Hope Town

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District of Hope Town
Bahamas 1989 (456) Abaco Hope Town, Elbow Cay (24552695179).jpg
Hope Town in Bahamas (zoom +glow).svg
Coordinates: 25°4′N 77°20′W / 25.067°N 77.333°W / 25.067; -77.333
Country Bahamas
 • TypeDistrict Council
 • Chief CouncillorJeremy Sweeting
 • Deputy Chief CouncillorJohn H W Pinder II
 • Total458
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code(s)242

Hope Town is one of the districts of the Bahamas, on the Abaco islands as well as a small village on Elbow Cay, located in Abaco. The area had a population of 458 in 2010.[1]

Golf carts are the main source of transportation, and most of the supplies for the area are brought in by barge each week. In Hope Town, neither cars nor golf carts are permitted in the main part of town. Only bicycles and walking are permitted. Cars and golf carts are permitted on the outskirts of town, however. All the buildings that are built must adhere to Bahamian Architecture at the discretion of Town Planning. The seat of the Hope Town District Council is in Hope Town, and most of the meetings are held there.

Where to stay on Elbow Cay[edit]

Elbow Cay offers mostly private homes for rent. However, a few hotels and inns are available as well; most notably, the Hope Town Harbor Lodge.

Elbow Cay lighthouse[edit]

Elbow Cay Lighthouse
The red and white striped lighthouse in Hope Town is a noted local landmark.
Hope Town is located in Bahamas
Hope Town
LocationElbow Cay
Port of Hope Town
Coordinates26°32′23″N 76°57′43″W / 26.539816°N 76.962056°W / 26.539816; -76.962056Coordinates: 26°32′23″N 76°57′43″W / 26.539816°N 76.962056°W / 26.539816; -76.962056
Year first constructed1864
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapeconical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patterntower painted in red and white bands, white lantern and grey dome
Tower height27 metres (89 ft)
Focal height37 metres (121 ft)
Original lensFirst order Fresnel (transferred from Gun Cay in 1936)
Range23 nmi (43 km)
CharacteristicFl (5) W 15s
Admiralty numberJ4572
NGA number11800
ARLHS numberBAH-010
Managing agentGrand Bahama Port Authority

Hope Town features one of the last operational kerosene-fueled lighthouses in the world. This lighthouse was built in 1862 and became operational two years later,[2] it is striped horizontally red and white. Its light can be seen from 23 nmi (43 km) away.[3]

The Elbow Cay Lighthouse is one of only three manual lighthouses left in the world. It has a weight mechanism that has to be hand cranked every several hours to maintain the sequence of five white flashes every 15 seconds. The lamp burns kerosene oil with a wick and mantle, at the rate of 1 gallon per night. The light is then focused as it passes through the optics of a first order Fresnel lens[2] which floats on a bed of mercury.

Weather and climate[edit]

The weather in Hope Town is very similar to that of south Florida. Hope Town and the surrounding islands of Abaco generally follow five weather patterns throughout the year. The winter cold fronts (or Canada Clippers) that pass down to south Florida also affect the Abacos, although occasionally some stall before getting to the northern Bahamas. They are often over by the end of April, and from that point, Hope Town's temperature increases, staying warm until September. During September and October showers recommence and Hope Town often experiences rain.[4] In November and December the cold fronts hit Abaco again.

A table showing temperatures for Hope Town.


Hope Town experiences hurricanes as often as Florida, and over the last decade the number has stayed high. Hope Town's most notable hurricane is considered to be Hurricane Floyd, that hit on September 14, 1999 as a Category 4 on the Saffir–Simpson scale.

In popular culture[edit]

In 2009, TV comedy Scrubs filmed a two-part special on location in Hope Town. The episodes featured Hope Town landmarks and points of interest such as the Elbow Cay lighthouse. Eighty-four cast and crew members turned up in Hope Town, temporarily increasing its population of 300 by over a quarter.[5]

Season 3 of TLC's "Little People, Big World" also features the Roloff family visiting the Bahamas, where they make two stops in Hope Town. A visit to the lighthouse is featured, as well as a scene with the local Methodist church.

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith, was married by the lighthouse in Hope Town.

See also[edit]


  2. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the Bahamas". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  3. ^ "Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas". Archived from the original on 2008-05-17.
  4. ^ http://abacomessageboard.com/AbacoWeather.html Weather
  5. ^ http://www.bahamasb2b.com/news/story.php?title=TV-Show-Scrubs-Films-Episode-in-Hope-Town-Bahamas Scrubs films in Hope Town