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Take a walk, tour history in Town of Yarmouth

Yarmouth Walking Tour guide Candice Phibbs will be weaving stories of shipwrecks, ghosts, rum runners and much more during Friday nights and Sunday afternoon tours this summer.
Yarmouth Walking Tour guide Candice Phibbs will be weaving stories of shipwrecks, ghosts, rum runners and much more during Friday nights and Sunday afternoon tours this summer.

YARMOUTH - Goosebumps start to form. 

The sun is shining and the sound of traffic hums in the background but Candice Phibbs is weaving a story that alters the atmosphere on this Yarmouth dock.

"He used his hook to slit each buccaneers throat, dropping them into the icy Atlantic waters. The treasure would be his." Preview: The Eerie and The Ominous Tour

“There’s a legend that fishermen who work on these wharves won’t talk about. Often before a storm, or as a ship approaches an uncharted sandbar or ledge, an apparition appears,” she begins.

To hear the rest and a whole lot more, folks can sign up for the Eerie & the Ominous guided tour taking place every Friday this summer at 8 p.m., starting June 16.

Phibbs will share ghost and pirate stories, folklore and legends about Yarmouth crime during the tour. Each excursion is conducted by lantern-light, 1.5 kilometres along the waterfront and Main Street, starting at Frost Park and ending at the old jail.

"Two lions peered out of their cage as it was lifted off the burning vessel. Fire Chief Poole looked on and quickly sent out a request that men with firearms be present on the wharf... just in case." Preview: Footsteps in Time Tour.

Yarmouth Walking Tours is also offering Footsteps in Time excursions, departing from Rodd Grand Hotel Sundays at 3 p.m. These tours entertain with seafaring fables, stories of shipwrecks, the circus fire, rum running and captains’ homes. Tours run to the end of September.

“We’re also looking at doing a special three-nights-only Halloween-themed tour around Friday the 13th in October,” said Phibbs.

"Wealth accumulated in the town of Yarmouth. It was evident in the elaborate homes, public buidling and churches. Cultural and social life was at an all time high." Preview: Footsteps in Time Tour, Sunday's at 3 p.m.

Although she wouldn’t classify herself as a history buff, she says she loves the stories behind the community, the people and the homes.

“To tell it (history) in a story-telling manner engages people so much more. The story draws you in,” she said.

"The boat was lifted 45 degrees and Captain Harris was thrown to the beach. He tried to hold on to the earth as the undertow came and he was slowly dragged back toward the sea..." Preview: Footsteps in Time Tour, Sunday's at 3 p.m.

She’s spent many hours researching history books, some written by students taught by the late Ken Langille, and browsing museum archives for material. Her studies confirmed that the region is rich in stories.

“It was very hard to narrow it all down but it leaves room for future years to change things up if everything goes well,” she said.

The tours are being promoted through the visitors’ guide and map, on the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association website as an experience, with Nova Scotia Tourism and in brochures placed in hotel lobbies.

"The prohibition era coincided with a downturn in the fishing industry, so our fishermen were easily persuaded to take on a new venture. And who better to make the run then men who knew the rugged coastline and dangerous waters of the Atlantic." Preview: Footsteps in Time Tour, Sundays at 3 p.m.

If you go

Each tour costs $20 plus HST. Although they are not geared towards children, they are welcome to attend. Under age 12 is free.

Reservations can be made through the website or by calling 902-307-2250. Tours are limited to 20 guests each. 

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