Alfred Mitchell, a businessman from Salem, Connecticut, visited Port Antonio with his wife Annie Tiffany, heiress to the Tiffany fortune, in the early 1900's. Having fallen in love with the town, in 1905 they purchased land at Folly Point and constructed an elaborate home. The mansion was built as a replica of a Roman villa and boasted 60 rooms, marble floors, glass window and wooden doors. In addition, the house featured impressive modern conveniences of the day such as a steam-powered generator, electric lights and running water. The Mitchell's lived in the home until 1911 when Alfred Mitchell died at the age of 80. After the outbreak of World War I, Annie Tiffany Mitchell relocated to the United States, selling the property to a new owner. The property changed hands over time and was eventually acquired by the Government of Jamaica. In 1936, after falling into disrepair, the roof of the mansion collapsed. The ruins of the Folly Mansion, known as Folly Ruins, still stand today and show a glimmer of the original elegance and grandeur.
Local legend of the Folly Ruins likens the name of the property to a mistake by the owner, who in an attempt to impress his bride, mixed seawater with the concrete to quickly construct the mansion. Upon seeing the house, already in a state of deterioration due to the instability of the concrete, his bride exclaimed 'what a folly!'
Beautiful even as ruins, the Folly Mansion has been used as the site for many a photoshoot and music video.
Dispelling the legend, the Folly Ruins still stand today, over 100 years after it was built.