On 29 January 1917, E.H. McKinney, a customs officer based on Green Turtle Cay, wrote a brief letter to the editor of the Nassau Guardian. This week, that letter helped unlock the hundred-year-old mystery of Green Turtle Cay’s own World War 1 hero.
When we moved Fish Hooks cottage in 2014, it was kind of a big deal. We had to stop traffic on the one route out of town, and the local folks came by to watch. Our local newspaper, the Abaconian even covered the move.
In past years, however, moving house was fairly common in the islands. Several older homes on Green Turtle Cay were moved short distances on rollers. A few, we’re told, were even floated to new destinations on the cay before being set in place.
But that’s nothing compared to the sorts of moves some former Green Turtle Cay residents made back in the mid-1800s.
During the late 1800s, thanks to the success of a number of industries — wrecking, sponging and agriculture among them — Green Turtle Cay enjoyed a true golden age.
Perhaps not surprising, given that their British ancestors valued the flower for its beauty and perfume and used it to make medicines and teas, many Loyalist gardens in Abaco featured roses. Prized varieties were passed on by family members and neighbours.
My cousin, Evan Lowe, recently shared this historic photo of the Nassau Rugby Club on his Out Island Boy Facebook page.
The image was taken in 1940. We know that “H” is John Estwick “Ekkie” Lowe of Green Turtle Cay, and that “K” is Alfred Oswald Moseley.
The things I learn through this blog! I received some interesting and creative guesses as to what our unidentified object was — everything from bee fogger to watering can to bed warmer and even a bed pan.
But thanks to S. Allwood and David Chudley, we now know it’s a salt pig.
I received a bit of great news recently. My book, Those Who Stayed: The Tale of the Hardy Few Who Built Green Turtle Cay has been named a finalist by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards program.
Presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA) program recognizes and honours excellence in independent publishing. Each year, more than 60 monetary prizes and trophies are awarded to independent authors and publishers worldwide.
Well, another Island Roots Heritage Festival has come and gone — and I was heartbroken to miss it. But, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate the winners of the festival raffle and thank everyone who helped make the raffle successful.
Amy Roberts residence – New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay
This photo is from the Albert Lowe Museum archives. Do you recognize any of these faces?
During the planning for the first Island Roots Festival, Key West historian Betty Bruce – whose ancestors were among those Abaco families who settled Key West – began gathering the names of other Floridians whose roots stretched across the Gulf Stream to the Bahama islands.
She posted a sign-up sheet in the Monroe County Public Library in Key West and put the word out.
Within just a few months, she had gathered several hundred names on a scroll, which now resides in the archives of the Albert Lowe Museum.
Reading through the scroll, you recognize many common Bahamian surnames, such as Pinder, Knowles, Kemp, Symonette and Moss, from the various Bahamian islands including Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, Long Island, Nassau and Grand Bahama.
The John Lowe House – Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
Of the many remarkable treasures housed in the Albert Lowe Museum, some of my favourites are the model ships. Most were built by Albert Lowe, for whom the museum is named.
Just inside the museum’s front door is this model of the four-masted schooner, Marie J. Thompson, the largest sailing ship ever built in the Bahamas.
Came across this photo while I was going through some archives last night. It was taken in Green Turtle Cay sometime around 1970 – give or take a few years. How many of these kids can you name?
In fact, why don’t we make it interesting?
Last week, when I published the latest Fish Hooks restoration update, I included a “before” photo of the house, as well as a more recent image.
Several people pointed out that the yard looks so much larger in the current photograph, and asked whether we moved the house.
I realized that a lot of Little House by the Ferry readers who’ve joined us more recently may not know about the day in January 2014 when we first began our Fish Hooks journey.
Some of you regular readers probably know that one of the greatest obstacles I’ve encountered on my genealogical journey is trying to learn more about my great-great-great-grandmother, Romelda. Or it could be Remilda. Or Ramelda. You begin to see the problem…
Here’s what I know for sure. My great-grandfather Herman Curry’s parents were Thomas Wesley (“Pa Wes”) Curry and Lilla Carleton. Lilla’s mother, according to various sources, including my own grandmother, was named Romelda (or “Melda” for short.)
And we know that Lilla’s maiden name was Carleton, because it’s shown as such on the birth records of each of her five children: my great-aunts Emmie, Dora, Bessie, Edie, and of course, my great-grandfather Herman.
From there, however, things get murky. According to several Abaco genealogists, Lilla’s mother’s name was Romelda Jane Lowe, and she was the daughter of John Lowe and Mary Ann Albury.
So I’m finally getting around to unpacking the last of the boxes from our move from Washington, D.C. back to Los Angeles last December. In one of them, I found the photographs below, taken in Green Turtle Cay during the summer of 1984.
The first image is of the top of the public (cannon) dock in town. The white house with pink trim is Carolyn Cash’s house, prior to the addition of its covered front porch.
In hindsight, adding a porch to Fish Hooks might have been a mistake. Not that there’s anything wrong with the porch. It’s just that now, all Tom and I want to do is sit and enjoy it!
That, combined with the fact that Tom hasn’t had a ton of free time over the past year, means we haven’t gotten as much done on the house recently as we would have liked. So earlier this year, when he was able to get a whole month off, we were determined to get back on track.
If you’re on Green Turtle Cay tomorrow (Saturday) evening, be sure to drop by the basketball court, where our Amy Roberts Primary School is holding a Fall Festival and Guy Fawkes Night. There’ll be lots of great food, delicious treats, a hay ride, games and, of course, a bonfire.