Abandoned in Paradise

Abandoned in Paradise

Of the more than 700 islands that make up the Bahamas archipelago, only fourteen of the Out Islands are occupied. Cat Island is the one that caught my attention. The beaches are beautiful, this much I knew. That is why I came. But I did not realize just how glorious. They rank right up there with any in the world. It is not just the pinkish sand but the turquoise water. And the puffy white clouds that hang suspended overhead.

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Completely unexpected though, are the ruins, the abandoned buildings, scattered across the island. Cat Island is some fifty miles long but has a population of only 1500. People are lured to the promise of good paying jobs at the resorts and casinos on the touristy islands.

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Old, abandoned slave quarters seem to be everywhere. These small, stone, usually roofless buildings are reminders of a bygone era. Slavery was abolished in the Bahamas in 1831. But these sturdy little stone ruins serve as a ominous reminder.

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Also of architectural interest are several churches lying in ruins or boarded up and unused. Father Jerome, an architect and priest, who came to Cat Island in 1938, designed and built four churches including his Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Abandoned, contemporary homes also dot the main road.They have fallen into disrepair and are boarded up, some with personal belongings inside. As if the owners just walked out the door and never looked back. Probably the result of recent hurricanes.

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

The wind kicks in stronger, branches clatter. Or maybe skeletons. Bones of abandonment. Ghosts that will never be.” -― Ellen Hopkins

Bahamas - Abandoned in Paradise

Cat Island’s only service station.

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Those be he’s are paradise! Stunning photos of the abandoned buildings.

    1. Thanks you Colline and thanks too for stopping by.

  2. Wonderful set of photos! Gorgeous beaches and love the shot taken through the doorway!

    1. Thanks Tracey. We had a great time there and are hoping to return.

  3. Amazing azure water color 🙂

  4. Love this gallery Ron. That beach is heartstoppingly beautiful!

    1. The beaches are truly beautiful but the economics of have to leave to make a living is saddening. Thanks Madhu

    1. A lot of us feel that way. Thanks for visiting and think spring.

  5. You really captured the spirits left from earlier sad times, great atmosphere shots. So interesting, and beautiful. ~SueBee

    1. Thank you Suebee. It is a delightful place though a little melancholy.

  6. Abandoned buildings are my favorite! These look so beautiful!

    1. Thank you Evelyn. They make me stop for a closer look too.

  7. The stories, the personal tragedies … and that placid, perfect water – the contrasts are extraordinary. 🙂

  8. Beautiful series of shots yet again Ron…and the writing giving great insight. The 2nd and 4th photos fascinate me because of the contrast and also a great feeling of hope with them both.

    1. Thank you Randall. The contrast we found was surprising and completely unexpected.

  9. Simply stunning shots. Not a soul in sight. Yes, it’s an abandoned paradise alright!

    1. You are right. Other than along the main road, we seldom saw anyone. Thanks for you comment an for stopping by.

  10. These are wonderful Ron. Two absolute favorites tho – the catholic church is priceless and the interior shot with the dresses is emotionally riveting. Well done as always!

    1. The dresses stopped me cold. I couldn’t bring myself to step inside. It was an emotional moment. Thanks, as always Tina for you kind thoughts.

  11. Beautiful review and photographs..simply stunning.

    1. Thanks and thank you for visiting my blog.

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