Weymouth

Weymouth was settled in the 1760s by New England Planters after the Acadian Expulsion. The town was formally founded by Loyalists in 1783 (the year that the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the American Revolution). Originally, the area was named Sissiboo, still the name of the river that runs through the village. There are conflicting stories on the origins of this name. One story purports “Sissiboo” to be a Mi’maq word, and the other derived from the combination of the French words “six” and “hiboux” (“Six Owls”). Current day Weymouth was once called Weymouth Bridge, and Weymouth North was called Weymouth. Weymouth is supposed to have been named in honour of the previous settlement of the Strickland family from Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Shipping and shipbuilding were the main industry in the mid 1800s. Remnants of docks can be seen on the Northeast side of the Sissiboo today. Goods such as lumber were loaded on ships at these docks and shipped all over the world. Weymouth houses the oldest general store in Eastern Canada still in operation. Opened in 1837, the store is now called The Trading Post. The village also houses one of the original Merchants Bank of Halifax (later renamed Royal Bank of Canada) in Canada. This building is now part of the aforementioned Weymouth Trading Post.

At the Interpretive Center, one can learn about the Stehelin family who came from France in 1892 and built a community with electric lights and a wooden railroad approximately 10 to 15 miles inland from Weymouth. This community known as New France, also known as the Electric City, had electricity 30 years before the Village of Weymouth and most of rural Nova Scotia. There is nothing left today except for the foundations of the city buildings. The J.D. Irving Ltd. Company has worked at the New France site making walking trails and fixing the foundations so they are safe for visitors to explore.

The Stehelin family first established their house in Weymouth where the Goodwin Hotel is now located and no changes have been done to this building. One could across the street from the Goodwin Hotel and visit the oldest general store in Nova Scotia, now called the Trading Post. In 1881 this was the location of one of the earliest branches of the Royal Bank of Canada then known as the Merchants Bank of Halifax. The old vault used by the bank still remains in the Trading Post to this day.

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