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Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

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Yarmouth in Nova Scotia.


Yarmouth is a town and fishing port located on the Gulf of Maine in rural southwestern Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. It is located in the heart of the world's largest lobster fishing grounds and has Canada's highest lobster catch.

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. Baker's steamships operated between Yarmouth and Boston until 1900, when the company was purchased by the Dominion Atlantic Railway. The DAR and Halifax and Southwestern Railway offered connections for passengers arriving in Yarmouth with steamship services operating to New York City and Boston. This service continued until the 1950s. Canadian National Railways instituted a ferry service to Bar Harbor, Maine in the 1950s and this was continued by CN Marine and Marine Atlantic until 1997. Access to Yarmouth is primarily by Highway 101 (North Shore) and Highway 103 (South Shore).

In the 1970s an American tourist cruise company, Prince of Fundy Cruises, began operating a conventional cruise-ferry between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth. This operation continued as Scotia Prince Cruises until April 2005. In June 2006, the ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland was resumed by The Cat on weekends, whereas on weekdays The Cat sailed between Yarmouth and Bar Harbor daily. In December 2009, Bay Ferries announced that The Cat ferry service would end because it would not receive additional funding from the provincial government.

In August 2004, a record mako shark was caught off the coast of Yarmouth during the Yarmouth Shark Scramble. It weighed 1,082 lb (491 kg) and set a new Canadian record. It is considered one of the largest mako sharks ever caught.

The Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is located in Yarmouth. The town is also home to the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives which preserves the history of the town and surrounding county and operates the Killam Brothers building on the waterfront. The Firefighters Museum, part of the Nova Scotia Museum system and the privately run Sweeney Fisheries Museum are also located in Yarmouth.

The Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Library, founded in 1963, serves as the town's public library. It is the largest branch of Western Counties Regional Library and houses the regional library's headquarters.

A popular but unsupported cultural belief in Yarmouth holds that the American composer Meredith Willson wrote his well-known song "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" while staying in Yarmouth's Grand Hotel.

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