Near Williamstown up on a cliff is The Salt Beacon, A tuscan styled column built in the 1900’s that functioned as a un-lit guide for ships to the salt port. Because Exuma is so flat it was perfect for the salt industry back then. I can’t imagine them ever missing it, because scale wise its HUGE – 30 ft tall to be exact.
Salt was a very valuable commodity used worldwide to preserve fish and meat. In 1670, John Darrell, a Loyalist, while hunting whales in Bahamian waters, reported sighting a salt pond on Little Exuma.
The salina was worked, first by Bermudans and then by rakers from New Providence. As many as sixty boats made up the salt fleet. The salt produced was gathered into piles by rakers, dried, bleached out in the sun, and carried in baskets to the waterfront to be loaded onto the waiting boats anchored off the island. One annual harvest from three Little Exuma ponds was reported to be as high as 300,000 bushels.
Climb up to The Salt Beacon & you can see both The Exuma Sound & The “Great Salina” of Williamstown. A gorgeous view you have to see for yourself to appreciate it. The 360 views offer great insight as to why this was a marker for the very important industry at the time. Climb up take a look around, chill at the gazebo and take it all in. This monument makes for great photos, views and the breeze at the top is just the best, I could probably fall asleep up here.
Have you ever visited The Salt Beacon?