Saint Ann (capital Saint Ann’s Bay) is the largest parish in Jamaica. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county of Middlesex, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island. It is often called ‘the Garden Parish of Jamaica’ on account of its natural beauty. Saint Ann is the birthplace of reggae singers Floyd Lloyd, Burning Spear, Shabba Ranks, and Bob Marley. The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, one of Jamaica’s seven National Heroes, was also born there. More recently, it has become known as the headquarters of the Jamaica Dogsled Team.
St. Ann is one of the oldest populated areas in the island of Jamaica tracing back to 600 – 650 A.D. It is believed to be the earliest Taino/Arawak settlement in Jamaica. When Christopher Columbus first came to Jamaica in 1494, he landed on the shores of St. Ann at Discovery Bay, Jamaica. He returned to Jamaica on his fourth voyage and was eventually marooned for one year at St. Ann’s Bay (June 1503 – June 1504), which he called Santa Gloria. The first Spanish settlement in Jamaica was also at Sevilla la Nueva, now called Seville, just to the west of St Ann’s Bay. Established by Juan de Esquivel, the first Spanish Governor of Jamaica, St Ann’s Bay became the third capital established by Spain in the Americas. The first sugar mills were established by the Spaniards in Sevilla la Nueva before 1526.