Tusket, Nova Scotia

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”.