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Matthew Town

Village or Town
The Government Administration Office Complex in Matthew Town, Inagua – George Harris, Coast FM Radio

Matthew Town, the capital of Great Inagua, is located on the southwest corner of the island and is the only populated settlement. It was named after Bahamian Governor George Matthew (1844-1849), a 19th-century Governor of The Bahamas.

Almost the entire population of Inagua resides in Matthew Town (approx. 1000 people). It is also home to the Government Administration Complex, the Inagua Lighthouse and a number of historical buildings from the 1800s, the Morton solar-salt production facility, and the island's only harbor.

Apart from salt raking, stevedoring was another of Inagua’s historical industries; today, the principal industry is still salt production, with residents involved in fishing, diving, snorkeling, and other water-related activities to complement the tourism efforts.

History

Bermudians came to the island via the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1803; they established the first permanent settlement here and started harvesting salt, which was sold to passing ships. The Henagua Salt Pond Company (precursor to Morton Salt) was formed in 1848. It is said to be the first corporation that was established in The Bahamas, and the operation still exists today.