The history of St. Mark’s is not very much heard of or talked about, hence, not much is known of the history of St. Mark’s,also known as Sunset City and its town Victoria. Over time as more research is done, and community members share their story, we would be able to write a comprehensive historical paper of St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s as it was called by the British is a parish located on the north western coast of Grenada in the West Indies. The town of St. Mark’s is known as Victoria, (shortened by the locals to ‘Toria), a name given to the fishing town on the western side of the parish. The coast of Sunset City is washed by the calm waves of the Caribbean sea.
St Mark’s boast the tallest mountain peak on the island of Grenada, Mt St Catherine, a summit which towers 2,756 feet or 840 meters above sea level. The mountain and hilly terrains through the tropical rain forest of St. Mark’s makes the hike to Mt. St. Catherine a challenge for the fit. Nevertheless, it is a tradition of the residents of St. Mark’s to hike to the peak of Mt. St. Catherine during the St. Mark’s Festival also known as Sunset City Festival annually. Sunset City is the passionate name given to St. Mark’s by the locals, due to the beautiful sunset that can be viewed on evenings in the parish, a sunset viewing boasting its uniqueness nationally.
The early inhabitants of St. Mark’s were the native Kalinago tribes and some of their markings can still be view on the rocks and stones in the parish. The parish of St. Mark’s, it is claimed, was also inhabited by the French, who built walls to change the course of the flow of the river. Some of the names of places in St. Mark’s, such as, La Resource, Bonjour, Bonair, Belair, Belmont, Duquense, etc still retain their French names. The town of Victoria was called Grand Pauvre by the French, a name still remembered by the elders. The British renamed the town of Grand Pauvre to Victoria after Queen Victoria who ruled over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in nineteenth century.
Historically, the parish of St. Mark’s since the invasion by the Europeans in the early 1400s was divided into agricultural estates (an estate is said to be a large farm exceeding 100 acres in size). This included the Bonair Estate owned by Charlie Phillip, the Diamond Estate and the Waltham Estate. Elders in the village recalls living in the mountains, and then later moving to the coast. The cause of this migration is a still a mystery.
The people of Saint Mark’s are a very humble, friendly and talented people. However, for some reason St. Mark’s remains widely under developed in current times, even though in the past St. Mark’s was a bustling parish boasting the first shopping complex and church on the island of Grenada. The first church on the island was located in Coast Guard, a village just on the outskirts of Victoria. The first shopping complex on the island, which was owned by the late PG Hosten, was located in Victoria in what housed in modern times, the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association. Hopefully, along the journey of writing our history, we find answers to the many unanswered questions.