Heaven on Earth
Unlike most areas in the Americas, Bermuda didn’t have a native population when it was settled by Westerners. Bermuda was discovered in 1503 by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez, for whom the Islands have been named. In the early days Bermuda was referred to as Devil’s Island, following reports of strange noises from survivors who had been shipwrecked on the archipelago. In 1609 the Sea Venture was washed up on its shores while on route to the Virginia settlements. Survivors established a settlement in Bermuda which in time would lead to its establishment as a British colony. Originally Bermuda was founded as an agricultural colony to help stock the ships that traded back and forth between North American and Britain. This soon gave way to salt production and in the 18th century Bermuda was the world’s leading provider of salt. In the 1880s Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louis helped to establish Bermuda as a tourist destination following a visit to the colony. By the 20th century Bermuda had secured itself as a popular destination for wealthy tourist from the United States, Canada and Britain – a position is still enjoys today.