New Germany, Nova Scotia
New Germany, Lunenburg County (2006 population: 464) is a community in a central portion of southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. It is located on the LaHave River, which splits the town into two halves which are connected by two early-20th century steel bridges. A main service centre on Trunk 10, New Germany is 25 kilometers north of Bridgewater on the south shore and 64 kilometers south of Middleton in the Annapolis Valley.
The area was settled in the early 19th century by descendants of the Foreign Protestants who arrived in Lunenburg in the 18th century. The first settlement was close to the New Germany Lake.
Through the years, New Germany has been the site of varied economic activity. It was the hub for numerous outlying communities. J. Zwicker and Son of New Germany sold electric power to the Barss Corner Electric Light Company for distribution. Not only was there a mill at Morgan Falls on the LaHave River, there was also a factory on the LaHave River which produced wooden boxes for products such as fish. During the mid-20th century, the town was particularly vibrant and home to numerous grocery stores, clothing stores, and a movie theatre. Until the 1980s, New Germany was also accessible by the Halifax and Southwestern Railway though the now-abandoned railroad tracks are popular with all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts who sometimes gather at the Small Engine Repair Station yard, and one of the few available spaces for young people to gather.
Local employment hinges on natural resources such as farming, blueberries, maple syrup, forestry and Christmas trees which are shipped over North America. Many workers are employed in the nearby town of Bridgewater, with the Bowater Mill in Oakhill and the Michelin tire plant in the industrial park employing numerous people from the area. Current conditions in the forestry industry have led to many small operators leaving the business and journeying to Alberta. As well, the Christmas tree industry has been hit by the rising value of the Canadian dollar, which impacts revenues from the United States market.
Though a combination of factors including outmigration and the expansion of Bridgewater as a shopping destination have led to New Germany becoming predominantly a retirement community, there are plans to make the community vibrant once again for people of all ages. Due to lack of environmental development, very little has been done to progress the state of this fair village. Citizens have united to bring changes to the community. The group began holding farmer's markets at the small Lions Club Park in the fall of 2007.
New Germany is home to a community-built medical centre, liquor store, New Germany Elementary School, New Germany Rural High School, bank, convenience store, several churches, Shoppers Drug Mart, Village Glassworks, Irving Oil gas station, and restaurants such as Papa D's Pizza & Donairs. It has a fairly large fire department, which covers an extensive district, as well as an RCMP outpost which is housed in the same building as the fire department.
New Germany Rural High School is newly renovated and serves students in grades seven to twelve. New Germany is also home to New Germany Elementary School, which is right down the street from NGRHS, for students from grades primary to six.