The Cat Cay is divided into the North Cat Cay and the South Cat Cay. These are two islands just south of Bimini. However, when the Cat Cay in general is discussed it normally means the North Cat Cay. The following describes the colorful history of the Cat Cay in the Bahamas.
According to legend Cat Cay was given its name by pirates because of the shape of the island. Pirates such as Blackbeard and Henry Morgan were known to frequent this area of the Bahamas. Queen Victoria gave the original deed for the island to Captain William Henry Stuart in the year 1873. The Cat Cay was her reward for the work he had done on nearby Gun Cay. Several years later Captain Arthur Samuel Haigh took ownership of the Cat Cay. All that remains of his original house is the cookhouse and a large fireplace that was used as an oven. This fireplace is still part of a rebuilt cottage in Haigh’s honor.
The Early 1900s
Milo Strong purchased the island in 1915. Friends of the Strongs, Rae and Louis Wasey, bought the island in 1931 for $400,000. The Waseys wanted to use the island as a place to entertain friends and business associates. During the Depression, Wasey let architect Mike Smith design and develop structures on the island. By 1935 the island was officially turned into a private club. Wasey had approximately 200 members who had bought building lots and paid annual dues.
Post World War II
During WWII the island had been used as a military base for the British and Allied Forces. After the war fishing tournaments were held on the island and a nine hole golf course built. Wasey also got a license for a casino. Wasey died in 1963 and Cat Cay was inherited by his daughter Jane. Hurricane Betsy nearly devastated the island in 1965 and the island was temporarily closed. A few years after the hurricane the leader of Rockwell International, Al Rockwell, purchased Cat Cay along with a group of investors. The island again became a private club owned by the members.
Today the Cat Cay Yacht Club is a tropical paradise, offering guests who fly into the island tennis, golf, fine dining, and a host of water activities. This beautiful resort is located in the western part of the Bahamas.