SPECIAL TO THE COLCHESTER WEEKLY NEWS
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, is an old place.
Stiling hotel (C)
TATAMAGOUCHE- Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, is an old place.
Archeological evidence suggests that we humans have lived in the area for over 5,000 years. That’s a lot of years with many people passing through and this passage has stamped this village in a very unique way.
It’s as if all those folks have left an imprint here, some trace of their coming and going. A visitor can feel this spirit, from the welcoming smiles and friendly greetings to the beautiful natural setting of the village that makes people feel at home. A meeting place beside the waters, indeed.
Tatamagouche has witnessed a lot of change over the years. The 19th century was the age of ship building and the village was in the thick of the business. In those days, a hotel was built, probably in the 1840s, on the site still referred to by the locals as Hotel Hill, located in the center of the village on the west side of Main Street.
Back then, the hotel was a central and pivotal place, where business, politics and society important to the village was the focus. The hotel was a place where travellers could enjoy a hot, home-cooked meal, settle for the night if need be in a warm bed with clean sheets and, in the days before the prohibition, enjoy a glass in the hotel bar.
By the mid- 20th century, times had changed; the railway did not run through the village, no longer did commercial travellers bring and display their sample goods for the village merchants to peruse in the hotel rooms so designated for that purpose, and the days of the Stirling Hotel came to an end. The hotel ceased operations around 1950 and by the end of that decade the village landmark was demolished.
The story, however, does not end here. The Stirling name, if not its original appellation, is being revived. The Stirling Room Club is opening this fall in the premises on Main Street formerly occupied by FABLES, a club serving the membership of a local non-profit society.
FABLES built a reputation as a “go-to” venue on the North Shore, offering an eclectic mix of arts, film and music in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Stirling Room plans to continue in the tradition set by FABLES with a few changes with the new club fully open to the public. The new owners, Richard and Angela Frotten, anticipate their new club to become as equally an integral part of the village as was the former establishment. Perhaps closing the circle of our story just a bit is the fact that Richard is the grandson of one of the last owners of the Stirling Hotel, Clarence Lockerby, who operated the inn from 1920 – 1946. Sometimes the old does become new, especially in Tatamagouche.