Saint George Parish, Grenada
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Saint George is one of the seven parishes of Grenada located on the south-western end of the island. The capital of the island of Grenada, St. George's, is located in this parish, and as of 2001, it has a population of 35,559, making it the most populous parish of Grenada. It is also the second largest, with an area of 26 sq mi (67 km2).
Often regarded all as the most picturesque capital in the Caribbean due to its majestic horseshoe-shaped harbour and steeply rising hillside. The harbour is ringed by the pastel coloured of warehouses and it is not uncommon to see red-tiled roofs on traditional shops and homes. Saint George is also the home of the world famous Grand Anse Beach and many of the island's holiday resorts.
The peninsula at the south-western tip of Saint George is called, after its original French name, Point Salines, and where is now Grenada's only active airport, originally Point Salines International Airport, now renamed Maurice Bishop International Airport. The parish is also home to famed St. George's University.
The parish was called Basse Terre or lowland by its original French inhabitants of 1649 and only after it was ceded to the British by the Treaty of Paris in 1763 was it renamed Saint George.
The island of Grenada, even to this day, is often ravaged by natural disasters as well as man made catastrophes. As early as 1770 the parish of Saint George suffered to "ruinous effects" of the Sugar Ant which destroyed every sugar plantation between this and its neighbouring parish of Saint John.
In its early history the town of Saint George's, with its narrow streets and close buildings originally constructed of wood, was frequently plagued by fires. In the night of the 17th December 1772 a fire broke out in the town and "before morning was reduced to ashes". Another occurred on the 1st of November 1775 and at that time was so famed that islands as far as Barbados were telling visitors "Oh Grenada all gone, no Grenada now," the town was entirely destroyed by fire. Then once again on the 15th June 1792 "a dreadful fire happened ... which consumed every house in the Carenage except three and loss is estimated at £100,000 sterling".
Then there are the terrible hurricanes, of which we to this day we are fully aware (Janet of 195, Ivan of 2004, etc). Though records early as the middle of October 1780 tell of "a truly severe hurricane ... houses and everything were levelled with the ground". And again on the 12th of October 1789 "a dreadful hurricane was felt at Grenada ... which has sustained very considerable damage".