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TOURS - Negril | Westmoreland | Montego Bay
Tour 14 - To Montego Bay from Ferris
Excerpted from the book, Tour Jamaica, by Margaret Morris
Between the villages of Whithorn and Haddo, at a deep bend in the winding
mountain road there is a Rastafarian craft-cum- food-cum-accommodation establishment.
The Fairview Baptist Bible College was founded in 1963 by an independent
Baptist Mission in the U.S. with the objective of training Jamaicans for
The Knockalva Agricultural School R and half a mile in from the mainroad
offers a 3 year residential course to boys and girls between the ages of
15 and 17. The school was established in 1940 and its program was expanded
with assistance from the Dutch government. Classroom studies include chemistry,
biology, physics, maths, english, farm management and mechanics while practical
experience is gained on the attached 260 acre farm. The administrative block
is housed in an historic great house built in 1859. The former owner Major
Malcolm , a member of an order of Scottish Masons modified it in 1912 adding
several features of religious significance and a garden landscaped as Gethsemane.
This was the first house in Jamaica to be illuminated with gas lamps ñ
the gas was piped from the basement to wall fixtures.
The Knockalva Secondary School R is a west large, 2-shift school. Just
beyond the Ramble Post Office and police station R the Mount Ward Methodist
Church built in 1895 has a cornerstone laid by one of the Malcolms of Knockalva.
Haughton Grove R and Shettlewood L are land settlement sites. Originally
small plots of land were leased to farmers. Today the trend is towards larger
plots and land ownership. Several small farmers are now growing oranges
under contract to the Citrus Company of Jamaica.
The nursery and offices of this new venture are on the R of the road.
At the next crossroads a sign directs you to turn R towards Belvedere Plantation,
a very popular tour. Belvedere covers a thousand acres of citrus, pasture
and forest along the banks of the Great River. The ruined great house is
the site of a re-creation of traditional farming practices and an introduction
to a blacksmith's forge, a mule-powered cane crusher, 'country food' like
wet sugar, bulla cake and local medicinal herbs. Owners of the estate, the
McGanns also operate the Beachcomber Club in Negril.
The slave-built Barracks Bridge over the Great River is close to the
site of a military barracks built in 1773 and besieged by slaves in the
rebellion of 1832.
A JDF camp just before the Montpelier crossroads was originally intended
to be a residential agricultural school. It was one of three Cuban gift
schools built during the 1970s regime of Michael Manley. The other two,
Garvey-Maceo in Clarendon and Jose Marti near Spanish Town are used as secondary
schools. The Montpelier school was unfinished when the Cubans were expelled
by the JLP regime and became an army camp.
From Montpelier, its an easy run downhill into Montego Bay.
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