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The Classics

Exploring Freeman’s Hall: Trelawny’s hidden gem

Published:Friday | May 24, 2024 | 8:01 AM
At Freeman’s Hall, in Trelawny, Mr Dudley Smart's shop is the centre of activity for this intriguing place near the extraordinary deep sinkhole of the Quashies River.

Freeman's Hall, a populous area between Stettin and Usher Spring, is a hub of community activity centred around Mr Dudley Smart's shop. Freeman's Hall has a diverse agricultural landscape with bananas, coffee, pimento, avocado trees, and citrus. Quashies River, running through this region, plunges into an underground tunnel, merging with Lowe and Cave rivers to emerge as the Rio Bueno at Dornoch.

Published Thursday, May 17, 1973

Jamaica Places: Interesting sights in and around Freeman’s Hall

by Alex Hawkes

The road from Stettin winds quickly downward through a scattering of homes and an occasional shop. Stettin lies at an elevation of almost twenty-one hundred feet, and there is a descent of some 400 feet into the extensive valley through which Quashies River runs.

We were on our way to Freeman’s Hall, the hamlet situated near the extraordinary huge sinkhole of Quashies River.

This district in Trelawny is one of intensive and diverse agricultural pursuits. In addition to the omnipresent bananas, we noticed coffee, pimento, a considerable number of  large avocado trees and some citrus in reasonably good bearing. As we descended into the pretty vale, we could see Quashies River tumbling along its rocky course before it dives underground. It runs across the bottom of the giant sink and then disappears once again into a tenebrous, bat-hung tunnel. I find it fantastic that this stream joins with two other rivers, the Lowe and Cave, underground, and all flow underground for upwards of ten miles, to surface at the delightful riverhead at Dornoch, flowing onwards to the north coast as the Rio Bueno!

Freeman’s Hall does not appear on most maps, though it is a rather populous region, situated approximately halfway between Stettin and Usher Spring.

The centre of activity for the small community is the shop of Mr Dudley Smart, seen in my accompanying photograph, where, especially in the evening and on weekends a grand crowd of people from all over the surrounding countryside gather for gossip, games and a bit of shopping.

Here one can locate a guide to accompany one to the great sinkhole, and the other geological oddities prevailing in the neighbourhood, which are well worth visiting, but difficult to locate without assistance. This is an unusually interesting part of Jamaica, and I think well worth a special visit.

Be sure to wear comfortable suitable clothing and shoes, for clambering about the often slippery rocks and trails, and if you are up to descending into the depths of the sinkhole here near Freeman’s Hall. Oh, and do ask to see the fat, placid pigs being reared in special concrete covered pens … certainly the happiest porkers in the entire parish!

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