Spanish Wells is a pretty town as well as busy and prosperous with economy centered on commercial fishing as much as tourism. Visitors can enjoy excellent amenities including shopping, provisioning, dining, marine supplies and repairs.
The name Spanish Wells stems from early history when St. George Cay was a crucial stop for Spanish ships crossing the Atlantic. The first permanent European settlers arrived in 1647 from Bermuda. The Eleutherian Adventurers, a group of roughly 70, left Bermuda to escape religious intolerance and persecution. However, their arrival was marred when their ship was wrecked on the reefs of the Devils Backbone. The survivors sought shelter in a nearby cave (now "Preacher's Cave"), that was later used as the church and town hall. They named the island "Eleuthera," derived from the Greek word for "freedom." As a result of conflicts within the community, some of the settlers moved 3 nm north from Eleuthera to the island of St. Georges Cay, founding the settlement of Spanish Wells. There are still descendants of the early settlers living here today. The islanders proudly take in close to 75 percent of the nation's spiny lobster catch, much of which is exported to markets worldwide.
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