Fourchu, Anglicized as four-shoe, is French for forkèd, i.e., something spit into two parts from a common join point. It refers to the form that the east-facing inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 3 km (1.9 mi) long, takes as one approaches its head from the sea, where it splits into two small bays, one to the west and one to the north. The settlement is spread out around both sides and the back of the inlet, so the name also describes perfectly this fishing village’s division into two branches.
In this view down the inlet from its west end, buildings can be seen along both sides of the inlet. At the wharves at the right, some fishing boats are in the process of unloading their day’s catch into the refrigerated truck (the white rectangle to the right of the boats). The headland at the centre right of the photo is Fourchu Head; beyond lies the Atlantic Ocean. Left of centre in the water, two cement podia hold navigational aids to assist boats in returning to harbour; there are shoals and submerged rocks along the outer coast that apparently make this rather tricky—(The Nova Scotia Atlas shows a “False Passage” as one of the entrances to the inlet).