Andros is the largest island in The Bahamas. It is 104 miles long and 40 miles wide. It lies in the Atlantic Ocean and is made up of many islets and cays, comprising a North, Middle and South Bight.There is much shallow water and swamp, some of which connect with fresh water streams. Andros, known for its abundant fresh water supplies, has an atmosphere of mystery, having its forested and remote areas. Legend has it that a sort of leprechaun or gremlin known locally as the ‘chickcharney” holds sway and migrated to Red Bayin the 19th century with the Seminole Indians.
The island was given the name “Espiritu Santo,” the “Island of the Holy Spirit” by the Spanish, but is also called San Andreas on a 1782 map.The modern name is believed to be in honour of Sir Edmund Andros, Commander of Her Majesty’s Forces in Barbados in 1672 and Governor successively of New York, Massachusetts and New England. It is also believed that the island could have been named after the inhabitants of St. Andro Island on the Mosquito Coast as 1,400 of them settled in Andros in 1787.
Loyalists and their slaves also settled in Andros in the late 19th Century. Cotton and sisal were grown and later sponging became a flourishing industry in Andros for many years.