Exploring the History of Eleuthera Island
Just east of Nassau, Eleuthera Island sits peacefully between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This narrow, 110 mile-long stretch of land boasts a warm pleasant climate and spectacular beaches. Its interesting past features European explorers, the New World’s first republic, and even an early visit by Christopher Columbus. The history of Eleuthera Island inspires, entertains and intrigues travelers from all corners of the world.
The Eleutherian Adventurers
Preacher’s Cave, a spot on the northern part, features prominently in the history of Eleuthera Island. After exploring the other island’s regions, it was here that the Adventurers first sought shelter, perhaps near or even on top of the native Arawak settlement. Eventually, the group established themselves near Governor’s Harbour and Cupid’s Cay, the site of their initial landing.
The Adventurers received support from American Puritans, most likely those that had chosen Massachusetts for their home. As a gift of gratitude, the Eleutherian Adventurers sent braziletto wood, which was considered highly valuable at the time, to Harvard University. They drew up a constitution that still hangs proudly in Nassau’s Parliament Buildings; it established the first republic in the New World. Decades before the Revolutionary War and American Independence, this small colony of Europeans founded a government that carved out the very identity of the New World.
History of the Offshore Spots
On the other side of the main island, north of Harbour Island, lies Spanish Wells. Crawfishing became well established in this area, and a local museum boasts of the seafaring existence of many resident families of the past.
Windermere Island is famous as a home for the rich and powerful. Rumor has it that no one can access the precious island on the eastern side of Eleuthera without an invitation or appointment. The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Windermere back in the early 1980’s, and it’s highly likely that other celebrities have toured the small island since then.
Nature Leaves Its Mark