Orange Valley Estate to offer tours

February 06, 2018
Orange Valley owner Alec Henderson.
The entrance to Orange Valley Farm.

The Orange Valley Estate, located on the border between Trelawny and St James, may soon add a tour to its considerably large operations, allowing locals and tourists to become acquainted with the property's 340-year-old history.

Alec Henderson, who owns Orange Valley, told the WESTERN STAR that plans are in place to offer tours of the calm and quiet 2,200-acre facility, which dates back to 1678. It features the ruins of old buildings, sugar and cattle farms, and has a river running through the property.

"We are about to commence a tourist operation here ... . We have everything in place to start a small tour of the historical buildings.

"Most of the buildings date back to the late-1600s and the 1700s, right through the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, Emancipation and the abolition of slavery, and onwards into the 20th century, when we stopped producing sugar here in the late 1920s," added Henderson.

Orange Valley has had a wealth of activity over the decades, including its current farm operations of racehorse breeding, cattle rearing for the local beef industry, and hay production. It also had a 20-year lease arrangement with Valley Fruit Company to grow papayas there. The lease ended in 2012.

Henderson said that Orange Valley, which his family has owned since 1955, is particularly successful in its horse-breeding business.

"Orange Valley became a racehorse stud farm in the 1960s. We have enjoyed great success in that field, and I think we have won more breeder's championships than anyone - 23 breeder's championships in that time, 13 consecutively," said Henderson.

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