Since we explored the area up to Church Point yesterday in the Annapolis Valley & Bay of Fundy region, we decided to head to Yarmouth today and explore that area a bit. We boogied quickly up to Yarmouth mid-morning, and did a walking tour in the town. Yarmouth is right on the coast and dates back to the late 1700`s. The walking tour we went on was a self-guided tour, and so we were able to stop and stare at so many of the beautiful homes. It was primarily homes that were pointed out on the tour, as well as a church and the firehall.
Not long into our tour, we were stopped outside a home admiring how gorgeous it was and how large it was when a lady asked if we were doing the walking tour. As it turned out, her and her husband are the homeowners. They purchased the property about a year ago but also own a home just outside of Halifax. She was kind enough to stop and talk to us for a few minutes and show us her backyard. We were asking if they had retired to the area that they bought the home, and she kind of laughed and told us the story of how they ended up there… Her and her husband own a business and live in the Halifax area. A while ago, another business came up in the Yarmouth area that wasn`t the same but was still a good fit for the company to expand. At first they weren`t going to purchase this other business but then eventually decided it was worth it. So they bought the business in Yarmouth, and as a result they ended up spending a small fortune on hotels and gas money as they were staying there quite a bit to get the business running smoother. Eventually, her husband commented that they should buy a home there and at first she was against it as she said they barely had time to maintain the home they already have in Halifax area. But eventually he convinced her they should buy, and so she figured he would buy a small bungalow or something for them. One day he came and told her he bought a house. And what a house did he buy! (See pictures for the home - there`s a picture with two homes in it, one pinkish coloured and the other yellow. He bought the yellow home!)
One thing Mom, Dad and I have been wondering about while passing all of these huge, old homes is whether they cost a small fortune to heat each winter. Since this woman was kind enough to stop and chat about her home, we decided to ask her what it was like to maintain. She told us that the home she has in Halifax is a newer home, with a modern furnace and insulation, which you would expect to be fairly efficient to heat. But it actually cost them less to heat this huge, old home in Yarmouth this last winter than it was to heat their home in Halifax! She figured that it might be cheaper to heat the older home due to the way it was built - even after the power has been off for a while, the old home`s heating system is still throwing heat because it's the old radiators that retained the heat better, whereas the furnace in her other home wouldn`t trap the heat nearly as long. She couldn`t tell us for sure if that was the reason it was cheaper to heat the older home, but might be a factor.
After talking with this woman, we continued on the walking tour, amazed by all the homes. (The majority of the pictures I took today were all just homes in Yarmouth.) There was another home that we came across that was built by a sea captain, and next door was another huge home that he built for his daughter as a wedding gift. The amount of money that these sea captains had must have been ridiculous. The house that the lady we were talking to was also a twin house - one had been built for the daughter (the one painted yellow the lady owns) and one had been built for the son (which was next door and painted blue, but sadly burned down in 1992). Talk about having lots of money.
We wandered down near the wharf area in Yarmouth for a little bit too. Down there, they have a monument that lists all of the names of people from there who have been lost to the sea, whether it was a fisherman, someone in the navy, or a passenger on a steamship crossing to Boston. The monument has over 2,400 names on it dating back to the 1600`s (if I remember correctly), and room for those who may sadly lose their lives in the future. I am happy to report though, that the number of cases has clearly dwindled now compared to back then, with few lives being lost in the last 10 years.
Next stop was Yarmouth Bar (no, not a pub style bar, but rather a small peninsula jutting out from Yarmouth) where we stopped and talked to a lady about the lobster industry. Dad was full of questions for her, asking about the fishing licenses (with one license you can set 300 traps, but there`s no limit as to the amount of weight that you pull in) to what they bait their traps with (pretty much any scraps that they think a lobster might like). Then on to the Cape Forchu lighthouse, or the "apple core" lighthouse as it's known thanks to its shape. It's wider at the base, gets narrower in the middle and then is wide again where the light sits. It's an electric-powered lighthouse, and it was designed to be so narrow so that the strong winds and waves go around the lighthouse rather than bashing into it and causing damage. The view from here was beautiful and we stopped to admire it for a few moments.
Then we decided it was time to head back to the campsite, as it was about a 1 ½ hour drive from Yarmouth. With a stop for ice cream, of course! (Think I had the largest ice cream cone of my life today - ordered a small and I'm pretty sure this was a small on steroids. It was massive! But delicious!) Nothing better than a delicious ice cream cone on a nice summer day.