch, Spanish, Indian, mulatto and white inhabitants from the 17th century onwards.
The Meskito Indians were brought to Jamaica to capture the Maroons. In return for their assistance, they were given land grants in the parish.
In the 19th century Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, Scots Germans, Chinese and East Indians migrated to Saint Elizabeth.
The Black River is the longest on the island. In the 18th century, large quantities of logwood were exported to Europe from capital Black River to make a Prussian-blue dye which was very popular at the time.
Electric power was first introduced in Jamaica in a house called Waterloo in Black River in 1893.
There are two sugar factories. Fishing is a major industry, as is tomato canning with a plant at Bull Savannah. Cassava, corn, peas, beans, pimento, ginger, tobacco, tomato, rice sweet potatoes and coffee are grown. The fertile soil allows for grazing, goats, sheep, hogs, and cattle,horses.
The Great Morass, a swampy marshland, is the largest wetland habitat in the Caribbean. One of Jamaica’s untainted gems, Scott’s Cove is noted for roadside vendors selling fried fish and bammy, and borders Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth.
The Fonthill Wildlife Sanctuary includes coastal mangrove preserve to protect locally endangered American crocodiles. Birds are plentiful here.
Lover’s Leap is a cliff plunging several hundred metres into the sea, with an attached romantic legend of two young slaves jumping to their death rather than live apart.
The southwest corner of St. Elizabeth is one of Jamaica’s untainted gems.
BLESS UP, SENTI!
By Neo Makeba
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