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The town of Vieux Fort as seen from Moule-a-Chique

Vieux Fort occupies a special place in St. Lucian history. It represents one of the islandís oldest settlement and it was the point of the first recorded European landing on the island. Indeed, Vieux Fort takes its name after a fort built by the Dutch in the 17th century.

Amerindian presence in St. Lucia dates back 500BC to the fishing, hunting, and gatherer Ciboneys Apparently, the southern part of the island, stretching from Micoud in the southeast to Choiseul in the southwest and encompassing Vieux Fort in the center, had the highest concentration of Amerindian settlement on the island. Many Amerindian archaeological sites have been found along that corridor at the mouths of rivers and at short distances from the coast.

Old Sugar Mill
Old Sugar Mill
Today banana fields dominate the St. Lucian landscape, but just a few decades ago bananas were virtual nonexistent and sugar reigned supreme. Vieux Fort played a significant role in the islandís sugar industry. It was the site of its first sugar plantation and its first sugar mill. In days gone by the plains of Vieux Fort were covered with sugarcane fields swaying gently in the Atlantic breeze. Remnants of old sugar machinery, and wind and water sugar mills can still be found in Vieux Fort and adjoining areas.

Slavery was abolished in 1838, creating a dearth of cheap labor on the sugar plantations. To meet the shortage, East Indian labourers were introduced as indentured workers. In the Vieux Fort area the Indians eventually settled in village pockets with names like Augier, Pero and Cacoa. Today the area has the highest concentration of East Indian population on the island, and through intermarriage and cultural assimilation the Indians have added their sway to St. Luciaís cultural and ethnic mix.


American Military Base
American Military Base in the town of Vieux Fort

World War II came along in 1941, and in exchange for reconditioned warships the Americans leased from the cash strapped and war weary British all of three thousand and thirty one acres of the plains of Vieux Fort. The Vieux Fort sugar factory came to a halt and the sugarcane fields disappeared to make way for a military base. Vieux Fort made history, becoming a boomtown overnight and attracting workers from all over the island and beyond.

Workers
St. Lucians around the island came for work

Today evidence of American World War II presence in Vieux Fort abound. St. Judes Hospital, network of roads and runways, the recently demolished Kai Planes (airplane houses), Beanefield Airport (lengthened and renamed Hewanorra), bridges, water plants, water reservoirs, underground tunnels, the finger pier dock, the secondary school, and remnants of radar systems on Moule-a-Chique and on Morne le Blanc, are all part of American wartime legacy.


Natural Beauty & Attractions
Surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and on the fourth side by distant mountains, Vieux Fort is an untamed land ..
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Life & Culture
As the commercial hub of the southern half of the island, Vieux Fort presents a microcosm of the island's people and culture.
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History
Vieux Fort occupies a special place in St. Lucian history. It represents one of the island's oldest settlements and it was the point of the first recorded European landing on the island.
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Adventure or Relaxation?
A number of tours and excursions are available for your enjoyment.
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