Lacovia

Overview

Introduction

Lacovia is the longest village in Jamaica, laid out for more than 5 mi/8 km on either side of the South Coast highway and the Black River, both of which divide the community into East and West Lacovia.

The name Lacovia is derived from the Spanish name for mahogany—la caoba—the logging of which used to be the main industry. The logs were floated down the river to the wharf for export. Today the cashew nut has replaced mahogany lumber as the prime export of the area, and cashews are grown all over the district. The Black River is no longer used to transport goods to the parish capital.

Lacovia was once home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Jamaica, and the town is still of great importance to the existing Jamaican Jewish community. There are many interesting remnants of that Jewish heritage, including an old graveyard with many telling tombstones. Contact the Jamaica National Heritage Trust for more information. Phone 876-922-1287. http://www.jnht.com.

Beside the Texaco gas station along the main highway, two gray concrete tombs lie raised, almost in the middle of the road. One is unmarked, but the other belongs to one Thomas Jordan Spencer, said to be an ancestor to Winston Churchill and Diana Spencer. Why these men are buried there is a mystery, as are the circumstances surrounding their deaths. However, ask anyone from the area and you'll get an animated account of their personal version of the story.

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