The island's history is different from that of the rest of Bermuda. In 1618, a privateering vessel under the command of a notorious pirate by the name of Powell ran aground on the main island, and Powell was banished to the island by the colonial governor. During the 18th century the Royal Navy bought part of the island to use for a lighthouse and dockyard. The lighthouse was never built, but the dockyard became a strategically important one for the navy during the wars of 1812-15, and was occupied until 1952.
The North island was home to a Royal Navy Wireless Station from 1939–49, later to become the transmitter location for CFS Bermuda during the 1960s.
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