Big Tancook Island

Big Tancook Island

Big Tancook Island

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Big Tancook Island is a Canadian island located off the coast of Nova Scotia. The island is just one of the 365 islands dotting Mahone Bay. Three miles long and one mile (1.6 km) wide, the island is of shoreline, open fields and softwood forest dotted by ponds, tidy residential properties and fish stores. It is also the largest island in Mahone Bay.

Big Tancook Island is a community of about 200 people during the Summer season, while during the colder months the population dwindles to about 120 residents. It is home to one of the last remaining one-room schoolhouses in Canada. The residents primarily make their living through lobster fishing, although a unique artistic community adds a certain dynamic vibrancy to the island.

Wildlife populations are limited to deer, muskrats, snakes, and pheasants. There is however, a great variety of birds.

The island was originally a summer fishing ground for native peoples. The word Tancook is Micmac and means facing the open sea. The island was later settled by German immigrants. The industry at that time was mostly agricultural, and primarily consisted of cabbage farming. Tancook was at one time the leading producer of Sauerkraut in Canada, which was transported to market in barrels packed in the holds of Tancook schooners. Only after the popularity of the cabbage and sauerkraut industry diminished did the island shift to fishing.


The majority of residents are employed with the fishing industry (primarily lobster...
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