Discover historical attractions in Cat Island
Apr 26, 2018
Explore a paradise island where history abounds
Cat Island is a place of discovery. History abounds on this island, located in the Central Bahamas. In fact, Cat Island boasts the highest point in the country, known as Mount Alvernia, which rises 206 feet above sea level.
Roam the many settlements, including Arthur’s Town, the birthplace of the internationally acclaimed actor Sir Sidney Poitier.
If you are a photographer, history or architectural enthusiast, or you simply wish to go back in time, the 18th-century ruins of the Deveaux Plantation is a place to visit. Named after the owner - loyalist and American Revolutionary War veteran Andrew Deveaux, the plantation is located in Port Howe, a small settlement. Once a mansion, the ruins take you back to the colonial era of Cat Island, where enslaved Africans tended to plantations on the island.
Perched atop Mount Alvernia is The Hermitage. It is a small stone abbey that is reached by climbing a set of steps, hand-carved into the hillside by the Catholic priest and British architect John Hawes. Known as Father Jerome, he also carved the 12 Stations of the Cross.
The abbey also has a bell tower and living quarters, inclusive of three closet-size rooms. The Hermitage is a quiet spot that has sweeping, panoramic views of the ocean and the banks. It is at the monastery where Father Jerome lived for 17 years and was buried in 1956.
If you are a nature lover or simply curious, visit one of the bat caves. Fruit bats nest in these bat caves. When the sun sets, the bats emerge in mass, squeaking and wings flapping. You hear, see and feel them. Local farmer, Alexander Wilson is a bat cave tour guide extraordinaire. Locals of Arthur’s Town will be able to point to where you can find him. He will gladly give you a tour and share stories about their habitats and behavior.
New Bight Fish Fry
This is a popular hangout for locals. This beach is a popular spot and comes alive during the weekends and holidays with lots of food and dancing. It is also the site of the annual Cat Island Regatta, a sporting event consisting of a series of boat races.
If you believe in natural healing, this salt lake has natural mineral qualities that serve as a natural Epsom salt bath. Accessible by boat only, the body of water foams during windy days.