When the American colonies were successful in defeating the British in the U.S. Revolutionary War, some Loyalists fled the country, traveling to the closest Crown territory, The Bahamas. Man-O-War Cay is one of the early Loyalist settlements in The Abacos, and beginning in 1798, its residents started farming. In 1820, a shipwrecked sailor named Benjamin Albury met Eleanor Archer, who worked on a farm, and they married in 1821. Their descendants are the Alburys of today, industrious people who operate the many family-owned businesses found on this cay.
A stroll through this quaint, peaceful, well-kept community will confirm that much of its history is still very much alive, preserved and celebrated by the residents. Three churches serve the spiritual needs of the population of just a few hundred people. They are very conservative; the cay has the distinction of being the only "dry" island in The Bahamas, with absolutely no public sale or consumption of alcohol there.
The biggest and oldest industry on this small island is boat building, and it is known as the boat-building capital of The Islands of the Bahamas. However, the newer generation of boat builders have replaced the traditional wooden vessels with fiberglass boats. In addition to this skill, the residents of Man-O-War are also crafty with wood carving, sailing dinghies, and creating canvas items ‒ all of which are on display throughout this community at Albury's Sail Shop, Joe's Studio, and Albury Brothers Boat Building.
Access to the island is by ferry from nearby Marsh Harbour.