Greetings from Kingston, Jamaica! This week, I am at Immaculate Conception Convent, checking on the small archives that the sisters have in Jamaica. Today I found some extremely interesting artifacts that speak to the fascinating history of the convent building itself.
Immaculate Conception Convent began its existence as the Constant Spring Hotel. Built in 1888, the hotel was the first building in Jamaica to be lit by electricity. It also boasted a beautiful sunken garden, a golf course, and a spa.
Despite the hope that its luxurious accommodations would attract tourists, resources in the Immaculate Conception archives indicate that the hotel was never profitable. In 1940, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany bought the hotel and all of its contents, transforming the property into Immaculate Conception Convent and High School.
Pictured here is an example of one of many items one can find in the convent that still bears the name of Constant Spring Hotel: an embroidered wool blanket. Other items that can be found in the convent bearing the hotel's brand include: silverware, plates, glassware, and even the wrought iron railings on the balconies. Next to the blanket is a photo from about the late 1800s depicting horse drawn carriages arriving at the hotel.