A little history:
The first inhabitants of the Abaco Islands were the Lucayan Indians, described by Columbus upon his discovery of the New World in 1492, as gentle and kind. Unfortunately, these indigenous people who had plied the beautiful Bahamian waters for hundreds if not thousands of years were enslaved by the Spanish for work in Hispaniola. By 1550, the entire culture was virtually exterminated by overwork and European diseases. Abaco was probably a transient home for wreckers, fishermen, and pirates from time to time, but no permanent settlement was established for 200 years.
The first permanent settlers of recent history were Loyalists from the Carolinas and Virginia who sympathized with the British during and after the American Revolution. It was from this strong stock that today’s oldest established families of Abaco descended. Over the next 200 years they turned to the sea and made a modest but sustainable living from sponging, crawfish, and boat building.
In the twentieth century some success has been made in various timber operations and in craw fishing, but today the mainstay of the economy is the visitor, the yachtsman, and the foreign homeowner. If your dream of a Caribbean vacation involves unspoiled, un-asphalted, un-crowded, un-casinoed and un-touristy islands, go to Abaco, Bahamas, and discover the undiscovered.
Hope Town, Abaco Island (where the dreams began)…
Located just 200 miles east of West Palm Beach, FL and 100 miles north of Nassau, Hope Town is a quaint village on the beautiful island of Elbow Cay. Elbow Cay is just one of many small cays in the boomerang-shaped barrier to the mainland of Abaco in the Bahamas. At around 4.5 miles long and 1080 yards (according to Google Earth) at its widest point, Elbow Cay is home to wonderful people, great food, beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and is in close proximity to world-class sailing, snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
Hope Town is still regarded as the most scenic and unspoiled destination in the Bahamas. Water is visible on both sides of the island — the blue ocean on one side, the green harbor on the other. The traffic throughout this quaint little town still consists of bare feet and bicycles; there is no motorized traffic in Hope Town. The easygoing nature of everyone on the island is infectious and relaxing – they definitely embrace the concept of “island time.” Its sparkling waters and pristine beaches are also home to the Bahamas famous red and white lighthouse. The Hope Town lighthouse is one of only three kerosene-powered lights in the world, and all three are in the Bahamas. The large Fresnel lens floating in a bath of mercury generates a light visible more than 17 miles.
Feel free to continue exploring Hope Town from afar…or plan a trip, it will be worth it.
P.S. This exact island was the inspiration for our company name. The owner spent several vacations in Hope Town with her family as a teenager and obviously never left it behind.