St. Vincent's is located at the eastern opening of Holyrood Pond, an estuary off the southwestern arm of St. Mary's Bay. Like many other small communities in the area, it was used by 16th century French and Portuguese migratory fishermen as a seasonal station. Most notable is its connection with the Portuguese fishery; St. Vincent's appeared as "Porta da Cruz" on a Portuguese map of the region dated 1519. Permanent settlement began in the late 1700s when English and Irish settlers established a local salmon fishery. Holyrood Pond is still known today for its sea-run trout and salmon populations.
During his field research in 1951, Leach collected songs from the following members of the St. Vincent's community: