The name has its origin from a holy spring or am single-stone monument in the area. It is mentioned for the first time in 1570. U. Salchow estimates in his military description of Born-holm in 1812-14, that there were "11 boats and one Ege (ancient type of boat) " in the harbour. The road was built in 1911. Six to eight families settled and one started fishing from the place. The harbour came into existence, when local fishermen built a simple pier. In 1879 they were given a grant to build a granite founded harbour with two basins. The harbour has not changed since then, but has been restored after storm damages. It is no longer used by professional fishermen, but it is a cosy place for leisure-time fishing an yachting.
Four smokehouses have been built and preserved in Helligpeder. South of the harbour is Peter Finne's smokehouse. The chimney was built in the beginning of the 1880's by E. P. Jespersen and is believed to be the oldest on Bornholm. Peter Finne bought the smokehouse in 1909, and his daughter, Gerda Finne, was known as one of the best fish smokers on Bornholm. The next smokehouse was built in 1902 by Chr. Wang. It is a half-timbered, detached building with af twin-chimney. The third smokehouse was built in 1930 close to the harbour by Johannes Jergensen. Valdemar Wang a son of Chr. Wang, built the 4th and youngest smokehouse together with a bricklayer from Rutsker.
The work in the smokehouse started early in the morning, when the catch of the night was brougth to the smokehouse. "Then the first herrings were put into the first chimney to be smoked. While I was smoking, my wife made the next chimney ready. We could smoke 3 chimneys, about 40-45 boxes, a day. We worked all day. We didn't get much rest". During the 1950's the demands to sanitary and hygienic conditions were increased. They were asked to increase the floor-to-ceiling height, cover with tiles, put in washbasin and water-closet, and the staff was ordered to wear white smocks, which was impossible, Mr. Wang claimed to the authorities. Wang closed the smokehouse in 1953, partly because of the claims from the authorities, parry because of the hard work.
In the middle of the 1950's, before the mechanization of the fishing, there were six fishing vessels registered in Helligpeder. They were 25-30 foot vessels. The passage to the harbour was often made difficult because of the low water. Pauli Vang, fisherman, tells that the boats often had to sail to Hasle. "It was even worse, when we had to stay in our own harbour because of low water, in a good fishing weather and wait for the water to rise, so that the boats could get out". Smokehouse owner, Valdemar Wang, described his work as a fisherman from 1930-50. "We started fishing before sunset and came back to the harbour at 1-2 in the night. After that we picked off the herrings and brought them on a wheel-barrow to the smoke house, situated 300 m from northeast of the harbour, - often 3-5 rounds. Next we had to fetch the net and hang it up to dry, as it was made of twist, and not nylon like nowadays.