In 1604, Samuel de Champlain named this area Port Forchu (forked harbour). This town was named by farmers and fishermen who moved here from Yarmouth, Massachussets. The harbour’s wesgtern entrance remains named Cape Forchu. the town is important to Nova Scotia, as the point of entry from the US via ocean-going Ferries from Bar Harbour, Maine and Portland, Maine
Yarmouth County can offer a complete vacation. There are beaches, lakes, rivers and enough wildlife to keep the most avid outdoor fancier occupied for a long time. The inland area of Yarmouth County has long been settled and has an interesting network of roads that allow the adventurous the chance of travelling in fascinating circle routes throughout the countryside. Festivals and community celebrations are going on all the time. There is usually a festival, community supper or local entertainment happening whenever you come to Yarmouth County. Check at the Information Centre next to the Ferry Terminal for details. For a more complete listing of attractions found here, request a copy of the Yarmouth County Community Guide.
Do the Historic Walking Tour of Yarmouth using maps available at the Information Centre. Visit the Yarmouth Light at Cape Forchu, or the Sandford Wharf where you can see the world’s smallest drawbridge. Spend time at the Yarmouth County Museum, and explore the Firefighter’s Museum of Nova Scotia. Eat Rappie Pie – an Acadian dish available in most local restaurants. Visit Ellenwood Park – a Provincial park featuring swimming and camping or watch an Ox Haul – opposite the Grand Hotel, Thursday nights.
Argyle Township Court House & Archives
Box 101, Tusket, NS B0W 3M0
(902) 648-2493 fax (902) 648-2537
The oldest surviving courthouse in Canada, built c.1803-05. The first court session was held here 29 October 1805. The building was restored in 1981-82. The first floor contains the cell-block and jail-keeper’s quarters, while the second floor consists of the courtroom, grand jury room and the judge’s chamber. At the rear on the first floor is the Argyle Township Court House Archives, which contains all of the documents that survived in the building, many from the 1700s. The record and document collection pertains to the Municipality of Argyle, Yarmouth Co. There is also an extensive local history and genealogical collection, and the largest microfilm collection in southwestern Nova Scotia. Experienced historian and genealogist in charge of the archives. Guided tours of the building available throughout the day.
Operated by: Argyle Municipality Historical & Genealogical Society Open May-June:, Mon-Fri 9:00 am-12:00 noon, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am-12:00 noon, except holiday weekends: July 1-August: 30:daily 9:00 am-5:00 pm; September-October: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-12:00 noon, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am-12:00 noon, except holiday weekends; November-April: 30, Tues, Wed, Fri 9:00 am-12:00 noon, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm. Admission fee.
Firefighters Museum of Nova Scotia
451 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS B5A 1G9
(902) 742-5525 fax (902) 742-5525
From an 1819 Hopwood and Tilley hand-drawn hand pumper to a horse-drawn 1893 Amoskeag steam fire engine to a motor-driven 1933 Chev Pumper, the Firefighters Museum offers you a chance to see almost every type of fire engine ever used in Nova Scotia, and in many other places as well. Many smaller items, including photos of famous fire scenes, rubber and leather water buckets and even antique toy fire engines, are on display. There is fire-related library and a gift shop. Open June 1-October 15: Mon-Sat 9:00 am-5:00 pm; July & August: Mon-Sat 9:00 am-9:00 pm; October 16-May 31: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-4:00 pm, Sat 1:00 pm-4:00 pm. Admission fee.
Fisher’s Shanty Interpretive Centre
Brown St, Yarmouth
on the corner of Water and Brown Streets
A non-profit project of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce. Features include 5’x10″ live aquarium touch tank, natural history artifacts that include the fins of a 40′ Humpbacked Whale, whale vertebrate, Grey seal bones, fossils and lots more. Information on the fisheries, historical artifacts related to the fisheries, history of Yarmouth and Nova Scotia and environmental information. Open during the summers. Rates: Donations welcome
Gilbert Cove Lighthouse
Lighthouse Road, Yarmouth, B0W 2R0
Restored lighthouse with original light still in operation. Museum with historic photos. Acadian dykelands, duck pond. Rates: No charge Season: July 1 to August 31
Killam Brothers Shipping Office
90 Water Street, Yarmouth
22 Collins Street, Yarmouth, NS B5A 3C8
In 1788, John Killam built his first schooner named ‘Janet’. This was the beginning of a family business which would encompass 203 years and five generations of the Killam Family. During Yarmouth’s golden age of sail Killam Brothers Shipping Office prospered playing a major role in the Yarmouth’s financial growth. We offer the vistor a guided tour of this 19th Century setting. One of our unique displays is the orignal half model of the ship ‘Research’ 1861. Open Summer only. Admission free, donations welcome.
