Established in the year 1632, Parham village is well known in history as Antigua's very first British settlement. It was once the main town on the twin island state, and the Parham Harbour was of utmost importance. The harbour signified the way of life for the villagers from the 17th century up to this present day.
These days however, while the town has been downgraded to a mere rural village, the past is still recognized. For visitors interested in a glimpse of what the first colonized town on the island was like, many of the orginal architecture and building designs can still be seen.
Most of the old buildings in parham are exceptionally small. This not only includes the tiny residential homes which line the streets, but also the important structures such as the different churches in the community. The small wooden houses which appear to only be capable of housing two persons at most, were actually the domain of large families of five children or more. In those days, life was blissfully simple, and only the basic necessities were vital.
These tiny homes, while appearing to be crudely constructed and lacking in aesthetic appeal, are actually some of the most well-built houses in today's society. The frames of these homes have withstood some of the most savage hurricanes to descend upon the island nation for centuries, and they've never been felled.
Another group of buildings which have withstood the test of time are the churches. These village churches are minuscule when compared to the larger structures which are used in recent times. They appear unable to fit more than fifty persons inside, but they're absolutely wonderful to observe and their architectural design is nothing short of admirable.
Walking about the Parham community, it's impossible to forget that this village was the base of Antigua's society. Small shops carry names such as 'First Town Suprette' and the villagers will be happy to give a detailed account of their history to all interested visitors.
Nowadays, instead of being the commercial mecca of Antigua, Parham is primarily a fishing community. The Parham Harbour still functions, and remains an irreplaceable marine facility. Fishing trawlers and small wooden boats are now docked where British sailing ships were once berthed, but that fact only serves to heighten the appeal of the harbour.
Parham represents an era gone by, and I think it's really commendable that efforts have been made to upkeep many of the older buildings in the community. While it may not be a living museum by any stretch of the imagination, its past is still very much a part of present life.