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Port Antonio

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Port Antonio

Port Antonio
Port Antonio's Clock Tower.
Port Antonio's Clock Tower.
Location of Port Antonio shown within Jamaica
Location of Port Antonio shown within Jamaica
Coordinates:
Country Jamaica
County Surrey
Parish Portland
Population (1991 Census)
 • Total 13,246
 • Portland Parish 81,000
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
Blue Lagoon

Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles (100 km) from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991. It is the island's third largest port, famous as a shipping point for bananas and coconuts, as well as one of its most important tourist attractions, tourism being a major contributor to the town’s economy.

History

Port Antonio was a sleepy coastal town until the 1880s, when Lorenzo Dow Baker started the banana trade in Jamaica and successfully promoted Port Antonio as a destination for wealthy American travelers. "Portie" became a boom town. The banana trade and the tourists who came in the banana boats, was once so large that at one time, weekly sailing from Port Antonio was greater than weekly sailing from the great English port of Liverpool.

The island was glamorized by Fort George in Port Antonio as well as hundreds of acres of farmland along the Portland coast.

Many members of royal families, movie stars, great musicians, and well-known politicians have visited Port Antonio.

Tourist destinations

One popular sight in this area is the Blue Lagoon, Jamaica, which owes its colour to its depth of 200 feet, other sights include the secluded Frenchman's Cove Beach, the ruins of Folly Mansion and the historic DeMontevin Lodge. The Rio Grande, Boston Bay and Reach Falls are also close by. In addition there is the Bay View Eco Resort located on a former Coconut Plantation and Pimento Lodge in Long Bay which is within easy access of all destinations.

Frenchman's Cove

Notable residents

Notes

  • The movie Clara's Heart starring Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris was filmed at Trident Villas in 1988.
  • The poet, Robert Burns, was engaged to become a "book keeper" at the Springbank property near Port Antonio.[1] The modern Spring Bank Rd travels south & west up the ridge towards the plateau where the great house once stood.
  • The 1990 thriller film Lord of the Flies was filmed on location in Port Antonio, particularly Frenchman's Cove.

Transport

Bus

Port Antonio is a hub for bus transport in the north east of the island.

Rail

Port Antonio was the terminus of the now abandoned railway from Kingston via Spanish Town and Bog Walk, which was primarily built to serve the banana export trade.

References

  1. ^ From Burn's Jamaica Connections - and similar entries.

External links

  • Guide to attractions and sights in Port Antonio
  • A History of Portland


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