Portland – Legends
Folly – The Legend
A young American decided to build a summerhouse for his bride. The house was built on land at the eastern headland of Port Antonio harbour, with a commanding view of the sea.
When the house was completed, it was a splendid vision in white. The house with its magnificent columns were white, the flowers which adorned the gardens were white, so too were the doves, the monkeys and the peacocks, which the young bridegroom kept in the gardens.
As soon as the young bride set foot in the competed house, to her dismay, a wall crumbled. In building the house, sea sand was used in the cement mixture.
Distressed, she fled the scene, vowing never to return. Her distraught husband pined away and soon died. His remains, at his request, were put at a point where the seawater would splash upon the grave.
Fact is, although the house wasn’t correctly built, it survived longer than the legend would make one think. The bride was not very young either. In fact, when she came to Folly in 1905, she was already a grandmother. What is more, her husband died in 1912 and photographs taken as late as 1914 show that she continued to live at Folly long time after his death.
Apparently her husband was first buried on the property, but his remains were eventually shipped back to the United States. The mansion at Folly stood for some 30 years before the roof fell in. It is believed that the mansion was constructed using either sea sand or seawater in the cement mixture. This led to corrosion of the iron reinforcing rods. There is nothing to substantiate the story that everything was white. However, there were some monkeys on the property.