Day 45 – July 21 – Yarmouth, NS to Lunenburg, NS

We spent the morning in Yarmouth. The town was an important shipbuilding and shipping centre during the Golden Age of sail. Yarmouth and St. John, New Brunswick had more ship tonnage in their harbours than anywhere else in the world. And, at one time, Yarmouth had more millionaires than anywhere else too.

Frost Park is named for a local man that worked through the ranks to become CEO and President of the Bank of Nova Scotia. The park was originally named after Queen Victoria and is actually a cemetery. There are still grave markers scattered throughout the space.

There is a large memorial on the waterfront street to all those lost at sea. There are over 1200 names on it and many family names are repeated throughout the years. There is space to add more names, sadly, and also a few names have been added out of sequence that have been learned about since the memorial was made.

We walked around several city blocks and past some of the old ship’s captain’s or ship builder’s fancy houses. There are a lot of them in Yarmouth.

Because of the unique roof on the tower, this one has become an iconic symbol of Yarmouth. The three-story tower is open all the way up and there is a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

The tall tower at the entrance is a repeated theme on quite a few of the homes. They all date from the 1830’s-1890’s or so.

This one and four others in the area have been purchased by an American who has restored many of the old houses in Boston and he is fixing them up. This one has recently been re-painted and restored.

The only brick house we walked past.

Another of the being-restored houses. The fellow is spraying insulation into the wall. There was no insulation of any kind on these houses and the walls are 5-6 inches thick. It takes about 3 minutes for the hose to blow insulation to the top through each hole they have made along the wall.

Our last stop in Yarmouth was the Killam Brothers Shipping Office on Water Street. The brothers managed sailing fleets for more than 200 years. The office is now a museum containing 19th century office furnishings and ledgers.

All the Killam men that ran the company. There is one more on the far wall. He died in 2007. That is an awfully long business legacy.

Ledger page from November 1899. Many of the entries are made in beautiful handwriting.

A Castilian piano salvaged from a shipwreck.

Upstairs in the shipping building was a display about the Black Loyalists that fled the US, either as free men and women or as escaped slaves. The British promised land to any escaped or freed slaves that wanted to come north in a bid to disrupt the Colonial economy. Close to 3000 came to Nova Scotia in 1783.

We left Yarmouth at 12:30 and headed toward Lunenburg. We only made one stop – in Barrington to see the old Woolen Mill built in 1882. The mill was in use until 1962.

The women that give tours of the mill also spin and dye yarn, work on the looms to make table runners and place mats and other items that are sold at the gift shop, and give classes on spinning, weaving and felting. The tour does not take you through the process in order but I saw this sign that shows all the steps so I will add my photos in this order. I took photos of all the descriptions of the machines as well so you can read about it all if you choose.

Our guide called this Mrs. Flintstones wringer washer. It was used to press all the excess moisture out of the wool.

The carding machine separate the wool fibers and set them all in the same direction so it spins evenly. The big brown rollers at the back of the photo is the carding machine.

John is using a hand carder. The fluffed wool is put on a tray at the back off the big wheel and cranked through. The wheel has many tiny picks on it so it puts all the wool fibers into the same direction. The bats are cut off where you can see that break in the wool on the carder and the ‘sheets’ are spun into 1-ply yarn.

The looms would be used to make lengths of fabric. They usually made woolen fabric, but also used cotton and linen.

It is hard to see a lot of the writing on the notes, but the ledger page is from 1896.

Fabric samples from 1896.

Once we finished our tour of the woolen mill we drove toward Lunenburg with a drive through Shelbourne and Mahone Bay on our way.

When we were here in Lunenburg in 2014 they were doing some work on the Bluenose II sailing ship that was built here (as was the famous Bluenose) and is docked in the harbour. You can now climb aboard and look around so we intend to do that tomorrow, and maybe see a couple of things here or in nearby Bridgewater before we head to Halifax where we will spend three nights. We were 25 kilometers west of Bridgewater when our trip odometer turned over 10,000 kilometers. And we are not done yet.

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