Folly

Ruins in Port Antonio

This rather appropriately named two-story, 60-room mansion on the peninsula east of East Harbour was built entirely of concrete in pseudo-Grecian style in 1903 by Olivia Tiffany Mitchell, heiress to the Tiffany fortune. It was only lived in for 35 years before being abandoned and given to the government in lieu of unpaid taxes, after which it fell into disrepair.

(The story that it was abandoned due to the use of sea water in the concrete, causing the iron reinforcing rods to rust and the roof to collapse in 1936, is apocryphal). The shell of the structure remains, held aloft by limestone columns, and makes a perfectly peculiar locale for a picnic. The orange candy-striped Folly Point Lighthouse, built in 1888, overlooks Monkey Island – so named for the primates once kept there by Mitchell's son-in-law Hiram Bingham, the discoverer of Machu Picchu.


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