Cave Valley, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica
Cave Valley, so called because of its proximity to the large system of interconnecting limestone caves that stretch through the north and west of the country, is located on the banks of the Cave River. The village falls within an old historic district, not far away from the Vera Ma Hollis Savannah, one of the major bases of activity for the first Maroons - those freed slaves of the Spanish Colonial era that took to the hills to wage guerrilla warfare against the English. Years later, the valley was still a Maroon stronghold, and so during the Maroon Wars, the English erected a barracks on the banks of the river from whence they launched their attacks. The ruins of the Cave Valley Regiment quarters are still visible today.
The Cave River begins underground, appearing and disappearing as it meanders from the interior, finally feeding into one of the larger rivers that flow to the sea. Although the river is small, it is a dangerous one, and from time to time, when heavy rainfall saturates the underground sinkholes and channels, the water backs up and floods the village and surrounding areas. The same river causes rampant and widespread destruction, but also is the reason the valley is so remarkably fertile.
The reputation of the livestock market at Cave Valley has far exceeded its size; in the days when beasts of burden such as donkeys, mules and horses were the primary means of transportation, the market flourished and gained notoriety as the best place to buy such animals. Despite the fact that animals are used less and less nowadays, the Cave Valley market still remains a major meeting place for animal traders, although its reputation has changed slightly.
Outside the village there are two interesting natural features, the "Noisy Water" River Cave and "Rat Bat Hole". Noisy Water River is actually a section of the Cave River that emerges from underground out of the wide mouth of a cave and trickles over limestone rocks before it disappears again. Rat Bat Hole, as the name suggests, is the surface opening of a cave system filled with herbivorous bats that extends deep underground for several miles. Noisy Water River is approximately one mile into the lands of Brenton Bertram, and Rat Bat Hole is approximately one mile in the opposite direction. Both the river and the cave are worth the hike along the steep hillsides dotted with grazing cattle and teeming with various medicinal plants used by the residents of the community of Norwood.
Say Hello To:
In the centre of town, Mr Bobby Simms owns and operates one of only four restaurants in town, which also doubles as the local hardware store and the local nightclub. The Prestige Restaurant, Hardware and Nightclub have a warm, homey feel, and usually Bob is sitting behind the bar ready to discuss just about anything from current events to the state of the roads.