A Yarmouth Album: People


In 1984 the Yarmouth County Museum hosted an exhibition, The Past in Focus: A Community Album Before 1918, of historical photographs from communities throughout the Atlantic region. In fact this was one of four identical exhibitions, one circulating in each of the provinces of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The exhibition had a fixed component, which was shown at every venue, but in addition it had a varying component that was chosen by the local organizers at each venue.

The fixed component comprised thirty-five frames filled with photographs by the Halifax branch of the Notman Studio, which had been founded in Montreal in 1856 and which expanded to Halifax in 1869. This component had its own catalogue [1], and during 1983–84 it toured nine venues in Nova Scotia.

The local component comprised thirty-five empty frames, which were then filled with historical photographs that had been selected by organizers at each local venue. In Yarmouth the photographs were chosen by Eric J. Ruff, Curator, Yarmouth County Museum, and the exhibit was mounted at the museum by Helen and Hubert Hall, Linda Hattie, and Henry Ross. The Yarmouth component had its own catalogue [2] but did not tour elsewhere; subsequently eleven of its photographs were chosen for inclusion in An Atlantic Album––Photographs of the Atlantic Provinces, before 1920 [3].

The photographs of the Yarmouth component were divided into three groups:

    Yarmouth Buildings,

    Yarmouth People, and

    Yarmouth Activities (e.g., recreational, business, shipping).

Below I am pleased to present photographs from the Yarmouth People group. I have based the captions to these photographs on the notes in Eric Ruff’s catalogue, but you may find a copy of his original notes here.

References and Notes

    [1] Shelagh Mackenzie, Scott Robson, and Roger Crowther, The Past in Focus: A Community Album Before 1918. Photographs from the Notman Studio, Halifax. Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, 1983. 48 pp. A copy is in the Archives of the Yarmouth County Museum (YMS 4–224).

    [2] Eric J. Ruff, A Yarmouth County Community Album Before 1920: A photographic Exhibition created by the Yarmouth County Museum using photographs from the Archives of the Yarmouth County Historical Society. Yarmouth County Museum, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, 1984. 62 pp. A copy is in the Archives of the Yarmouth County Museum (YMS 4–224).

    [3] Scott Robson and Shelagh Mackenzie, An Atlantic Album: Photographs of the Atlantic Provinces, before 1920. Nimbus Publishing Ltd., Halifax, 1985. 168 pp.

    [4] Eric Ruff and Laura Bradley, Historic Yarmouth: Town and County. Nimbus Publishing Ltd., Halifax, and the Yarmouth County Museum, Yarmouth, 1997. x+118 pp.

    [5] I thank archivist Lisette Gaudet, of the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, for providing assistance and access to the archival material concerning the exhibition described in [2]. All photographs labeled Yarmouth County Museum and Archives (YCMA) are copyrighted. Please contact the Archives if you wish to acquire a photo.

William Day (1 May 2015)