The Village of Tatamagouche
This village is located on the Northumberland Strait, north of Truro. The name Tatamagouche is derived from the Mi’kmaq term “Takumegooch” which means, roughly translated, “meeting of the waters” as it's the location where the Waugh and French Rivers run into a harbour. The first European settlers in the Tatamagouche area were the French Acadians, who settled there in the early 1700s, and Tatamagouche became a transshipment point for goods bound for Fortress Louisbourg. In 1755, the British expelled the Acadians from Nova Scotia and the village was destroyed. All that remains from that period are Acadian dykes and some French place names.
Tatamagouche, like many other villages in the area, had a large shipbuilding industry in the nineteenth century. Trees were plentiful and sawmills started appearing on the area rivers, producing lumber for settlers. Eventually, more than 17 mills dotted the local river banks. Although the first ship was built in 1790 the shipbuilding industry was not really significant until the 1830s when Tatamagouche Bay would see four or more ships leave for the Northumberland Strait each year. The age of steam ended ship building in Tatamagouche.
The village was the home to various other types of industry. The Tatamagouche Creamery and Intercolonial Railway Station are reminders of history. These buildings are no longer used for their original purpose, but are now tourist attractions and accomodations. The Intercolonial Railway constructed its "Short Line" from Oxford Junction to Stellarton through Tatamagouche in 1887. The ICR was merged into the Canadian National Railways in 1918 and CN operated this line as part of its "Oxford Subdivision". Passenger service through Tatamagouche was discontinued in the 1960s and the station was used as an office for railway employees handling freight until 1972 when it was closed and sold in 1976. CN discontinued freight service on the line in 1986 when the Oxford Sub was abandoned; the rails were removed in 1989. Today the passenger station is a bed and breakfast, called the “Train Station Inn”, with restored historic rail cars located on the property.
The Fraser Octagon House on Church Street is ;designated as a Provincial Heritage Site. Also in this region are the Provincially designated Balmoral Grist Mill and Sutherland Steam Mill; both working museums.
In 1950, North Colchester High School was built in the village. The school is still operational and was identical to South Colchester High School, which was torn down in 2003.