Founder Christopher F. Ohrstrom had a goal of preserving Falmouth’s historic district and making a positive impact on the entire region.  Focusing on Falmouth’s significant history as a thriving colonial port and its Georgian architecture, the largest intact collection in the Caribbean, Mr. Ohrstrom saw an opportunity to restore a community and the potential for economic vitality based on heritage tourism. 


Founded in 2001, a Board of Directors was created, and Falmouth Heritage Renewal was established as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity in the United States and a registered not-for-profit organization in Jamaica.


The Baptist Manse restoration, already underway by the Falmouth Restoration Company, was completed Spring 2001, and the two story cut limestone structure located at 9 Market Street became Falmouth Heritage Renewal’s official location. The restoration company was shortly thereafter absorbed into the new organization.


Once the goal of preservation was set into motion in Falmouth,  the training component of the mission was established because the area lacked craftsmen skilled in building conservation; thus, the  Youth Training Program began.  The 2001 Annual Report states, “We have trained four young persons, two as painters and two in the art of historic plastering.”

Christopher F. Ohrstrom

Founder

Soon the good work of the talented and energetic youth, and  board member contacts led to opportunities for advanced training, which initiated the creation of the Mentoring Program in 2002, and opened doors for the University Field School Program, which began in 2006.


Through careful and accurate work, and the involvement of many experts who serve on the board and others who volunteer their time, Falmouth Heritage Renewal quickly gained a solid reputation in the field of historic preservation, and Jamaican and international partners joined the conservation efforts in the historic community. 


Listings on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Endangered Sites in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2008, and a visit from Prince Charles of Wales in March 2008, catapulted Falmouth Heritage Renewal to international awareness, and it became widely known as a model in historic preservation. The quality work exhibited in FHR’s projects and the success of its programs has led to its new label, the “Falmouth Model.”


In July 2011, Ivor C. Conolley, Ph.D. became the new director of Falmouth Heritage Renewal to expand the organization’s vital educational aspect. Today, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines terminal, which opened in Falmouth in January 2011, brings an estimated one million visitors annually.  While the conservation of historic structures continues and the training programs carry on, FHR has plans for a new museum, so that all who visit will have an opportunity to learn about Falmouth’s important history and Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage.  Visit our Museum page to learn more.