It remains an almost unfathomable thought that one of the most valuable natural resources the Bahamas had, the vast acreages of pine and mahogany wood located throughout the islands, was virtually picked clean by foreign investors. These investors left nothing. The native people of the Bahamas at that time were left in poverty as the land was being stripped bare, one pine tree, one mahogany tree, at a time.
The Bahamas-Cuban Company, based in Abaco, was started by Americans multimillionaires Dr. Dwight F. Brooks and Michael Scanlon in 1906. It became a tremendous success for the lumber giants and a jewel in the corporate crown.
By 1920, more than a million feet of lumber owned by the Bahamas-Cuban Lumber company was sitting on the docks in Miami because there were not enough ships to transport the materials to Cuba. The article from June 1920 notes that boats from the Bahamas were on dry dock for three months because of the hurricane season, so they were not available to make the lumber runs to Cuba.
The Bahamas-Cuban Co., was so much of a success that in 1930 when Scanlon died, he had created a model village which had homes for several thousand people. It would become his legacy. The model village was built around Scanlon’s $55,000,000 plant that manufactured newsprint. Paper, of course, was made out of wood.