The Oakton House, a stately wooden structure caught my eye. Located in Half Way Tree, Kingston, it’s a stone’s throw from the Old Courthouse that I wrote about a few posts ago.
It was probably built in the 19th century, during the height of Jamaica’s Georgian period (1702-1910), but no records have been found to show who the original owner was.
Oakton House has seen many incarnations. At one time, it was the rest stop for soldiers who were on their way from Spanish Town, the old capital, to their camp in the Blue Mountains. It has been an exclusive school, was a guest house in the 1920s, and a private residence for a famous baker, W.E. Powell, who had his business a few doors away.
Oakton House was sold by Powell’s family to the Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) in the 1930s and was used as a fire station until the 1960s. It was refurbished around 2003.
It wasn’t hard to miss the barbershop sign on the front of Oakton House — I was shocked to see it. The lower level is now a Burger King restaurant and from what I’ve read, they are now responsible for the building’s refurbishment.
Oakton is a typical Georgian structure with louvered, jalousie and sash windows which can be adjusted to regulate the flow of air and keep the building cool. It also has side verandahs with wide overhangs that shield the house from the rain and sun. The arches of the brick undercroft were originally open to allow proper ventilation for the wooden floors and upstairs living quarters.
Oakton House is on the register of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust as a historic property.
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.