Nova Scotia

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TUSKET : Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada

This place derives its name from the Micmac Indian word "Nekataouksit" meaning "the great forked tidal river". Tusket Wedge (now Wedgeport) was at one time called "Chebec". Tusket Island in 1633 is called by Jean de Laite "Isles aux Tangneux" or "Gannet Islands". The Indians also knew this place as "Aglassawakade" or "place of the English". The name also appears as "Tousquet" in Rameau's history of the French colonies 1859.

Tusket population 395, was originally settled by Dutch United Empire Loyalists from New York and New Jersey in 1785, although some Acadian French had previously been in the area. The old Tusket Courthouse, built in 1805 and featuring a bell tower, is the oldest standing courthouse in Canada.

Part of the beauty of Nova Scotia can be found here in this southerly part of the province. Whether it's scenery or history, or even just for a bit of relaxing fishing, Tusket is the place to visit. 

The most interesting part of this area is the variety of fishing to be found in the local waters. Species range from record-size chain pickerel to the favored Atlantic Salmon. With the creation of a man-made lake, the result of a hydro power dam, the best fishing for small trout and perch is a great way to spend a day. Along the lower part of the river enjoy fly-fishing for salmon, and where the river empties into the Atlantic,  the fantastic striped bass may be caught by amateurs and pros alike. The nearby Carl's Store has a great range of fishing equipment and tackle with lots of good advice from people who know the area. 

If these species aren't your choice,  move inward for some real sport with record-size chain pickerel, the fresh water sharks, which inhabit the inner rivers and lakes. These fish will amaze you with a ferocious attack on their prey. For the sports fishermen,  the local lakes have also been stocked with smallmouth bass. After only three seasons in stock,  they already reach a length of twenty inches. These fighting beauties, though more elusive than other species,  can be far more pleasing to bring in as anyone can tell you. Other species include white perch ranging in the 12" range as an average, yellow perch reaching sizes of 12", horned pout, and eels. 

Apart from fishing, canoeing derbies are held several times a year and offer a challenge for the intermediate and beginner paddlers. With everything from fast-running stretches to slow-moving rivers, it's one of the most scenic trips you could take. The nearby Ellenwood Provincial Park offers a great place to have a picnic as well as good trails for short hikes. For more info on this park contact any area tourist bureau. 

Part of the history of  Tusket begins with Canada's oldest Court House which still stands next to Carl's Store. This Court House was built in 1809. It served the Argyle area as a law court and strangely has a tower area for a bell.[ This comment has been edited={ Only a mile or two from the Court House is the power dam which was hand dug in 1963.} I believe this statement is incorrect.}They may have been referring to the construction of the fish ladder ? ] After the dam was built,  a large part of an old road and house foundation were flooded over. If you are lucky enough to be around when the lake is drained,  you might find some ancient arrow heads which were used by early natives, along with pieces of pottery and other artifacts, not to mention the other interesting things that get lost on the bottom of a lake! Unless your find is of historic or archival interest, it's finder's keepers! The following is a contract for a steam-powered saw mill which would eventually dictate the name of the road on which it was built. This road now hosts a Christian school and church, a fish plant and Ellenwood, a provincial park. The contract has been written exactly as it was at the date of  the agreement.  Evidently the English in that time was not quite the same as today. One thing to note is that buyer has been spelt "bier". 


"Articles of agreement of copartner ship made the tenth day of April AD one thousand eight hundred sixty nine between Cornelius Mood Thomas Bullerwell Nathaniel Hatfield, Benjamin Mood Joseph Spates Charles Andrews Each of the said partners have agreed to build a saw mill on Salmon River Stream Cornelius Mood one quarter Thomas Bullerwell one eighth Nathaniel Hatfield one eighth Benjamin Mood one quarter Joseph Spates one eighth Charles Andrews one eighth Each of the said partners to find timber and material to build his respective share as put down to his name and when money is to be paid each partner to pay according to his share and to do labor the same Article First 

Cornelius Mood to give to each of the said partners in common with self to pile lumber timber and right of way to and from the mill to have lumber an timber on both sids of stream as same as he is concerned Article Second 

Thomas Bullerwell on his part to give the old jon of the old mill for privalage to Cornelius Mood and partners Article Third 

Nathaniel Hatfield to come in an equal wages one dollar per day as foremen to build the mill as privilege for ion and other privilege Article Fourth 

Charles Andrews of old ion from old mill to partners against privilege and fore foreman Aricle Fifth 

Each of the partners to have right to sell their share and the bier to have the same right that the rest of the partners to mill and privileges Article Sixth 

This copartner ship shall continue as long as the saw mill is right in repair and is order to saw lumber and timber and when not this agreement becomes void and null and then the privilege comes back to Cornelius Mood the original owner as before 

In whitness where we have unto interchangeably set you hands and seals the day and year first above written Cornelius Mood, Thomas Bullerwell, Nathaniel Hatfield, Executed in Presence of E Joseph. G. Spates, Benjamin Mood, Charles Andrews " 

Unfortunately the mill is no longer standing, although the area along the river where it used to stand is covered in saw dust. It covers the bottom of the lake a well and makes a great place for fresh water mussels. 

Also on this road still stands the old school house. It can be easily identified by the unusual wooden black bat attached to the upper story. This one room school house, long out of use as such, now serves as a registering  point for the chain pickerel tournament every year. 

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