Musée Acadien De Pubnico-Ouest Et Archives
Acadian Museum and Archives of East Pubnico
898 Hwy 335 Pubnico, exit 31, off Hwy 103,
(approx. 3 miles from exit, opposite the West Pubnico fire station}
Box 92, West Pubnico, NS B0W 3S0
(902) 762-3380 fax (902) 762-0726
The museum’s goal is to preserve and promote Acadian culture and heritage. Acadian homestead circa 1864 furnished with antiques and artifacts depicting post expulsion Acadian history and culture. This Acadian home was acquired by the Société in 1977. This building is furnished with items loaned or donated by residents and former residents of the area. In addition to household items, toy exhibit, fishing and farming, religious objects, chapel, school & books, pictures & maps, Acadian history featuring copies of original land grants dating 1770, 1771 and 1784.
The annex houses extensive Acadian archives, a display of over 300 cameras spanning one hundred years of photographic history, authentic “aboiteau”, original printing press and other exhibits. Various programs and events organized throughout the summer such as quilting bees, rug braiding, various exhibits and craftspeople demonstrating traditional crafts Open June 15-September 15: Mon-Sat 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sun 12:30 pm-4:30 pm; remainder of year, by appointment. Admission fee. Group rates offered
20 Collins Street, Yarmouth, NS B5A 3C8
The Pelton-Fuller House (c 1895) was the summer home of Mr. & Mrs. Al Fuller. Features period furniture, costumes and memorabilia of the “Fuller Brush Man” and his company. Of particular interest is a fine Persian carpet and a baby grand piano, which is one of three made in Copenhagen for royalty (the other two are owned by the Norwegian and Danish royal families). Admission, with Yarmouth County Museum. Open: June 1 to October 15
120 Water St, Yarmouth, NS B5A 4R2
Collection of artifacts from companies owned by the late Laurence Sweeney, representing the fishing industry of Yarmouth many years ago. Five replicated buildings, reception/display area, 18.5 metre (60-ft) trawler, 30-m (100-ft) wharf most made of salvage materials from Yarmouth waterfront, designed to give visitors the feeling of a working fishing dock. Rates: Adult $3, Youth $2.50, Family $7.50 Season: May-Oct
Le Village Historique Acadien De La Nouvelle-Ecosse
91 Old Church Road
Box 250, West Pubnico, NS B0W 3S0
(902) 762-2530 fax (902) 762-2543
A village in the progress from the past to the present. Discover the construction, restoration and preservation of an Acadian Village. Located on a 17 acre site, the Historic Acadian Village pays homage to the Acadians of Nova Scotia. Visitors Reception Centre with bilingual guides, interpretive displays and gift shop. Vintage buildings from the 1800s (houses, fish sheds and blacksmith shop) currently undergoing restoration. Visit the old Acadian cemetery. See the statue of the Baron Philippe Muis-d’Entremont founder of Pubnico (1653). Open mid-May to mid-October, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Admission fee. Group rates.
Wedgeport Sport Tuna Fishing Museum & Interpretive Centre
Route 334, via Lighthouse Route 3, 15km from Yarmouth
Wedgeport, NS B0W 3P0
1-800-566-TUNA (902) 663-2633
The Wedgeport Museum has a huge collection of photos of the Tuna Fishing era – 1930s to 1970s 30′ fishing boat (specially built for the museum) with tuna fishing chair, variety of films on tuna fishing, also a display of Acadian artifacts and material related to the famous Tusket Islands. The provincial government has declared Wedgeport a Historic International Tuna Fishing capital of the world. A small aquarium includes cod, mackerel and lobsters. Operated by: Association du Musée de Wedgeport. Open June 1-September 15, 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Admission fee. Group rates.
Yarmouth County Museum & Archives
22 Collins Street, Yarmouth, NS B5A 3C8
(902) 742-5539 fax (902) 749-1120
General history of Yarmouth County and its seafaring past. Collections include china, glass, furniture, toys, tools, ship portraits, models, musical instruments, costumes, a stagecoach and a lighthouse lens. Five period rooms. A research library/archives contains genealogical material on Yarmouth families. Open June 1-October 15, Mon-Sat 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sun 2:00 pm-5:00 pm, October 16-May 31, Tues-Sat 2:00 pm-5:00 pm. Archives, June 1-October 15, Mon-Sat 9:30 am-noon, 1:00 pm-4:30 pm, October 16-May 31, Tues-Sat 2:00 pm-4:00 pm. Admission fee. Archives fee, adult $5.00/half day, student $1.00/half day, Hours and fees subject to change
(Cape Forchu Light Station)
Route 304, Yarmouth
A Federal Heritage Property. Fishermen’s monument, fishing village, lighthouse interpretive and information centre. Walking trails & sandy beaches. Free admission. Open year-round. Gift shop open May 1 to October 31