The quiet charm of Falmouth Jamaica lies in its commercial buildings as well as its residences. Modest or grand, they offer a glimpse into a bygone period, a time when sugar was king.
In first part of the tour, we looked at some of Falmouth’s commercial buildings. For the second part, we’ll view some of the private homes that are located on Trelawny and King Streets. Both parts of the tour can be done together and will take about 2-3 hours to complete.
To start this tour, turn right after leaving the pier and follow Trelawny Street. When you cross Market Street (the Baptist Manse is at the corner of Trelawny and Market), we’ll arrive at our first stop on Trelawny Street.
Several of the homes we’ll see were owned by free people of color. During the 18th century, Jamaica had a sizable population of free people of color, who generally lived in the urban areas. Though the majority was poor, a good number accumulated considerable wealth.
Just behind the Baptist Manse is this well preserved home that once belonged to and is believed to have been built by Isaac Love, a mulatto mason. Love purchased the lot in 1781 from Edward Barrett.
Located next door to the Love House, this property is now being used by the Department of Corrections. I don’t know its background but judging from its design – 2 stories, brick, quoins, the archway, the verandah with fretwork – I’m guessing it could have been built in the 19th century.
Across the street from the Love House is this two story brick house. Construction date unknown.
Elizabeth Somerville House
Cross King Street and you’ll arrive at 8 Trelawny Street. The storyboard outside the house describes Elizabeth Somerville, its original owner, as a free woman of color. She was one of the first women of color to buy property in Falmouth after Emancipation in 1834. The house, constructed of wood, is typical of the houses that were built by free people of color around Falmouth. It had two rooms of similar size that were separated by a partition wall. The front room was probably used as a sitting and bed room, the back a waiting and sitting room. Since the house was made of board, cooking would probably have been done outside or in a separate structure away from the house.
Go north on to King Street to see this sweet little house. Another typical Falmouth house, it has been renovated. The outside has been coated with sand, to protect it from fire.
9 King Street was originally owned by Richard Barrett Waite, who was probably related to the Barrett family. It was likely built in the 1800s. It has a hip roof, tray ceiling and partial wrap-around verandah.
North on King Street, near the edge of the pier, is the Davidson House, which was owned by Mary Gairdner, a free woman of color. Gairdner was an extensive landowner in Falmouth. By her 1837 will, Gairdner deeded her “Creole” house to her son, Thomas Davidson, and provided that each of her four children were to remain in the houses in which they were living at the time of her death. The Davidson House is now privately owned.
At this point, we can retrace our steps to the pier. I’ll be bringing you more of Falmouth in other posts.
This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.