the Yarmouth-Boston Ferry
The Age of the Passenger Steamer
With the coming of the steam engine, it was only a matter of time before the sleek lines of wooden hulls and trim masts were replaced by riveted steel plates and tall stacks. By the mid-nineteenth century, the sounds of snapping sails, wind through the rigging, and water racing along the hull were replaced by the mechanical rhythm of steam-driven pistons and the churning of brass propellers. The Yarmouth-Boston ferry service was no exception to this transition from sail to steam. Larger, faster vessels soon plied the waters that stretched between Nova Scotia and New England, providing an economical and reliable service for the delivery of freight and relatively comfortable, convenient, transportation for passengers.
Yarmouth At The Forefront
For several years leading up to the middle part of the nineteenth century, the transport of passengers and trade goods by wooden schooners and similar sailing vessels was carried on between Yarmouth and Boston. In May of 1855 the steamship Eastern State went into service between Yarmouth and Boston, thereby inaugurating
An important part of the business trade between Nova Scotia and New England, steamships of the Yarmouth Steamship Company and the Eastern Steamship Line carried thousands of tons of trade goods, manufactured products and raw materials, all of which were vitally important to the economic life of the community. In addition, hundreds of thousands of passengers travelled between the two centres on business and as tourists – some going on to other destinations, while others stayed at great resort hotels in the Yarmouth area which catered to the seaborne visitors.
With a strong seafaring tradition, Yarmouth earned its position as the northern terminus of the old Yarmouth-Boston Ferry. Its reputation is well deserved and secure within the heritage of the Town and County of Yarmouth.
Nova Scotia to New England
Four companies, the Yarmouth Steamship Company,
”You are out on the boundless ocean. You pace the deck and drink in great whiffs of the salubrious salt of the sea. You feel its tonic instantly. When you turn into your berth at night, you sleep so soundly that the chances are much against your getting your eyes open before you tie to the Yarmouth dock early next morning”.
- Company Brochure, 1899.
Yarmouth Along The Waterfront
The old Yarmouth-Boston ferries arrived and departed from a site near this location for nearly one hundred and fifty years carrying passengers and freight between Yarmouth and the New England states. The importance of the role played by the Yarmouth-Boston ferries in transportation and commerce can be measured in [?] of their contribution to the history of Yarmouth and the Province of Nova Scotia.
[Image captions, generally from left to right, read]
Yarmouth Steam Ship Company wharf, 1900
Postcard images from company brochure
Promotional poster for the Yarmouth Steam Ship Company
The Steam Ship “Dominion”, (formerly the “Linda”)
The Steam Ship “Boston”
The Steam Ship “Prince Edward”
Leaving Boston for Yarmouth
The Steam Ship “Prince George”
The Age of Sail meets the Age of Steam in Yarmouth Harbour
Captain Robert R. Blauvelt, Master of the “Alpha”, the “Dominion”, and the “Eastern State”. Captain N.K. Clements, Master of the “Linda”. Captain Frank Crosby, Master of the “Yarmouth”.
Sister ships “Yarmouth” and “Evangeline” at dockside in Yarmouth
Horse carriages at the CPR Boston and Yarmouth steamboat landing at Yarmouth
Mr. L. E. Baker, President, The Yarmouth Steamship Company, 1891.
Partial deck plans of the sister ships “Evangeline” and “Yarmouth”
Map from 1926 brochure illustrating direct route from Yarmouth to Boston.
Summer time-table, 1899.
Stateroom prices, Boston and Yarmouth Line, 1930
Advertisement from 1926 brochure
The S. S. “Prince George” and S. S. “Prince Arthur” in Boston
Erected 2003 by Yarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation and Others.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 43° 50.234′ N, 66° 7.288′ W. Marker is in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in Yarmouth County. Marker is at the intersection of Water Street and Lovitt Street, on the left when traveling north on Water Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia B5A 1L5, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. the Parker-Eakins Buildings & Wharf (here, next to this marker); the Killam Brothers Buildings & Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker); Lost to the Sea (about 150 meters away, measured in a direct line); Lost to the Sea / Perdus en Mer (about 150 meters away); First Yarmouth Mayor and Council (about 180 meters away); Cape Forchu Lighthouse (about 180 meters away); Sarah Corning (about 180 meters away); Frost Park (about 180 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yarmouth.
Also see . . .
1. Yarmouth Line to Boston. (Submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Eastern Steamship Company - Night Boats on the Eastern Seaboard. (Submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. A Brief Town of Yarmouth History. (Submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 149 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.