Discover Yarmouth, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Tourism

Introduction to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Yarmouth is a charming port town nestled in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. Known for its fishing and tourism industries, Yarmouth also serves as the terminus of a ferry service to Bar Harbor, Maine, operated by Bay Ferries.

The Rich History of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

The region was originally inhabited by the Mi'kmaq and was known as "Keespongwitk," meaning "Lands End," due to its position at the tip of the Nova Scotia peninsula. The area was visited in 1604 by Samuel de Champlain, who named it "Cap-Fourchu," meaning "forked or cloven cape." The first European settlement was established by the French Acadians in the mid-1600s. The town of Yarmouth was officially founded on June 9, 1761, when a ship carrying three families arrived from Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia during the American Revolution

During the American Revolution, Yarmouth was a hotbed of activity. Despite the American privateer raids, the inhabitants sheltered American prisoners after the Battle off Yarmouth in 1777. After the war, substantial numbers of United Empire Loyalists arrived in 1785.

The Shipbuilding Era in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Throughout the 19th century, Yarmouth was a major shipbuilding center, boasting more registered tonnage per capita than any other port in the world. Yarmouth ships were found in most major ports throughout the world at this time. The town of Yarmouth was incorporated on August 6, 1890.

Railways in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

As wooden shipbuilding declined in the late 19th century, Yarmouth's shipowners re-invested their capital into factories, iron-hulled steamships, and railways. The town's first railway was the locally owned Western Counties Railway, which was built from Yarmouth to Digby in the 1870s.

Steamships and Ferries in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Tourism has been a major industry in Yarmouth since the 1880s when Loran Ellis Baker founded the Yarmouth Steamship Company. Steamship and railway promotion based in Yarmouth created the first tourism marketing in Nova Scotia.

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia during the Second World War

During the first year of the Second World War, Yarmouth was selected as the location for a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) facility. RCAF Station Yarmouth was originally opened in 1940 as three separate training sites.

The Culture of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Yarmouth is home to the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives, the Firefighters Museum of Nova Scotia, and the Sweeney Fisheries Museum. The Yarmouth Arts Regional Council was established in 1974, and the Yarmouth Arts Regional Centre (Th'YARC) was constructed on the site of a former garage on Parade Street.

Notable Buildings and Structures in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Yarmouth is known for its Victorian houses, a legacy of the wealthy captains and shipowners of the town's seafaring Golden Age. A heritage district preserves several blocks of these residences, including the Lovitt House and Eakin/Hatfield House.

Climate of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Yarmouth has a humid continental climate, closely bordering on an oceanic climate, typical of climates surrounded by the sea but close to large continents. Winters are cool and rainy, while summers are cool due to the strong coastal influence from the sea.

Demographics of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Yarmouth had a population of 6,829 living in 3,259 of its 3,569 total private dwellings, a change of 4.8% from its 2016 population of 6,518. The town has long held the highest teen pregnancy rate in the province.