It was during King George's War (1744-1748), or to the Europeans the War of the Austrian Succession, in which the English and the French fought for colonial power and possession of Nova Scotia. A significant turning point for the English came on 17 June 1745 when Fort Louisburg, established in 1714 by the French and a vital military structure in early Nova Scotia, had been conquered by the English. But their victory was to be short lived as on 18 October 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed and Fort Louisburg was to be given back to the French; much to the dismay of the English soldiers. Still with a large population of French Acadians and native Indians in the province, the English became increasingly worried that an evasion was imminent. The English succeeded in convincing the native Indians to sign a treaty on 15 August 1749 but not so with the French Acadians. For this, in 1755 Governor Charles Lawrence and his council ordered the deportation of over 9000 French Acadians and begun to make arrangements with the Massachusetts Government to settle the south shore of Nova Scotia. On 12 October 1758, these people, known today as New England Planters, were invited to come to Nova Scotia by Governor Lawrence and came to a harsh baring environment. Within the first eight years of the move, eight thousand Planters had made the trek to Nova Scotia. In 1774 no more New Englanders made the voyage to Nova Scotia.

However, it was neither the New England Planters nor the French who was credited for settling Sissiboo, now Weymouth, but was the United Empire Loyalists. The migration of these Loyalists took place towards the end of the American Revolution (1783-1787). Most of the Loyalists were also New Englanders who had chosen to defend the Crown of England during the American Revolution. With the ever increasing sence of defeat and their home being pillaged by the Rebels, the Loyalists choose to fled their homes in the United States of America to start a new life in Canada. The Loyalists received large land grants from the government for their efforts during the American Revolution. Two land grants in Nova Scotia were the Botsford Grant in 1784 and from the Hatfield Grant issued on 29 January 1801. In order for the Loyalists to obtain their land grants, there were strict conditions to follow and they were:

  • Pay to the Receiver General two shillings per hundred acres. Payment was to be made on the Feast of St. Michael and was to start ten years from the date of the grant.
  • Agree to clear and work three acres of land for every 50 acres of plantable land granted or clear and drain 3 acres of swampy or sunken ground or drain 3 acres of marsh land within 3 years of the date of the grant.
  • Keep three neat cattle upon each 50 acres of cleared land.
  • Erect a dwelling house at least 20 feet in length and 16 feet in breadth.
  • If the granted lands were stony or rocky ground and not fit for planting or pasture to operate a stone quarry and hire one able hand for every 50 acres.
  • Swear an Oath of Loyalty to the King within 12 months of the grant.

Sissiboo developed into a thriving community during the 1800's. Its economy was mainly based on the forest industries, shipbuilding, and as a shipping center for lumber and later pulp wood. Sissiboo, believed to have come from the French words "six hiboux" meaning six owls, was later renamed to Weymouth in 1823. The name Weymouth is believed to have come from a community in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, also called Weymouth. At this time, Weymouth was integrated as Annapolis County and in January 1837, Annapolis County was divided into two counties: Digby and Annapolis Counties. Weymouth fell under the new County of Digby afterwards, on February 15th 1924, the citizens of Weymouth voted in favour of their community to be incorporated as a village.

Weymouth served as a dominant port in young Nova Scotia. Many tall wooden boats were built here until the invention of the iron-hulled steam ship which proved too deep for the shallow Sissiboo River. Consequently, the shipbuilding industry went into decline until the Royal Navy commissioned seven Fairmiles ships to be built in Weymouth during the Second World War. As a result, the shipbuilding industry rebounded and business in Weymouth was at its peak; the population of Weymouth soared to approximately 2000 people. After World War II, Weymouth made a few wooden pleasure boats called Weymouth Cruisers until 1958 when the shipyard burnt down. No ships have been made in Weymouth since and the population begun to decline.

Today, the population of Weymouth is about 500 with the lumber industry supporting the economics of the village. The mill that operates in Weymouth is however the largest mill in the Maritime Provinces and is owned and operated by J.D. Irving Ltd. Company. In late 2005, the mill is scheduled to close.

Many of the descendants of the Loyalists and Planters had either moved back to the United States or had moved to other provinces in the 1840's. Many migrated to the province of Ontario where the land proved much easier to cultivate. Most people who have moved to Ontario settled around Lake Erie in Malahide, and Bayham Townships. There were numerous Nova Scotians who settled on land along the 1st Concession of Malahide Township, Elgin County where, to this day, a street dedicated to the Nova Scotians is named Nova Scotia Street. Among the names that have done this journey were the Hankinsons, the Saxtons, the McConnells, the Haines, and the Shooks to name a few.

Weymouth has also been hit with its shares of disasters. On August 4th 1909, 2 churches, a hotel, and several other buildings were destroyed due to a fire but could have been less devastating if Weymouth had a fire department. On 02 October 1929, yet another fire swept through the main business section of the village this time destroying 25 buildings. On 06 February 1958, a flash fire destroyed the boat and furniture plants of Weymouth Industries Ltd. and in June of 1959 six businesses were wiped out due to fire.

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.

Pictures of Weymouth