Black River, Jamaica
|• Estimate (2009)||4,261|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
Black River is the capital of St. Elizabeth Parish, in southwestern Jamaica. It sits at the mouth of the river of the same name. Once a thriving sugar port, it is today a centre of environmental tourism and a gateway to the Treasure Beach resort area; Treasure Beach and Crane Beach are to the south-east with Luana Beach to the west.
Growing prosperity led to the construction of several warehouses which are now used as restaurants or as bases for eco-tours of the river.
Black River one of the oldest towns in the island, being shown on John Sellers' 1685 map. It was designed by the Leyden brothers of England, three wealthy men who were substantial land proprietors in the area.
In the 18th and 19th centuries it was a busy seaport for the lucrative logwood trade and for exports of rum, pimento and cattle skin from the nearby Holland, Vineyard and Fullerswood Estates. The Logwood tree trunks were floated down the Black River to the port to be shipped to England for making of dyes.
Slaves were landed here and sold at auction at Farquharson Wharf (originally Town Wharf), which still stands.
In 1773 it replaced Lacovia, 19 miles to the east-north-east, as the capital of St. Elizabeth. Soon after it became the main commercial, economic and transshipment centre of the parish. By the early 1900s it was second only to Kingston in importance.
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