Picture of Mrs. Mildred Hatfield's house in Tusket, Yar.Co., NS before restoration.
Photo courtesy of Argyle Township Court House and Gaol
Atcha Photo: P1987-88

Photo courtesy of Argyle Township Court House and Gaol

A view of Tusket looking south. The photographer appears to be on the river himself, but may have taken this photographnear his studio on the John White Road. This view shows the Baptist Church; the J. Lyons Hatfield wharf; andsome of the commercial buildings on the river-bank. The photograph also affords a rare view of one of the “tall ships” inthe Tusket River. A close look reveals this ship is loading lumber from Lyon’s wharf.
The old pier post which can be seen directly across from The Hatfield House still today.
ATCHA Photo# P1991:581.

Photo courtesy of Argyle Township Court House and Gaol

A stately New England home nestled into the East bank of the Tusket River in the small village of Tusket. Clad in cedar shingles and bound by bright white trim, the home presents as cosy and inviting. The expansive view of the river is breathtaking. Ancient stone pillars and a deep wall accent the beautifully manicured front lawn and drive. A guest house with a uniquely pointed slate roof and mature plantings conjure visions of the French countryside. A wide covered veranda with bistro tables and chairs extends from the rear of the home. The vista from the veranda is an immense yet secluded garden which harbours a meandering path traversing fourteen acres.


Upon entering The Hatfield House an arched doorway leads to separate dining rooms and a coffee nook. The walls are a warm Wedgewood blue and an inviting fireplace creates an alluring ambiance. Multiple windows offer a view of the river and at sunset the location is nothing short of spectacular. The atmosphere is both unique and enchanting. It is as though the home has its own caretakers from years past although they are nowhere to be found

Past History of House
The story began over 200 years ago when Abigail Price had a home built in 1793. The land was granted to her in 1808. She sold part of the property in 1813 then sold the remaining property in 1816. On the deed they referred to her as a widowed Black woman. Local history shows that she signed an X over her name on the deed, which meant that she could not read or write. Abigail predates photography. Several books have been written stating that this home was the second oldest in Tusket. It was rare for land to be granted to a woman at that time. It is suspected that ship carpenters helped to build the home with sturdy hand-carved beams that showed their craftsmanship, still visible today. There is no record of Abigail Price’s whereabouts after the home was sold to David VanNorden in 1813. The house has had 6 owners since the property was granted to the original owner. After VanNorden, Robbin, Servant, and Tuff owned the property.Today the house is named and honored after Mildred and Allan Hatfield, who purchased the home in 1933. It remained in the Hatfield family until the Spring of 2013, when "The Hatfield House Restaurant" came to be, continuing to pay homage the family legacy. 


Don Pothier's book "History of Tusket Nova Scotia" can be purchased at the Tusket Courthouse in the village of Tusket.
 

"Africa’s Children: A History of Blacks in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia", published in 2009 by local author Sharon Robart-Johnson,


The village of Tusket.
First settled in 1784 by United Empire Loyalists who arrived at Shelburne, NS the previous year. At the time of their arrival there were already a few post-Deportation Acadian families settled along the river, but in locations south of the village proper. Tusket has been the seat of municipal government for the Municipality of Argyle (which takes up about one half of Yarmouth County) since 1805 and the opening of the Argyle Township Court House & Gaol in the center of the village. This important building remains and is the oldest courthouse in Canada. It is a museum today and has also been designated a National Historic Site. It is open from May until the end of October each year with interpretive tours offered in both French and English.

 

The name Tusket evolved from the Mi'kmaq (aboriginal) name “Neketaouksit”, “a great forked tidal river.”

 

Tusket has the distinction of having been one of the pre-eminent shipbuilding centers in Nova Scotia, primarily from the 1860s through the 1880s. An impressive number of “tall ships” were constructed along the banks of the river in this village.

 

Today the village remains a vital and vibrant part of the Municipality and the seat of local government. The village has a thriving commercial sector, our Municipal Offices, a large modern school with attached theater, a number of government offices, and a number impressive heritage buildings which include Canada’s oldest courthouse, an Archives and family research center, two handsome church buildings, and a number of private residences, two or three which date from the very earliest days of settlement.

 

While a handful of descendants of the original Loyalist settlers remain in Tusket today the village population in 2014 is probably 75% Acadian.

The Hatfield House 
 

© 2018 by The Hatfield House  ~  8132, Hwy 3, Tusket, NS, B0W 3M0   ~   email: thehatfieldhousetusket@gmail.com  
Phone: 902 648 1888