Brief History of Long Island, Bahamas

The island was originally called by the Arawak name “Yuma.” It was rechristened “Fernandina” by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, during which Long Island is believed to have been his third stop, following San Salvador and Rum Cay to the east. Archaeological evidence, including ceremonial stools called duhos, shows that the Lucayan TaĆ­no tribe settled on Long Island, probably in the island’s cave system. After the demise of the Lucayans, who were carried as slaves to Hispaniola and Cuba, there was no large settlement until the arrival of the Loyalists.

The original Loyalists were mainly from New England and New Jersey and arrived on Long Island after fleeing the American Revolution. These families started the first farms, primarily raising cattle and sheep. By the 1790s, settlers began to arrive from the Carolinas and proceeded to set up cotton plantations. The plantations flourished for only a few years and, by the time of the abolition of slavery in 1834, most had collapsed and been abandoned. There are many ruins from this era today, the majority of which are overgrown by bush. There are also remains of some of the houses built after slavery, which are usually small and built of stone. Originally, they had thatched roofs; today, most are shingled. The descendants of these families continue to be widespread on the island. [Wikipedia]