The centerpiece of downtown Montego Bay is Sam Sharpe Square. This cobblestone town square gives visitors a snapshot of Montego Bay's history. The square is lined with Georgian buildings side by side with modern structures interspersed as well as monuments commemorating the history of the square. There is always a lot of activity in this busy square and the side streets are teeming with vendors selling a wide range of products.
Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay’s central town area is the highlight of historical sights in the immediate vicinity. Originally named Charles square for the governor in power during the square's construction in 1775, the square relays a long tale of history but is also fused with modern day features. Sam Sharpe square is a great place to hang out and do some shopping and sightseeing. Throughout the streets and avenues that converge at the square there are countless vendors selling unique handicrafts and other local wares. The area bustles with locals and visitors who also enjoy sampling the menus of the restaurants, cafes, and bars circled around the main square.
The square is named for one of the country’s most beloved national heroes; Sam Sharpe was a practicing Baptist minister whose academic work focused on the writings of advocates of abolitionism. He endlessly supported national protests in hopes of emancipation. History is retold through the square’s many historical attractions. The Cage was an old jail used for holding runaways, drunks, and vagrants and is now a small tourist shop. The Montego Bay Civic Centre was reconstructed throughout 1999 to 2001 to appear just as the original towns courthouse which was built in the early 19th century and ruined by a devastating 1968 fire. Today it is the Montego Bay Museum. The most visually pleasing attraction is the fountain in the center of Sam Sharpe Square. Built entirely of cast iron, the fountain sits in the middle of a roundabout encircling it.