Known as the "big game fishing capital of the world" because of the number of record catches landed there, Bimini was where Ernest Hemingway developed the idea for his novel The Old Man and the Sea. The name Bimini is believed to have meant "two islands" in the language of the original inhabitants, the Lucayans, who never survived our islands' encounter with Europeans. After the emancipation of slavery in 1838 Bimini was re-settled by a few assorted families of West African ancestory, who had immigrated from nearby islands. Prior to that the island served as a base for a small number of "wreckers", who made a living preying on hapless shipwrecks. Other forms of economic activity over the years have included sponge and turtle harvesting as well as sisal cultivation. Bimini once served as a useful staging point for rum runners from Nassau during the Prohibition era in the United States, a time in which the Bahamian economy began to prosper.