Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Montego Bay is the capital of the Parish of St. James and the second city in Jamaica. When Columbus sailed into the area in May 1494, he was the first European visitor. He made friends with some of the local Tainos, and called the Bay " El Golfo the Buen Tiempo".
The Spanish began to settle in Montego Bay after 1510 in the area of the Fort
and theycalled the Bay "Bahia de Mantega" because of the large quantities of
pigs' lard they exported to their colonies in South America and the WestIndies.
With the British occupation of Jamaica in 1655, St. James
was among the second group of Parishes founded in1671.
Montego Bay was a small town for the first part of the 18th century,
and up until 1788 was exempt of taxes,but this soon changed.
Some time after 1720 a Captain Jonathan Barnett sub-divided a portion of
his sugar cane fields and created Charles Town, with Charles Square now
called Sam Sharpe Square, and Barnett Town.
This resulted in the rapid expansion of the town and its commercial waterfront,
as during this time most trade and communication was by sea.
The nickname for Montego Bay is "MOBAY." It is noted as the second most popular city in Jamaica. My friend told me that many men in Mobay are "battyman." (homeosexuals), I don't know can't say I can tell the difference between a straight man and a gay man. I suppose, since I live near San Francisco that it doesn't bother me either way. I do know that many hustlers live in MOBAY.
Tourist usually are their prey. Like any city, you just have to be careful where you go.
So if you come to Jamaica, make sure you take a tour of MoBay. You won't be sorry.