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The Peaceful Parish

By Linda Tancs

Hedonists flock to Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril. Looking for Jamaica’s quieter charm? Then head to Port Antonio, capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast. Once the bustling banana capital of the world, the sleepy harbor town offers some impressive sights in and around its environs. Check out the ruins of Folly Mansion, a once glorious testament to love, wealth and excess. American millionaire Alfred Mitchell built the grand two-story mansion with 60 rooms, Doric columns, inner courtyards and spectacular stairways for his family in the early 1900s but it failed to survive the elements. One palatial residence that has survived is Trident Castle. Just 10 minutes outside town, the Austrian Baroque style palace overlooking the sea is the only castle in the Caribbean. Also overlooking the sea is Port Antonio’s Folly Lighthouse, a candy cane-striped landmark about 40 feet high sitting atop honeycombed limestone. A self-guided walking tour under two miles long starts at Market Square and ends at the lighthouse.

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