The community of St Helena was developed and colonized by Hugh MacRae. The community was named for an Italian queen, and most of the streets have Italian names. The first settlers came to St. Helena in 1903 from northern Italy. There are descendants of Italians, Belgian, Hungarian, Serbian, Ukrainians, Russian, and Slovak families living in the community who contribute to the cultural and education aspects of Pender County.
St Helena was incorporated in 1988 and became the largest town geographically in Pender County. The original settlers are getting older and their children are moving away. However, the draw is the same today as in early days. People looking for a large lot to build homes or raise horses. St. Helena continues to grow but maintains the rural areas as they were when the first settlers arrived to the area.