Spanish Wells is one of the districts of the Bahamas.
Spanish Wells is a small town on the island of St. George's Cay wide by long, located approximately off the northern tip of Eleuthera island. It has a population of approximately 1,500 residents. Spanish Wells is extended, however, by a bridge that links it to neighboring Russell Island, which is long and has become an integral part of the community. Spanish Wells is so small that many residents get around the island using golf carts instead of full-sized cars. Historically, the island was used as a last stop for Spanish ships returning to Europe, where these ships refilled their water supply from wells created for this purpose - thus the English name of the settlement: Spanish Wells.
The first colonists were the Eleutheran adventurers from Bermuda (intending to be some of the first settlers of Eleuthera), who suffered shipwreck on a reef, known as the "Devil's Backbone" off Eleuthera in 1647. After living in a cave known as "Preacher's Cave" on Eleuthera, they ended up at Spanish Wells. Among other, later, groups of settlers were Crown loyalists, who left the United States after the American Revolutionary War.
Currently, (2006) Spanish Wells is a center for lobster fishing in the Bahamas. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Spanish Wells served as a transshipment point for illicit recreational pharmaceutical products, being shipped from South America to North America.
The area suffered extensive property damage during a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Floyd in 1999.
Lately there is much concern over the introduction of non-native species of Lionfish to the waters of the Bahamas. These interlopers, who have no natural predators, are killing the fish that are the main source of income for the islands fishing industry. They have become the source of some frustration for Spanish Wells and other Bahamian fishermen. Resorts, such as the Atlantis Paradise Island resort, are considered possibly responsible for the release of Lionfish eggs into the sea, which then were carried on currents throughout the Bahamas. No one has officially been named responsible for the appearance of the killer fish, however.