St. Mary's is located on the southwestern portion of the eastern Avalon Peninsula and directly across the harbour from Mall Bay. Named after the patron saint of Portugal, the community was used as a migratory fishing station by the French and Portuguese, with the French the most prominent seasonal inhabitants until 1713. After the Treaty of Urecht in that year, the English alone returned to St. Mary's to resume seasonal fishing operations. With Irish servants in their employ, the English merchants eventually settled permanently in the mid to late 1700s. In 1782 local inhabitants successfully defended St. Mary's against an attack from an American privateer.
While visiting the community in 1951, Leach collected songs from Mr. and Mrs. Ned LeeOther Newfoundland Communities: