Green Turtle Cay was founded in the 18th century. Ancestral roots can be traced as far back as the American Revolutionary War. The first loyalists that made their way to Green Turtle Cay were said to be refugees from New York.
New Plymouth once was known as one of the largest wrecking harbors in the Bahamas. Over a dozen schooners were based here for the business of salvaging wrecks. Wrecking helped make Green Turtle Cay a prosperous island, but as wrecking slowing changed and phased out, the settlers turned to farm, farming was unsuccessful due to the poor quality of the soil on the island, so boatbuilding and fishing became the main means of business on the island. By the 1880s pineapples and citrus were exported from New Plymouth to the United States. After the pineapple and citrus industry ran its course, sponging became the new boost to the local economy.
The 1930s was a challenging time for the Island. it survived one of the worst hurricanes during 1932. This hurricane destroyed or damaged a little over fifty percent of the buildings in New Plymouth. It also caused sponging business to come to a complete stop. Also during the 1930s, there was a decrease in the population of Green Turtle Cay. Many of the Islanders decided to move to the U.S. or to Nassau to seek employment and to begin a new life. In the 1940s sharking became the main industry of Green Turtle Cay. The skins and oils of the sharks were harvested and then were exported to the United States. Slowly, as the sharking industry ran its course and ended, crawfishing became the main source of income for the people. The crawfish was caught by the locals and was exported to the U.S.