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History of Turtle lake

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The Story of Edwin & Gertrude Burrows

Mr. Edwin Burrows with a harvest of pineapples near Turtle Lake.

Mr. Edwin Burrows with a harvest of pineapples near Turtle Lake.

     Edwin and Gertrude Burrows were early settlers of the Cupids Cay area of Eleuthera, Bahamas. Edwin was a businessman of diverse talents—over the course of raising 12 kids and several grandchildren, he and his wife opened a bar on Cupids Cay, farmed pineapples and vegetables, and fished. His love of the sea and entrepreneurial style met a certain harmony at Turtle Lake. Sheltered from the wind, waves and predators of the open seas, the lake was an ideal place to stock wild fish, lobsters, and turtles to harvest them after they grew. And grow they did - sea-life invariably grows bigger in Turtle Lake than their ocean counterparts - due in part to the productivity of the mangrove groves ringing the lake.

     Mr. Burrows placed sand along a section of shoreline to create a turtle-egg laying beach that was soon used annually by the turtles. Upon their emergence from the sand he collected the baby turtles and reared them in a small rock-lined alcove, otherwise the giant grouper in the lake would make a quick meal of the progeny. When the turtles where large enough he would release some in the ocean, and release some back into the lake. In order to protect his use and vision for the lake Mr. Burrows secured a lease for exclusive use from the Bahamian Government. The lease grants the Burrows family to use its waters and some surrounding land, and over the course of 40 years Edwin used the lake to raise fish, spiny lobster, and farm sea turtles to support his family.

It all started with Edwin & Gertrude: Three generations of the Burrows Family.

It all started with Edwin & Gertrude: Three generations of the Burrows Family.