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Tryall Water Wheel: Montego Bay Attractions, Jamaica

Tryall Water Wheel

The gigantic Tryall water–wheel is nearly 200 years old and still turning.

This still functioning cast iron Water Wheel is said to be over 200 years old. It stands on the majestic Tryall Club in Hanover. Although it apparently suffered serious damage in the slave revolt of 1831 it has since been restored. The Tryall Estate is on the main road between Hopewell and Sandy Bay, Hanover. It has been maintained as an attraction with a Golf Course and Beach Club. You've seen some pictures taken at this beautiful Club before.

The history of the Tryall Club is an interesting one. History says that the over 2,000 acre property was home (and quite possibly a burial ground) to the Arawak Indians, the original inhabitants of Jamaica before the Spanish came. The property was also a sugar/slave plantation.

At some point in the 1800s the Tryall property, a sugar plantation, was purchased by Eugene Browne who apparently purchased Tryall with the intention of ceasing the production of sugar cane and instead planting coconuts. The last cane crop of sugar cane was taken off in 1918 and coconuts became the property's principal source of income. At its peak (1933), the property produced one million coconuts a year. It was a unique trade with small farmers coming in from the surrounding villages by mule cart, donkey, or on foot to purchase 50 or 100 nuts. They would husk the nuts, remove the meat for boiling to make oil, some of which they sold. The trash was used to feed pigs.

In the mid–1930s, the bottom dropped out of the coconut market and the Browne family was obliged to seek other avenues for financial survival. The Great House had already become a sightseeing centre for the ever–increasing foreign visitors; and it was decided to take advantage of this and turn it into a small guest house. The venture prospered, catering particularly to British colonial officials and civil servants on leave from Kingston. In 1939, with the advent of the War, Tryall was obliged to close and did not open again as a Guest House until 1949.

In 1957, a group of Texans purchased Tryall from the Hon. William Delisser, Custos Rotulorum of Hanover who was married Ida, the daughter of Eugene Browne. The concept was the brainchild of Ted Law from Houston who, whilst holidaying at a local hotel, would go to Tryall for afternoon tea. Tea, in those halcyon days, was a ceremony of some distinction with Ida Delisser presiding over a silver tea urn and dispensing wafer thin cucumber sandwiches. Visitors found the atmosphere old fashioned, charming and part of the colonial heritage.

Within a few years, Pollard Simons was able to purchase the majority share holding in the club and thus retained control of Tryall until his death in 1975. On the death of Pollard Simons, the Tryall Homeowners purchased the property and this remains the position today; i.e., each Homeowner is a proprietary member of the Club. There is at present over 60 proprietary members, the majority are United States citizens.

Tourist Attraction Montego Bay - Place of interest to visit on your Jamaica Holiday

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