Acklins is an island and district of the Bahamas.
It is one of a group of islands lying in a shallow lagoon called the Bight of Acklins, of which the largest are Crooked Island (76 sq mi) in the north and Acklins (120 sq mi) in the southeast, and the smaller are Long Cay [(once known as Fortune Island) 8sq mi] in the northwest, and Castle Island in the south.
The islands were settled by American Loyalists in the late 1780s who set cotton plantations employing over 1,000 slaves. After the abolition of slavery in the British Empire these became uneconomical, and the replacement income from sponge diving has now dwindled as well. The inhabitants now live by fishing and small-scale farming.
Map of the Bahamas
The main town in the group is Colonel Hill on Crooked Island. Albert Town, on Long Cay, now sparsely populated, was once a prosperous little town. It was engaged in the sponge and salt industries and also served as a transfer port for stevedores seeking work on passing ships.
Acklins Island has relatively few historical landmarks, however there sights that very note worthy. Acklins is home to numerous the Lucayan Indian sites. An ancient Lucayan Indian site, thought to be one of the largest Lucayan Indian settlements in The Bahamas, sits along Pompey Bay Beach, just south of Spring Point. Ten ancient Lucayan sites have been unearthed by National Geographic Society Archeologists in Samana Cay alone, which is southwest of Spring Point in Acklins.
Plana Cays, also southwest of Spring Point, is a protected reserve for endangered great iguanas and the very rare estimated hutias (guinea pig like rodents), the only native mammal of The Bahamas.
Another land based sight of interest is the remote Castle Island Lighthouse at the southernmost point of Acklins Island.
The population of Acklins was 428, and Crooked Island 350, at the 2000 census.
It is believed that first Post Office in the Bahamas was at Pitt's Town on Crooked Island.