Saint Lucia History Timeline

By | October 14, 2021

According to commit4fitness, Saint Lucia is an island state in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea on the border with the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the Lesser Antilles and is located north of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and south of Martinique.

There is much speculation about who first discovered the island, some say it was Columbus on his fourth voyage in 1502, others believe it was Juan de la Cosa. Either way, no one really settled on the island until 100 years later.

The island has alternately been under British and French rule. Castries is the capital (founded 1650), and has been rebuilt several times after being destroyed by fire. There are about 61,400 people living in the city.

In the second half of the 19th century, the Vieux Fort was the center of St. Lucia’s sugar industry. Part of the Vieux Fort is called Black Bay, and the name comes from the legend of the infamous Pirate Captain Blackbeard, who should have used this part of the country to hide his loot between 1717-1718.

During World War II, the Vieux Fort also became a base for American troops, and one of the proofs of this was a tunnel that still exists today that many of the island’s residents do not know about – it runs from Clark Street to St. Judes Hospital in Augier.

The two towering volcanic cones on the southwest coast, Gros Piton and Petit Piton remain a great help to sailors, and are considered one of the most famous landmarks in the Caribbean. Mount Gimie is the highest mountain on the island, with its 950 meters.

The island is the size of Bornholm.


200 – The island was first inhabited by Arawak Indians, who had settled on what is today Pigeon Island. They called it ” Iouanalao “, meaning ” Iguana Island “. There are several archeological sites that document and show the Indians’ well-developed sense of pottery.

800 – Caribbean takeover of the island, killing their men and using the women to make them part of their own community. They called the island ” Hewanauru ” and later ” Hewanorra “, which is why the later international airport in Vieux Fort was called Hewanorra International Airport.

1500 – The island is discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan de la Cosa. He played an important role in the first two voyages with Christopher Columbus to the Caribbean when he was the owner and captain of Santa Maria, which was the largest of the three ships Columbus used on his first voyage across the Atlantic to America in 1492.

1550s – French pirate Francois Le Clerc (Tree Leg), arrives on the island, establishes his base on Pigeon Island, from where he could attack and rob the passing Spanish ships. He made a deal with the Caribbean not to attack his ships.

17th century – The Dutch arrive on the island and establish a fortification at the Vieux Fort.

1605 – The Caribbean forces the British colonists to flee the island.

1635 – French arrive on the island and establish a colony.

1639 – The Caribbean once again forces the British colonists to flee.

1660 – France signs a treaty with the Caribbean.

1746 – France establishes the first official settlement in St. Petersburg. Lucia – Soufriere.

1765 – The first plantation is established by two Frenchmen.

1778 – Battle of St. Lucia took place on December 14 during the American War of Independence between the British and French navies. Admiral George Rodney took over Pigeon Island and built a fort named after himself. Fort Rodney ( video ) was built on the smallest of the highest points on the island, and in order to create a better view, he ordered all trees in the area to be cut down.

1780 – A total of twelve settlements and a large number of sugar plantations had been established this year.

1803 – The British invade Saint Lucia, but the slaves and French deserters fight them in a campaign, but they lose and the British make the island their colony. Castries, founded in 1650, became the capital of the island.

1814 – France cedes the island to the British under the Treaty of Paris, and Britain proclaims the island as a crown colony and brings African slaves to work on the sugar cane plantations.

1834 – Slavery abolished.

1842 – English becomes the official language of the island.

1871-1956 – St Lucia Member of the Leeward Islands Federation.

1941 – Beane Air Force Base is activated as a military base by the Americans during World War II, where the mission was to defend the island from enemy attack. The airport was used until 1949, then renovated, and converted to Hewanorra International Airport.

1958-1962 – St Lucia member of the Federation of the West Indies.

1964 – The island stops sugar cane production.

1974 – Peter Bird and Derek King rowed just over 6,920 km over 106 days from east to west across the Atlantic from Gibraltar to St. Petersburg. Lucia. They wrote about their trip in the book “Small Boat Against the Sea”. In 1996, Peter Bird disappeared without a trace in the sea 1770 km off the coast of Japan in an attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean. Source.

1979 – St Lucia becomes completely independent.

1993 – A fall in the price of bananas leads to unrest and strikes among farmers and farm workers.

1997 – On June 18, it was reported that Japan had bribed 5 Caribbean nations with extensive aid and investment to block the protection of endangered species. Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent, St. Lucia and Dominica were all reported to have been bribed.

2000 – On December 31, four men armed with machetes storm into the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries, chopping down visitors and setting them on fire. One nun, Theresa Egan, was killed and 12 people injured. They set fire to the priest Charles Gaillard, who was severely burned. Two of the suspects identified themselves as enemies of corruption in the Catholic churches. Police described the violence as religiously motivated. Source.

2002 – In September, the tropical storm ” Lili ” ravages and destroys 75% of the banana crops. In some places, entire plantations have been wiped out. Four deaths, and 20 million. $ in damages.

2004 – The two volcanic twin peaks – the Pitons – are declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July. They are both very steep and over 700 meters high.

2007 – Hurricane ” Dean ” ravages the island on August 17, but only 1 death, and $ 6.4 million in damage.

2010 – On September 17, a gunman walks into Prime Minister Stephenson King’s office and kills a man waiting for a job interview. King was not hit during the shootings and the perpetrator managed to escape. Source.

On October 30, Hurricane ” Thomas ” ravaged and killed 14 residents, with $ 588 million in damage.

Saint Lucia History Timeline