ISLAND FUN FACTS
Religion: Roman, Catholic
Carnival: Junkanoo and Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival
Language: Official language throughout the islands of the Bahamas is English. However, you can find a variety of languages spoken throughout the country. Consisting of English, Spanish, French or Creole, Mandurian, Cantonese and many more particularly in Nassau and Freeport.
Side of Street Drive-On: Left hand side
Just like the many other Islands of the Bahamas. Grand Bahama was to discovered by Christopher Columbus back in 1492. But their is evidence of other inhabitants called the Siboney Indians that occupied the island more than 7000 years ago per dating the arrival of the Lucayans (also known as Arawak Indians).
After the Lucyans would have been wiped out shortly after Columbus arrival. During the 18th century entered the golden age of piracy where pirates use its treacherous barrier reefs to lewer ships closer to the island and looted them for their goods.
However, the practice of priacy would soon come to an end once the British would have reclaimed the Islands of the Bahamas as a crown colony and sent Woods Rogers to be the first royal governor. His aim was to get rid of priacy and to restore order within the colony which he successfully did. He continued to governor the Islands upon his death in 1732.
Throughout the greater parts of the 19th century. The island of Grand Bahama was still known for its smuggling and priacy activities within the American civil war where some greater parts of the West End area was used to smuggle in goods and supplies to the confederacy southern states which was a short 55 miles away. Again we see this type of activity happening within the prohibition era in the 1920’s where once again the small town of West End began smuggling liquor to the United States until this ended in 1933.
Fast forward into the 1955’s is where this Island would see an economic boom that would last for decades to come. American financier Wallace Groves who had visited the island from since the 1940’s for vacation thought that the island would be a great alternative to the overcrowded beaches and Casinos of Havana Cuba.
Groves would have approached the Bahamian government with the idea and suggested that they build a new town that catered to this new tourism niche. Shortly after the Hawksbill Creek Agreement was signed and the city of Freeeport was born.
Over the years Groves continued to expand on his vision and convinced other finaciers to invest on the island. Like D.K Ludwig a shipping tycoon who was able to construct the Freeport habour. Then a tourist centre was established in 1962 by Louis Chesler.
Over the next three decades the island would have been in a position to supply every type of vacation imaginable.