When Christopher Columbus visited our island in 1492, he called it Gran Bajamar — 'Great Shallows' — from which the name Grand Bahama was derived. However, the name of the island's capital city, Freeport/Lucaya, is probably better known to the world today than the name of the island itself. Many of the 50,000 people on Grand Bahama were not born there. They hail from all over the Islands of the Bahamas.
One of the best ways to learn more about the culture and history of Grand Bahamians is through the People-to-People Program, which brings together visitors and residents of similar professions, hobbies, etc. to create special memories of our destination that will last a lifetime.
In 1834, when Great Britain banned slavery throughout its empire, former slaves in the Islands of the Bahamas were allowed to stake claims on whatever open land they could find. Thus, many of Grand Bahama Island's older settlements, such as Pinder's Point and Williams Town, were founded by former slaves.
Grand Bahamian musicians made their living providing entertainment around the poolsides of hotels during the day and in the hotels' lounges at night. Their repertoires were generally Calypso standards and any other popular island songs that tourists favored. They later moved their acts into discos and nightclubs or began putting on their own native shows, portraying the island's rich culture and heritage.