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The Ferry Inn: a tale of progress and aspiration

Published:Sunday | November 19, 2023 | 12:10 AM
The Ferry Inn – from an old sketch by William Kidd supplied by the Institute of Jamaica.
The Ferry Inn – from an old sketch by William Kidd supplied by the Institute of Jamaica.

Established in 1684, The Ferry Inn stands as a silent witness to the ebb and flow of time. It proudly claims the title of Jamaica’s first inn, an architectural testament to the endurance of dreams and the passage of centuries.

The roots of this historic establishment trace back to 1677 when an act decreed by the king permitted William Parker to collect tolls for crossing the Fresh River, the natural divide between St Catherine and Kingston. Subsequently, George Stiebel, a visionary of his time, was entrusted with the monumental task of constructing The Ferry Inn. In its heyday, it emerged as a beacon of elegance, attracting patrons from far and wide for splendid dining and lively revelry.

Today, The Ferry Inn stands in solitude, weathered by time, yet echoing with the whispers of its vibrant past. As the sun sets on its weathered façade, it serves as a poignant reminder that we, like this historic landmark, grow, change, and move forward.


Amid the faded grandeur of The Ferry Inn lies a profound lesson for us all: the journey of the human race is one of perpetual evolution. We are shaped by our history, moulded by the challenges we face, and enriched by the passage of time. The story of The Ferry Inn is a microcosm of our collective journey – a testament to our ability to adapt, persevere, and thrive.

In the shadow of The Ferry Inn’s storied past, we find inspiration. It beckons us to reflect on our shared history and to embrace the challenges that lie ahead. As we navigate the ever-changing currents of life, let us remember that growth is constant, change is inevitable, and progress is our collective destiny.

We, the people, aspire to a greater life of happiness and fulfilment. The Ferry Inn, with its enduring legacy, whispers to us across the centuries: “We grow, we change, we move on. This is the journey of our human race.” May we, like The Ferry Inn, stand resilient in the face of time, knowing that our journey towards a brighter future is everlasting.

Contributed by Dr Lorenzo Gordon, a diabetologist, internal medicine consultant, biochemist, and a history and heritage enthusiast. Send feedback to