Clarks Town was originally part of Swanswick Estate (owned by Mr. G.M.
Clarke) and was created in the post -emancipation period. The town
was centred on the Church and is identified on the plan of 1843 as
"Swanswick Town and Church" (see B.W. Higman Jamaica Surveyed
BUY a Copy of this excellent book). The Estate records for
1842, however, include £80 "received for 5 lots of land for
building in the New Town of Saint Michael's Chapel" so clearly the
name was evolving. The town later became known as Clarke's then
Clarks Town. The church retains the inappropriate name "St Michael's Church".
probably for the . Higman says that the town was probably named for Rev. John Clark rather than the owners of the Estate. He also notes that, according to the Baptists, the church was founded by Rev. Thomas Abbott but I am not sure at this time whether he was a Baptist minister. The church is presently Anglican.
At one time there were ten sugar factories in the area: the Jamaica Almanack 1829 shows that all the properties surrounding present-day Clarks Town belonged to the Clarke family as follows:
At this time there were 1189 slaves on the four properties.
At the time of Emancipation there was a demonstration that resulted in a confrontation between freed slaves and militia and the field in which this occured (nearly opposite the trash drying house (the present office of Long Pond Estates Ltd) is known to this day as Martial Law.
For many years the growth of Clarks Town was inhibited because it was surrounded by sugar cane plantations. It was not until the 1940's that expansion took place as the government acquired the Hyde and Gibraltar properties. Further expansion occurred in 1987 when lands were made available to the north west by Long Pond Sugar Company