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By Beth Albury
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
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