Settlement around Tuchola dates to 980, while the town was first mentioned in 1287. The place was one of the strongholds of the count of Nowe Peter Swienca, who owned a fortified domicile in the area. In 1330 Tuchola came into possession of the Teutonic Order. It received Culm law in 1346 from Heinrich Dusemer, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights.
After the Order's defeat in the Battle of Grunwald, a Polish-Lithuanian army captured the town on November 5, 1410. The Order retained the town in the First Peace of Thorn. At the end of the Thirteen Years' War (1454–1466), however, it was ceded to Poland in the Second Peace of Thorn and became part of Polish Royal Prussia.
During the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Royal Prussia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. On May 17, 1781 the Church of St. Bartholomäus and vast parts of the town burned down. Around 1785 there existed 148 households inside Tuchel, and the town owned both the village of Kelpin and the small estate named Wymislawe. Under Frederick the Great the town was built up again, and at this occasion the Protestants obtained a church in the town hall. Tuchel became part of the German Empire in 1871.
A prisoner-of-war camp was established near the town by Germany during World War I. After the town was transferred to the Second Polish Republic in 1920 following the Treaty of Versailles, the camp became known as Camp No. 7 and existed until 1923. Beginning in the autumn of 1920 during Polish-Soviet war thousands of captured Red Army men were placed in the camp of Тuchola . These prisoners of war (POWs) lived in dugouts and hunger, cold, and infectious diseases killed many of them. According to historians Zbigniew Karpus and Waldemar Rezmer up to 2000 prisoners died in the camp during its time in operation.
Number of inhabitants by year
Note that the above table is based on primary, possibly biased, sources.