District of Spanish Wells
Welcome sign in Spanish Wells
|Island||St. George's Cay|
|• Type||District Council|
|• Chief Councillor||Abner Pinder|
|• Deputy Chief Councillor||Robert Roberts|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Spanish Wells is a small town on the island of St. George's Cay  610 m (2,000 ft) wide by 2,860 m (9,380 ft) long, located approximately 500 m (1,600 ft) off the northern tip of Eleuthera island. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 1,551 residents. Spanish Wells is extended, however, by a bridge that links it to neighboring Russell Island, which is 5.8 km (3.6 mi) long and has become an integral part of the community. Spanish Wells is so small that many residents get around the island using golf carts instead of full-sized cars.
Historically, the island was used as a last stop for Spanish ships returning to Europe, where these ships refilled their water supply from wells created for this purpose - thus the English name of the settlement: Spanish Wells. The first British colonists were the Eleutheran adventurers from Bermuda (intending to be some of the first settlers of Eleuthera), who suffered shipwreck on a reef, known as the "Devil's Backbone" off Eleuthera in 1647. After living in a cave known as "Preacher's Cave" on Eleuthera, they ended up at Spanish Wells. Among other, later, groups of settlers were Crown loyalists, who left the United States after the American Revolutionary War.
Currently, (2006) Spanish Wells is a centre for lobster fishing and tourism in the Bahamas. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Spanish Wells served as a transhipment point for illicit recreational pharmaceutical products, being shipped from South America to North America.
- Everild Young, Eleuthera the island called Freedom, Regency Press (London, 1969)
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