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Dalvait features prominently in the origins of Jamestown, for two reasons.

The story goes - and this is one urban myth that is probably true - that in the 1790's there were a number of men (3 is often mentioned) living there with the name James, so they decided to call it Jamestown, and Jamestown, or more usually, Jimson it has been ever since.

It probably gave Jamestown some additional influence to have the minister in residence, and he stayed there until his death in 1848.

By the end of the 18th century, the fishermen and workers at the Mill of Balloch had been joined by people working in the two textile finishing works, which had opened at either end of the village.

The mill was originally driven directly by the Carrochan Burn, its waters being controlled by a dam which was built at the confluence of Ballagan and Carrochan Burns, just behind where Balloch Library now stands This dam was swept away in a flood about 1850, to be replaced by Jamestown Dam which was the centrepiece of the village for about 100 years.

Jamestown Steet Scene (Click to Enlarge) Long before the old dam was swept away, the hamlet just east of the mill had been given its first name, probably about 1750, and it was called Damhead, or more likely, Damheid, of Balloch.

Of all the Vale towns and villages, Jamestown is the only one whose identity is under threat from within the Vale.

The main culprit was the building of the Haldane which very much blurred the boundaries of the village, but in recent years estate agents have not helped either, with properties in what has been Jamestown for 200 years periodically advertised as being in Balloch. Well you would like to think that accuracy always matters.

The original houses survived into the 19th century, but were gradually swallowed up by the expansion of Levenbank Works, particularly the major building work of the 1850's and 60's, and had completely disappeared by the 1890's, when netting was abandoned.

Some of the later buildings located on Dalvait Road close to the entrance to Lennoxbank House, and which probably housed fishermen displaced by the expansion of Levenbank, were occupied until the 1920's and their ruins were still evident after World War Two.

The second reason that the name Dalvait features prominently in the development of Jamestown is that it was on the land of Dalvait that the first houses in the area were built.

These were fishermen's houses, belonging to the men referred to above, who drew nets across the Leven to catch salmon.

When the Reverend William Mc Gregor took charge in 1809, he declined to live in the manse probably because it was in a pretty dilapidated state, and lived instead over 2 miles away in Jamestown.

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