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Falmouth: A Brief History

The past comes to life at the coastal town of Falmouth just 22 miles east of Montego Bay. Famous for it's Georgian architecture, and rich colonial history that recently received a new lease on life, it is now a cruise ship port town that awoken from a deep slumber, is ready to rediscover its former glory.

Falmouth was designed in 1769 to be a charming Jamaican town, complete with modern amenities and beautiful streets. It was a wealthy city perched on the edge of one of the island's busiest ports.

Falmouth's history is one of wealth, politics, revolution and love. It is this electric history that once again rumbles through the cobbled streets and brings the town to life. Falmouth was founded in 1790 from land owned by Edward Barrett. But it was the island's biggest exports that lifted the town to fame—sugar and rum. The economic boom in the Falmouth of the 18th and 19th centuries resulted in the development of one of the most industrial towns in the Western Hemisphere. They received running water before New York City, and it's meticulous planning illustrated one of the earliest urban planning developments.

Hotels, newspapers, commerce and culture thrived in Falmouth during its heyday. But with the demise of the sugar and rum production trade the town fell into ruin, becoming a sleepy seaside town.

Falmouth's Historic Town Tour

Falmouth's rich legacy is the backbone of the town's many informative and lively historic tours. You can opt to go by tram or foot and take in several famous stops including:

The Tharpe House - home of John Tharpe, the richest land owner in the Jamaica during the 1700s.

The Town Hall and Courthouse - the original building was destroyed by fire in 1926, but has since been restored.

The Vermont House - a Georgian style building that's still in use today.

The Barrett House - home of one of Falmouth's founding fathers, Edward Barrett.

William Knibb Baptist Church - the church of the famous abolitionist, William Knibb, who fought to improve the lives of freed slaves.

St. Peter's Anglican Church - the church is a shining example of the type of Georgian Era architecture that is common throughout the town today.


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