History of Bluefields and the Bay

The town of Bluefields is located in the parish of Westmoreland. Originally called Oristan, it was sometimes referred to as Orista or Oristano. Oristan (Bluefields), established in 1519, was the third settlement on the island following Seville and Mellila (today Annotto Bay). Oristan is believed to have derived its name after a town in Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean, once held by Spain.

The date of the name change is uncertain, however, the earliest map by Hickeringills in 1661 called it Bluefields, a name, believed to come from a Dutch pirate, that used to have his base in the bay, because the place had shallow waters and was hard to be spotted from the sea.

The diversity of the people, place names and architecture with Scottish, Irish, French, Dutch, Spanish and African origin is undoubtedly a reflection of the colourful history and culture of Bluefields.