Preserving Yarmouth Memories
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Yarmouth Community


New England settlement in 1761


Shipbuilding from ca. 1764, shipping, textile mill, banking, insurance, manufacturing, public services, fishing, fish processing


Picture of Yarmouth
  • Telephone connection with Halifax was established in 1879. Local telephone service began February 2, 1880 when the Hon. Loran E. Baker had his home and his office connected.
  • Yarmouth’s first newspaper was the Yarmouth Telegraph, first published in 1831. It lasted for 11 months, and several others were introduced to fill the void. For many years, there were as many as four newspapers published simultaneously.

  Mi’kmaq names for this area were Kespoogwit “Land’s End” for the place and Maligeak “crooked every which way” for the Yarmouth River.

  Champlain in 1604 named the place Port Fourchu - Forked Harbour..

  There were pre-Deportation Acadian settlements in the Chebogue and Chegoggin areas.

  In 1761 Sealed Landers, Ebenezer Ellis and Moses Perry and their families arrived from Sandwich, Cape Cod aboard the shallop “Pompey Dick”; Yarmouth dates its founding from that time. The name Yarmouth was in use as early as 1759.

  Landers, Perry, and Ellis are still common surnames; others are Eldridge, Crosby, Burgess, Burrill, Moody, Lovitt and Lewis.

  An Episcopal chapel was built around 1763. A Congregationalist meeting house was built at Chebogue during the years 1766 to 1773 and a Baptist meeting house was established at Cape Fourchu in 1784. In 1811 there were only four schools but by 1848 there were 36 school houses in the district.

  Yarmouth’s 100th anniversary was welcomed with great enthusiasm in 1861. The celebration began with frequent firing of cannons and was followed by parades, gun salutes, speeches and fireworks. The anniversary events attracted 6,000-8,000 people–with no report of misconduct. This was the largest throng ever gathered in Yarmouth.

  The first practical movement to light the streets of Yarmouth came from the women of the town. Beginning in January, 1871, the ladies put on a “public entertainment” and then sponsored a Calico Ball. As a result of the funds that they raised, lamp posts were put in place in April and streets were first lighted in May 1871.

  Yarmouth has a history of early libraries. One was the Free Public Library and Museum, established February 6, 1872 by the Hon. Loran E. Baker. It boasted 2500 books. When Loran Baker died in 1900, he left money to the town to continue the public library. His will stipulated that the town should raise an equal sum before this money became available. As time went on and nothing was done, members of the Kritosophian Club, a literary society, became anxious. Led by an elderly member the women canvassed the town and raised a sum larger than that left by Mr. Baker. The new library opened in 1905. Once again, women had saved the day!

Community Profiles

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District of Yarmouth
Town of Yarmouth


E. Sweeney. From Little Boats: A short history of the Township of Yarmouth. Four East Publications, 1993

Yarmouth Once upon a Time. 225th Yarmouth County Anniversary. 1986

Place-Names and Places of Nova Scotia. Public Archives of Nova Scotia. 1967
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