St. Thomas Parish Council
St. Thomas is one of the oldest and most beautiful parishes in the island and is located some 32 miles east of Kingston. It houses Belvedere, one of the oldest sugar estates, which was originally owned by Robert Freeman, the first speaker of the House of Assembly. There are three important rivers in the parish, namely the Yallahs, Morant and Plantain Garden rivers, which when swollen by heavy rains, become formidable torrents and are quite impassable. The principal towns or villages are Morant Bay, Port Morant, Easington, Bath, Yallahs, Trinity Ville, Cedar Valley and Seaforth.
Morant Bay the capital, is a coastal town with a linear settlement pattern located on a hill overlooking the ocean and the Morant River (on its western side). It was founded in 1655, and served from the beginning as the administrative center of an area dedicated to sugar production. In spite of the decline in the sugar industry and the closure of its main exportation center (the port of Bowden Wharf, 10 miles to the East), Morant Bay now functions as market center for adjoining agricultural areas. A statue of National Hero, Paul Bogle dominates the central square, the pride of the town.
Commercial and administrative activities dominate this Parish. St. Thomas is also a major banana, sugar cane, coffee and coconut growing area.