The Ruins at the Fall - Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Welcome to The Ruins at the Falls. We would like to introduce you to some of the beautiful foliage of this island surrounding a 40ft natural waterfall and a touch of its rich history.
This property has its own unique history that is more interesting than you might imagine. Originally, a part of a much larger property called "Eden Bower", which was owned by the Geddes Family in 1907, but has been cut up and sold off over the years. The Ruins as it is known today only came into existence in the midnineteen fifties, when a retired American Doctor, Robert Page, had the inspiration to create his own historic Ruins, which is the octagonal building seen by the courtyard.
The property is not a actual ruins of a plantation era but the whimsical recreation of Dr. Robert Page, who with the help of many skilled labourers and artisans, created his own modern day ruin. He felt that although there were plenty of ruins in Jamaica, they slowly disappeared as the years went by, and so decided to recreate his own ruins. The cutstone work you see throughout the property was Actually brought from the ruins of an old great house in Trelawney and used to create these buildings. All the stones were numbered in order to recreate an exact replica of a plantation building.
This beautiful property has a special history around its lush garden and a spectacular waterfall. After Dr. Page's death that building was expanded to accommodate a Restaurant, but it was the present owners, the Hendrickson family that made the greatest expansions and conversions to its present state of a modern dining and banquet facility, while still retaining the old charm of years gone by.
Our Own Fern Gully
Along this pathway we have just over 50 species of ferns, a very small sample of the over 600 species of ferns that are found in Jamaica. These walkways are a tribute to the famous Fern Gully just outside the town's limit of Ocho Rios that was created by a flash flood in 1766. It was then commonly called Ocho Rios Gully but because of all the ferns that spouted out after the flood, the name was changed to Fern Gully. In this gully, there are more varieties of ferns, than exist on the whole North American Continent.
Jamaica is known as the "land of wood and water" and there are reported to be about 3,000 species of flowering plants alone, 800 of which are not found anywhere else in the world, and thus is haven for orchid and foliage plant collectors.
Today these buildings, with the courtyard, have become very popular for weddings, conferences, meetings, fashion shows and beauty pageants. Dining by day or night is spectacular with the 40ft natural waterfalls providing an ambiance never to be forgotten. A comprehensive menu of Chinese, Jamaican and International Dishes are presented for your selection to provide a true dining experience.
The property is fed by the Milford Stream that is the last cataract of the old Shaw Park Estate. This was also the pathway used by many Spaniards. Jamaica was once ruled by Spain and the battle of the Shaw Park in Feb. 1659, helped to bring about the defeat of the Spanish by the British.
There are eight rivers in Ocho Rios, and this is how the area got its name from the Spanish rulers, as Ocho Rios in Spanish means "Eight Rivers". The river on this property is the smallest of eight rivers, Dunn's River being the largest.
This property has many trees of interest such as the Ackee, our national fruit, along with the Breadfruit, Pimento, Soursop, Sweetsop, Mango, Avacado Pear, as well as a calabash tree. Jamaica's earliest inhabitants, the Tainos and the Arawaks found use for the fruits of the calabash tree, which was used as a storage vessel to carry water. Today, it is used not only for storage but also making fashion accessories and toys. The Tainos, as a people, became extinct with the arrival of the Spanish and the British. However, some of their cooking customs remain with us. For example, one of Jamaica's favourite staples "the Bammy" which is eaten with Escoveitched Fish has passed the test of time. Bammy is made from Cassava, a root vegetable similar to yam.
There is a spectacular Anthurium Garden. These flowers are used for their decorative properties and floral arrangements, and are also exported by Jamaican Horticulturalists to both the United States and Europe along with the Heliconeas which grow in the hills of Jamaica.
The Orchid Deck
There is an underground spring that feeds the pond and stream in which are the Kois. This water is from a different source than that of the river and waterfalls, to which a special legend is attached.Seems like sometime around 1831, there lived a plantation owner who married a young local girl who was beautiful and mysterious. This English planter however, spent little time here with his bride, as still had to tend to his father's wishes back in the homeland. After returning from a particularly long stint in England, he found her beauty was no longer as warm as she used to be; yet he couldn't understand why.
Disenchanted, he went on many journeys to Montego Bay to drown his sorrows in the town taverns. There he met a beautiful and intriguing lady who stole his lonely heart. This lady was none other than Annie Palmer, the infamous white witch of Rose Hall, whom it is said, killed her three husbands.
After many such visits to Montego Bay, he returned home one night to find his wife atop the waterfalls in the arms of her lover. Enraged he tied both his wife and her lover to a cave just under the falls. A large boulder was moved by the servant to seal the entrance. Legend has it that shortly after a spring appeared and the water is said to be the tears his wife shed. Today hundreds of colorful Kois are displayed for the benefit of the guests in the constantly crystal clear flowing spring.
Our last highlight of the tour belongs to the inhabitants of the pond by the courtyard, Jamaican River Mullets. These fishes are almost extinct. They are extremely strong swimmers and have managed not to get washed downstream. They have a healthy appetite and are well fed, and can attain weights of up to 4 pounds.
All our Charter Services Operators vehicles are fully air-conditioned 4-7 seater Taxi, 15-30 seater buses and coaches. Luxury Limousine service is also available. All Taxi and Tour drivers are fully trained, licensed and approved by the Jamaica Tourist Board. We offer a 24 hour, seven day a week, private taxi and tour charter service. We go that "Extra Mile" to ensure that you have a rich and enjoyable experience.
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