Island Historical Timeline
- 750 -
l500 AD - Evidence of Lucayan ceremonial and trading centre activities
on Grand Turk and Middle Caicos.
- 1300's -
Pottery shards and bead-making remnants in a Lucayan village discovered
on Grand Turk in 1989.
- 1492 -
Christopher Columbus lands at Guanahani Beach,Grand Turk. He finds a
settlement of Lucayan Indians.
- I512 -
Ponce de Leon passes by the Turks Islands on his way to Bimini.
- 1563 -
First English visitor, Captain John Hawkins, stops to pick up salt.
- 1641 -
"Nuestra Senora" sunk north of Puerto Plata. An estimated 1000
shipwrecks surround the Turks & Caicos Islands.
- 1668 -
Salt making industry begins.
- 1670's -
Bermuda freely enjoyed raking salt from the Islands.
- 1687 -
Treasure of gemstones, gold and silver in excess of $600,000 is
recovered from the Silver Shoals by Sir
- 1706 -
Turks Islands captured by the French and Spanish.
- 1710 -
Turks Islands recaptured by Bermuda.
- 1718 -
Anne Bonny and Mary Read capture Spanish treasure ship and settle on
- 1720's -
Francoise l'Olonnois used French Cay as his pirate base.
- 1725 -
Grand Turk is seasonally occupied by 1000 men raking salt, fishing for
turtle and wreck diving.
- 1776 -
Bermudan sloops ignore Royal Navy blockade and ship salt to
- 1777 -
Inflation rampant in America, salt was selling for $40 per bushel.
- 1781 -
First permanent settlement on Grand Turk.
- 1783 -
French seize Grand Turk. Horatio Nelson tries unsuccessfully to capture
Grand Turk. Islands are restored to Britain by the Treaty of Versailles.
- 1789 -
Loyalist refugees begin to arrive in the Caicos Islands.
- 1792 -
Grand Turk becomes Port of Entry and Customs arc set up here instead of
- 1799 -
Britain decides in favour of Bahaman rule for the TCI. Bermudan
residents resist Bahamian rule.
- 1812 -
War in America led to suspension of trade and famine in the Islands.
- 1813 -
Hurricane forced loyalists to other British Islands and Canada, a few
took their slaves to Grand Turk.
- 1834 -
All British Colony slaves are granted freedom.
- 1834 -
1840 - Harriet family home, the White House, built on Salt Cay.
- 1840 -
The home of the Islands Salt Overseer built on Grand Turk, later to
become the Governors guest house, and finally the Turks Head Hotel.
- 1842 -
Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. serves Caribbean mail and uses Grand Turk
as a coaling station.
- 1845 -
First newspaper published, "Turks Island Gazette & Commercial
- 1846 -
1883 - Turks Island Whaling Co. is formed and harpoons first whale off
East Ambergis Cay.
- 1848 -
1873 - Queen Victoria grants a royal charter. The TCI become an
- 1850 -
English Captain Delaney recovers $130,000 in pirate treasure from a
cave at Sand Cay.
- 1852 -
Grand Turk lighthouse erected.
- 1857 -
"Waterloo", built in 1815, was acquired for the Governors residence.
- 1866 -
"The Great Bahama Hurricane" devastates the TCI and the entire Bahaman
- 1873 -
Due to Civil War, salt exports drop to $0.04 per bushel.
- 1874 -
TCI annexed to Jamaica who provided medical and technical assistance
and grants following the hurricanes.
- 1898 -
First telegraph cable, Bermuda to Grand Turk to Jamaica. First fire
- 1911 -
Theodore DeBooy of the Heye Museum of American Indians, visited and
collected archaeological specimens.
- 1930 -
Revival of the salt industry. Tax on salt accounts for 25% of Bahamas
- 1941 -
"Bahama Passage" starring Madeline Carrol and Sterling Hayden filmed at
- 1943 -
3,900,000 conch meats exported overseas.
- 1948 -
First commercial flight to TCI.
- 1950 -
US missile tracking station established on Grand Turk. First movie
- 1958 -
Schemes to revive South Caicos salt industry failed.
- 1959 -
Hurricane Donna devastates all agriculture.
- 1962 -
Jamaica becomes independent but TCI wishes to remain a British Crown
- 1962 -
John Glenn splashed down just a mile or two off the coast of Grand
Turk, and spent his first couple of days on the Island after his space
- 1966 -
Development begins on Providenciales. The first car arrives.
- 1968 -
Airport opens on Providenciales.
- 1978 -
Burt Webber discovers millions in treasure on the Silver Shoals.
- 1980 -
Treasure hunting company located remains of 16th century ship on the
- 1991 -
Turks and Caicos National Museum opens on Grand Turk.
- 1995 -
Dr. William F. Keegan an Associate Curator of Anthropology at the
Florida Museum of Natural History starts a major study of the Tainos
people and culture.