BIMINI MUSEUM
Your Subtitle text

Bimini's Heritage Centre  Bimini Bahamas           

The Bimini MUSEUM was founded in 1995 but the actual opening did not occur until 2000 after a five year fund raising and restoration programme which saw the former government administration building, abandoned for nearly twenty years, brought back to life as Bimini's museum and heritage centre.

  The Bimini Museum

The building was constructed in the 1920s during the height on US Prohibition when the Bimini became a major storage area for liquor destined to smuggled into the United States. It housed the office of the Commissioner of Bimini, His Majesty's Customs and Bahamas Immigration, the Post Office together with the police station and holding cells.

OPENING HOURS  DAILY 10AM-7PM
TELEPHONE 1 242 473 1252
email
biminimuseum@yahoo.com
$2.00 DONATION IS REQUESTED
The museum is privately funded and maintained.




                               The Government building in the 1930s which today is the Bimini MUSEUM.



A REMARKABLE HISTORY
Luycan Indians, Ponce de Leon, Pirates, Wreckers, Rum Runners, Big Game Sport fishermen, Ernest Hemingway, Marjorie Rawlings, Martin Luther King, Adam Clayton Powell, the Duke of Windsor, Anthony Hopkins, Don Johnson, Sammy Davis Jr, Johnny Cash....




Bimini's recent history begins in 1835 when the first original permanent settlers came to the island. Freed slaves and some Bahamian whites landed on the island to engage in the profitable wrecking trade. Bimini wreckers did not lure boats to ashore as some suppose. Rather, many vessels simply came to grief on the many rocks, shoals and shallow banks that surround Bimini. While most of the wreck that was salvaged was to be taken to Nassau for auction, much, if not all, simply remained in Bimini.

                                                      Late 1800s ship aground near Bimini

Prior to 1840 and the wrecking families that came to the island, Bimini had been a haunt for pirates and privateers plundering Spanish galleons plying from  the Carribean Sea along the Gulf Stream and then home to Spain. The famous Gulf Stream is only a few miles off Bimini's western coast. Pirates would lie in wait at Bimini, see a galleon and follow it until it could be attacked and plundered.
However, once piracy came to an end in the middle 1700s Bimini was a quiet island just waiting for settlement.


Blackbeard, the famous pirate visited Bimini as did Francis Drake


However, even before the era of the swashbuckling pirates Bimini was home to the Lucayan Indians. While Columbus never came to Bimini subsequent Spanish raiders came and removed the aboriginal people and carried them to other West Indian islands to work as slaves in Spanish gold and silver mines.

The Bahamas was completely de-populated between 1492 and 1520.





PONCE DE LEON AND BIMINI
The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who travelled with Columbus, later adventured on his own seeking the fabled "Fount of Youth" which the Lucayans had spoken of as being on the island called Bimini. Ponce launched an expedition to find the island and the wondrous fountain but there is no record that he ever found Bimini. He did discover Florida and he was later killed by Indians on the western coast of Florida. The island of Bimini remained untouched until the pirates came and then again was left undisturbed until 1835 when permanent settlement began.

PROHIBITION AND LATER BIG GAME FISHING
Bimini was a struggling community of fewer than 600 persons until 1920 when American prohibition was proclaimed. With liquor and spirits outlawed in America but with most Americans still wanting their alcoholic beverages Bimini became a major smuggling point. Bimini boomed during the prohibition era. Fast money could be had by running liquor into America or by assisting the rum runners in organising their load. But, with prohibition's repeal in 1933 Bimini fell into poverty as the quick money was quickly gone.
However, at the same time as the prohibition era came to an end Bimini was discovered as being a major sportfishing destination. Big game fishing was in its infancy and Bimini provided pioneer sports-fisherman with a bountiful fishing ground. As Bimini embraced sport fishing and sport-fishermen a new wave of prosperity came to the island. Soon Bimini was known as the "Big Game Fishing Capital of The World".
And that is another story!


SOME WELL KNOWN VISITORS
Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway wrote and fished here. Martin Luther King wrote his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech here, US Congressman Adam Clayton Powell lived here...The Duke of Windsor was here as was Prince Wilhelm of Sweden...former US President Richard Nixon visited more than once....movie stars, including Judy Garland and Sir Anthony Hopkins and others from the entertainment and sports spheres have visited Bimini. During World War II US President Franklin Roosevelt was in Cat Cay and US General "Hap" Arnold recuperated from a heart attack there during the Second World War. Bimini has produced more Olympians than any other Out Island in The Bahamas and the British Commonwealth boxing champ Gomeo Brennan was from Bimini. "Yama  Bahama" Butler was known throughout North America's boxing circuit in the 1950s and 60s -- hardly ever lost a fight.

Through our website rediscover Bimini's past. If you visit Bimini please visit the museum.




Bimini, looking north from Weech's Dock towards the museum and the Compleat Angler Hotel, now gone.

There is
no time like the past.
Bimini MUSEUM




biminimuseum@yahoo.com









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website Builder