For over six decades, Salt Cay, located northeast of Nassau in the Bahamas and now called Blue Lagoon Island, was one of the most renowned private islands of the last century. Purchased in 1916 by noted adventurer and political cartoonist John T. McCutcheon, it was a virtually perfect refuge from the Outside World, complete with a lagoon, miles of beaches, half dozen bungalows, hammocks, yachts and thousands of coconut palms. For three generations the McCutcheon family reveled in Salt Cay, hosting European royalty and American luminaries, finding simple adventures in the lack of electricity; the vagaries of weather and in what the tide brought that day.
But beneath the idyllic surface were also the stresses of ownership. Managing a private island involved balancing tight finances, difficult labor relations, shifting political winds and a burgeoning family. These opposing forces eventually proved too much for the family, and in 1979 it was sold to a developer. This book explains, in a very personal way, the pleasures and pitfalls of owning a private tropical island.