The Hope Town Harbour lighthouse is one of the oldest working lighthouses. Built in 1864, it sends out a beam of light that can be seen 20 miles away. If you climb the 180 steps to the top, you are rewarded with an incredible view.

The islanders didn’t want the lighthouse as they made their money off of shipwrecks and there were plenty of shipwrecks back then. When the cry of “Wreckers” went through the town, the townspeople responded by heading out to salvage what they could. According to the Wyannie Malone museum, the wreckers were as much interested in saving people as they were in salvaging goods from the reef bound ships. They were given national recognition when one night they rescued a slave ship headed for Cuba. The captain of the slave ship offered them a great deal of money if they would help him get the slaves to Cuba. They refused and the slaves were set free.

One of the first inhabitants here was a woman named Wyannie Malone (for whom the museum is named). Before he died, her husband told her that if the British lost the Revolutionary War, she should move to the Bahamas. So on her own she left South Carolina and headed for the Abacos. I find that incredibly brave. She brought her four daughters and a future son in law with her, and together they founded the settlement of Hope Town in 1785. There is a long line of her descendants still living on the island. If you ever get to Hope Town be sure to visit the museum and the lighthouse.