Columbus Park, Saint Ann

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columbus mural-columbus park
A mural depicting Christopher Columbus’ arrival to Jamaica on May 4, 1494.

Columbus Park is a historic open-air museum which sits by the side of the road in the north coast town of Discovery Bay. The park overlooks the expansive bay and features ruins from Jamaica’s Spanish colonization period and other relics & replicas from times past. Sadly, the park has fallen into a state of disrepair but the concept is a good one. Hopefully some improvements and repairs are made in the near future but in the mean time, let’s take a look at the park’s current state.

Getting There

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Columbus Park sign as seen from the A1 main road

Coming from the direction of Saint Ann’s Bay, look out for the Green Grotto Caves landmark on the left of the A1 main road after driving for almost half an hour. That landmark is located 5 minutes before the sign marking the entrance to Columbus Park on the right side of the same road. Entrance to the park is free with ample parking and restrooms available. There’s a place to get light food and drink there as well.

The Park

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The expansive Discovery Bay
The air was fresh and cool, the view of the deep blue Caribbean Sea meeting the sky divine. The park has a security guard and other staff milling about but no tour guide. Thus, you are left on your own to leisurely wander the park, take in the views, read the signs explaining the artefacts and soak in Jamaica’s history. The park is small and as the artefacts are arranged in a sort of circular order, not having a guide to rush you about is the best thing they could’ve done for the place.
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Old Spanish aqueduct
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Another view of the aqueduct (Can you tell I love aqueducts 😊)
The most interesting artefacts I found are pictured below. These range from the bell of the last steam locomotive used by the Jamaica Railway Corporation and a scale for weighing logwood reminiscent of our tiny but once viable logwood industry, to a waterwheel and tally machine used by Jamaica’s early banana industry.
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An old waterwheel, much smaller than the one I’d seen at Seville Heritage Park
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A type of old mule-drawn cart
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An oxen-drawn cart
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A corn husker for making cornmeal
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A tally used in the early Jamaican banana industry. “Come Missa Tallyman, tally mi banana. Daylight come an’ mi waah go home.” 🎵
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A Spanish earthenware jug for storing water
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A scale for weighing logwood
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Replica of a Taino dugout canoe

Wrap Up

I honestly can’t get over this parish’s obsession with naming things after Christopher Columbus. There’s a statue of him in the parish capital square and a community, school and park with his name. After all we’ve been through as a people one would think we’d only name things after the people who’ve positively impacted our history but alas. Nonetheless, the park is worth a stop on a cool day if you’re driving through this side of the island. You may get a chance to learn something new, see articles from the past which you’ve likely never seen before and get an awesome setting for photography. Carry a camera and tripod stand if you can but I think my phone still managed to do a decent job. Overall the open-air museum idea is a good one but this park still has some work to do. For now I’ll rate it three stars, ☆☆☆ while hoping I can write a longer post some day in the future when if the lofty development plans for Columbus Park come to fruition (mind you, this newspaper article mentioning these plans is 5 years old).

‘Til next time. ✌

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6 comments on “Columbus Park, Saint Ann”

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