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Bahama Village

Due to their proximity to the Keys (about 275 miles from Key West; 55 miles from the closest islands to mainland Florida), the islands of the Bahamas have always been a source of influence and immigration for Key West. The islands’ original inhabitants were the Lucayan, Arawakan-speaking Taino peoples; after Columbus made his first New World landfall in the Bahamas in 1492, the Lucayans were essentially wiped out by the Spaniard’s imported diseases and slaving practices and the islands were left nearly deserted until English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera in 1648. The islands became a British Crown colony in 1718 when the British Navy’s anti-piracy forces used them as a base.

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