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Free tours start June 19 at Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery


YARMOUTH - There are close to 10,000 stories in the Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery on Parade Street.

Logan Jamieson will start sharing some of them June 19. He’s been hired to provide free tours on weekdays: Monday to Friday 10 a.m, 1 p.m and 3 p.m. and Thursday: 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Ritchie Memorial Chapel was dedicated Aug. 5, 1923 and donated by David A. Ritchie 'In Memory of the Home Town Folk of Yarmouth.'

Jamieson worked for the cemetery last year, conducting research on 350 bodies interred in the “poor lot,” also referred to as Reserve 2. He located obituaries for the names on each stone unearthed.

“There was a lot of history in that. It was really intriguing learning about them and how the town has changed over the last 130 years,” he said.

He adds that history is probably his best subject at Université Sainte-Anne, where he’s studying to be a French high school teacher.

His research revealed many sad stories, including the loss of three young children in Milton to scarlet fever and a heartrending incident involving a young boy.

The nine-year-old went fishing alone off one of the town’s docks but didn’t return home for supper. A search party went looking and found him a day later with the fishing line wound around him beneath the wharf.

“Had that not happened, his body likely would have gone out with the tide,” said Jamieson.

Stairwell in Ritchie Memorial Chapel

He’ll be designing five different tours to be rotated through the days. There will be stories about some of Yarmouth’s movers and shakers during its heyday, when it was one of the world’s greatest shipping ports.

Information about past mayors, other politicians, philanthropists, shipwreck victims, East/West Camp veterans, Jewish lot history, and even Maud Lewis’s parents (yes, their gravestone is there) will be shared.

The gravesite of Omar Roberts will no doubt generate interest.  He was convicted of murdering his 19-year-old housekeeper and was hanged, then buried during the dark of night.

Jamieson has conducted research over the past six weeks in addition to the work he completed last year. He also interviewed Jewish members of the community for accounts of life during the 1960s, when their families were prominent on the local business scene.

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Ritchie Memorial Chapel, where tools used to engrave headstones in the past will be shown.

Tour participants will be able to leave a donation, if they wish, towards a tree-planting initiative, repairs to stones for deceased persons with no descendants to pay for upkeep, and other projects.

People are encouraged to take in all five tours this summer.

“Then they will get the full experience,” said Jamieson.

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The Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery Company was incorporated in 1860.

The total area of the property is 40 acres.

There is a wide variety of trees on site, including beech, chestnut, maple and evergreens.

For more information on the tours call 902-742-3315 or visit the Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery Facebook Page.

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