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By Beth Albury

    I live in Man-O'-War Cay in the Abacos.  I go to Man-O'-War School.  In the school are grades 1-8.  My island is about two and a half miles long and a half mile wide at its widest point.  It's a twenty minute boat ride to Man-O'-War from Marsh Harbour.  The population on Man-O'-War is about 300 people.

    My island home history is a love story.  Ben Archer and his wife were from New England by way of the Carolinas.  They settled in Marsh Harbour, Abaco and he bought the land of Man-O'-War from the crown in the 1780's.  He later gave it to his daughter Eleanor.

    Eleanor and her father were farming on Man-O'-War.  During one of their farming visits a boat was shipwrecked on the reef.  The men came ashore and one of them was Benjamin Albury from Harbour Island who was a loyalist. Eleanor and Ben, although very young, fell in love at first sight.  They got married a year later.  Eventually, they had thirteen children.

    The island of today has a few gift shops:  Island treasures, Joe's Studio, The Dive Shop, Bellena, and Mary's Corner Store, where the author of "My Island Home" works.  The sail shop makes one of a kind canvas bags and hats.  Emerson's Shop builds half models of boats and rocking chairs.  Albury's Boat Building is where father and sons build and repair boats.  Edwin's Boat Yard I & II hauls boats and repairs them. 

    There are three small churches on the island: New Life Bible Church which is Brethren, The Gospel Chapel which is also Brethren, and the Church of God which is Pentecostal.

    We have two small food stores with a variety of food and household goods.  The two stores are Albury's Harbour Store and Man-O'-War Grocery.

    We also have beautiful flowers like Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, and Royal Poinsianna.  Houses are built in a variety of sizes and shapes by local carpenters.  Our beaches are beautiful with crystal clear waters.

    I am a ninth generation descendant from Papa Ben Archer.  Hope you enjoyed my island story.  If possible, maybe you can visit this beautiful place, Man-O'-War Cay.

Story © 2000 Beth Albury  
© 2000 All Rights Reserved.