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History of the Island

The Bahamas was originally known as “Baja Mar,” a name bestowed by the Spanish settlers who arrived in 1492 in San Salvador by the aid of Christopher Columbus, believing they had found the East Indies. The name “Baja Mar” means “shallow sea.” In actuality, the islands are mountain plateaus that grew out of the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of thousands years ago. The corals that surround the islands form their limestone base. In 1647, British colonists settled a colony on the island of Eleuthera in search of religious freedom. Many infamous pirates plundered the Bahamian islands, even after the British claimed the Bahamas in 1670. Finally, Governor Woodes Rogers purged the islands of piracy in 1718 and Britain accepted the Bahamas as a colony.

American colonists loyal to the British flag left with their slaves and traveled to the Bahamas to make settlement. Green Turtle Cay was settled in the 1770’s by Loyalists and was named after the many green sea turtles that once nested there. In 1780, the Spanish tried to retake possession of the islands. With the help of the South Carolina militia, the Loyalists in the Bahamas made the Spanish retreat without a single shot fired. Settlers used their agricultural experience to farm on the island, but the soil was too thin so boatbuilding and fishing became the main source of economy. Brief periods of exporting citrus, pineapples, sponge, sisal, sharkskin, and oil were lucrative. Today, tourism fuels the economy of Green Turtle Cay, and craw fishing, conch, and scale fishing are popular.

Downtown Green Turtle Cay, New Plymouth has a New England feel. The colorful clapboard buildings are homes to many of the residents of the island. The stores offer beautiful jewelry and artwork portraying breathtaking island scenes. Local restaurants prepare savory homemade food with island flair.

History of the Club

In 1963 English Biologist and Inventor, Allan Charlesworth arrived at Green Turtle Cay in his Ranger Yacht which he designed and manufactured himself. He believed the property where the Green Turtle Club now exists was the most beautiful location he had ever seen and thus inquired to purchase it. The sale took place in 1964 and so began The Green Turtle Club. Mr. and Mrs. Charlesworth moved the entire family to Green Turtle Cay from England. Susan Charlesworth Phillips and her husband Roger joyfully operated The Club for many years and later Tracey Charlesworth Nawn and her husband Jim continued.

In 1994 Adam Lockhart Showell Sr. discovered White Sound on a stormy November sunset aboard his childhood friend and college roommates’ restored mahogany 1950 Chris Craft Sedan. Walking into the Tipsy Turtle Bar, Miss Debbie poured them a drink and they clanked glasses to a safe arrival. The warm welcome the Club offered and deep history it possesses left a lasting impression on Adam. He returned in 2001 and fell in love with the Club, the island and the locals of Green Turtle Cay. Adam with his sister and partner, Ann Showell Mariner, purchased The Green Turtle Club in 2004 and began many great years entertaining family and friends. Today Adam and his three children: Adam Jr., Sarah Ann and Hannah spend time together at the Club often. The Club’s long standing tradition of being a family run business continues; Sarah Ann, having finished her MBA from Rollins College, now has joined her father in the owner’s role of The Green Turtle Club.

We welcome you as family to The Club and hope you return soon and often to this incredible island.