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Day 278 of 365 Things to Do, See & Eat in Jamaica – See an Artifact of the Sugar Era: Drax Hall Waterwheel

Drax Hall Waterwheel
Written by Staff Writer

The first step in processing raw sugar from cane is to crush the cane in a sugar mill. During the era of sugar plantations in Jamaica, the facilities were located where there was flowing river water to power the mill. The waterwheel at Drax Hall estate, which was founded in 1691, is an excellent example of this technology. The water came from a dam on the St. Ann’s Great River, the western boundary of Drax Hall. The high cost of constructing the gutter that brought the water to the mill was recovered through the mill’s greater efficiency. There was a major increase in productivity at Drax Hall between 1750 and Emancipation. Drax Hall remained a sugar estate through the 1880s and then switched to the cultivation of bananas, cattle, and copra. It also produced pimento as a secondary crop. The current owner of the property is Drax Hall Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Gulf and Western Corp.

About 365 Things to Do, See and Eat in Jamaica
Jamaica has so many unique foods, places and events to offer. These things are often missed by visitors to Jamaica and even locals. Our goal is to have you try new things and see what Jamaica has to fully offer with something to do 365 days of the year. Please note that these are all our opinions and we are always open to suggestions.

Photo Source: Michael W. Mosley

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About the author

Staff Writer