Yarmouth sea captains’ homes and mercantile heritage walk

Published on June 8, 2009
Yarmouth sea captains’ homes and mercantile heritage walk

Settled in the 1760s, the Town of Yarmouth became very wealthy in the 1800s as it grew to become an international centre for shipping. By the 1870s, Yarmouth was the 2nd largest port on registry in Canada, and her ships sailed all around the world.

Captains and crew from Yarmouth would be gone for months at a time, as they delivered lumber, molasses and cotton throughout the world. Their expeditions were often financed directly from home, and their sailing ships were constructed throughout the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores region. Captains and crew returned home with stories, knowledge, and wealth for their financiers.

The boom from shipping impacted Yarmouth in many ways, from recreation to business development to architecture. Many of the wealthy ship owners and captains constructed impressive homes throughout the Town, with their architectural inspiration taken from around the world. Architectural styles such as Second Empire, Queen Anne Revival, Gothic Revival and Italianate were common.

The self-guided Yarmouth Sea Captains Homes and Mercantile Heritage Walk takes visitors throughout the residential and commercial area district of Yarmouth, to see these impressive structures from the 1800s. Architectural styles and the histories of select homes and businesses are explained, including stops at several of the area’s museums. Pick up a free copy of the tour at your accommodation or provincial visitor information centre.