What to KNOW
Stretching across several kilometres of coastline, the modern community of La Tabatière is composed of the hamlets of Old Post, Red Bay and La Tabatière. The hamlet of La Tabatière has been known as the best seal-fishing station on the Lower North Shore since the 18th century. French concessionaires with fishing and land-holding rights ran a seal fishery here. They also traded eider down collected from the duck nests. The name Tabatière comes from the Aboriginal word tabaquen, meaning sorcerer. Innu who traded with settlers in La Tabatière usually consulted a sorcerer-soothsayer before heading on a hunting trip. The French trading post fell into British hands in the 1760s. After a period of British ownership, a Quebec-City based company purchased the post.
In 1820, after the company went bankrupt, former employee Samuel Robertson from Scotland bought it and produced seal oil. During the 19th century, Jersey, French-Canadian and Newfoundland fishermen arrived in the hamlets that now make up La Tabatière. The major seal oil rendering and fish oil factory in the community burned down in the 1930s and was rebuilt as a fish-processing plant.