Cat Island is one of the central Bahamas, and one of its districts, and boasts the nation's highest point. Its Mount Alvernia rises to 206 ft (63 m) and is topped by a monastery called The Hermitage.
The first European settlers were Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, who arrived in 1783. The island may have been named after Arthur Catt, a pirate, or the name may refer to its one-time large population of feral cats.
Historically, the island gained wealth from cotton plantations, but slash and burn farming is now the main way of life for Cat Islanders. An economic crop is cascarilla bark, which is gathered and shipped to Italy where it becomes a main ingredient in medicines, scents and Campari.
The population of Cat Island is 1,647 (2000 census). The main settlements are Arthur's Town (childhood home of Sidney Poitier), Orange Creek, and Port Howe. Cat Island was also the birthplace of famed Bahamian musician Tony McKay, better known as Exuma.
Until written accounts were found, Cat Island was thought to be Guanahani or San Salvador, the first island Christopher Columbus reached when he discovered the Americas.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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