the Parker-Eakins Buildings & Wharf
Merchants and Mariners
True to the code of merchant-mariners, Parker-Eakins & Co. saw their mission as an endeavor “to facilitate the production, distribution and exchange of goods and services for mutual profit and advantage”.
To achieve this goal, the company recognized and took advantage of the many new commercial opportunities that came their way. With their fleet of trading vessels Parker-Eakins & Co. carried lumber, fish and farm produce to the West Indies, bringing back sugar, molasses and rum. Company-owned vessels carried Nova Scotia products such as lumber, cured fish and potatoes to Great Britain and other European destinations. They returned with manufactured goods and raw materials, including salt, which was also imported in abundance from the West Indies.
Over the years Parker-Eakins & Co. has been a producer of raw materials, a manufacturer, an importing and exporting house, a shipowner and operator, a trading house, a fish processor, packer, and shipper, and an outfitter for farmers, fishermen, and lumbermen. The success of the company has been marked by its longevity and commercial
Goods for Sale • Ships for Hire
Parker-Eakins & Co. was founded in 1874 by Arthur White Eakins and Edward F. Parker. Later that year Abel Cutler Robbins joined the fledgling company as a partner, bringing with him fresh capital to help finance the new venture.
In the early days of its development the company occupied property known as Young’s Wharf. Built by John Young in 1867-68, the wharf had been used by the firm of Young, Kinney and Corning, fish-exporters and shipowners. The wharf proved eminently suitable to the needs of Parker-Eakins & Co. and in 1877, it was purchased to meet the demands of rapidly growing markets. It was not long before the property was added to and rail lines laid to connect the wharf with the lines of the Dominion Atlantic Railroad, thereby expediting the loading and unloading of vessels at the wharf – a task previously undertaken by ox-cart.
Yarmouth at the Centre of Trade
The mid-nineteenth century was a time of growth and prosperity for Yarmouth. Strengthened by the entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by companies such as Parker-Eakins & Co., Yarmouth’s commercial reputation increased as rapidly as the vast array of goods which moved in and out of the harbor.
Yarmouth was fortunate in having an abundance of raw materials for shipbuilding in the immediate
As a seaport and shipbuilding centre, Yarmouth was truly at the hub of trade and commerce for most of the nineteenth century.
To the Sea in Ships
To those that earned their livelihood on the tall ships owned by Parker-Eakins & Co., and other Maritime companies, the sea was not always kind and gentle. At times, life itself depended on the outcome of the struggle between sailors and their watery environment. As Yarmouth’s commercial fleet continued to grow, so did the loss of ships at sea. Vessels owned by Parker-Eakins & Co. were not immune to tragedy as the following examples testify:
”Schooner LIZZIE M. STEWART, 74 tons… sailed from Yarmouth… for Barbados, with a cargo of fish, lumber, etc., and was not heard from again….
Schooner GLADIATOR, 115 tons, sailed from Yarmouth… for Antigua, with a cargo of Fish and Lumber, and her wreck was fallen in with bottom up… in lat. 41.42, long. 63.64, by the brig Lottie. She was again fallen in with by the New York pilot boat Pet, No. 9, which was sent at boat with two men alongside. The body of the captain… was found hanging by the bowspirit, entangled in the rigging. A large hole was cut in the vessel’s side at the waterline, and she doubtlessly foundered that night, as no trace of her was afterwards found…”.
[Image captions, from left to right, read]
• Parker-Eakins Wharf surrounded by unidentified barques & barquentines
• Interior of Parker-Eakins Sail Loft
• Fishing schooners at Parker-Eakins Wharf. Note the split fish drying on roof structure.
• Newspaper advertisement for Parker-Eakins & Co.
• Invoice for produce purchased from the Parker-Eakins Co. Limited, March 18, 1915
• An early photograph of Parker-Eakins staff.
• Mr. Edward F. Parker
• Parker-Eakins Wharf with fishing boats in foreground
• Aerial view of Parker-Eakins Wharf
• The Parker-Eakins & Co. building
• Parker-Eakins Wharf with fishing boats alongside.
• Parker-Eakins Wharf buildings, including sail loft
• Yarmouth waterfront, 1871, with Parker-Eakins building in centre
Erected 2003 by Yarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation and Others.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 43° 50.232′ N, 66° 7.289′ 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 Yarmouth-Boston Ferry (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 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yarmouth.
Also see . . .
1. Parker-Eakins Company Ltd. fonds. (Submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Parker Eakins Wharf & Marina. (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 99 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.