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Aug. 24 ceremony to celebrate Fish Point interpretive panels

Although the official opening won’t happen until Aug. 24, interpretive panels have been installed at Fish Point and are already drawing interest to the site, where a memorial to fishermen lost to the sea also stands.
Although the official opening won’t happen until Aug. 24, interpretive panels have been installed at Fish Point and are already drawing interest to the site, where a memorial to fishermen lost to the sea also stands. - Carla Allen

Many more visitors now stopping at site, located just before Yarmouth Bar

YARMOUTH BAR, N.S. —

CARLA ALLEN
Tri-County Vanguard

An opening ceremony for interpretive panels at Fish Point, located on the small peninsula just before Yarmouth Bar, will be held on Aug. 24 at 1 p.m.
The five-panel project was developed by the Yarmouth County Historical Society’s (YCHS) historic sites committee and features information about the area on each panel. 
Although the official opening won’t happen until later, the panels have been installed and are already drawing interest to the site, where a memorial to fishermen lost to the sea also stands.
Mike Cunningham, historic sites committee chairperson, says those involved with the project have been watching the activity at Fish Point and polling some of the visitors. 
“Traffic has at least doubled if not tripled and people love the panels, the content, design and arrangement,” he said.
The next project phase for the committee is to raise $100,000 to protect Fish Point from erosion and to continue documenting the history for the online YCHS Fish Point and Yarmouth Bar history site.
The committee hopes to raise significant funds through the 'Save Fish Point – Buy a Rock' campaign, which ties in with research performed by Cunningham.
While examining historical information, he came across a provincial act passed in 1832, entitled “An Act to Preserve the Harbour of Cape Forchu, in Yarmouth.” His account of why the act became necessary is interesting. 

Yarmouth Bar from another era. Photo credit - Yarmouth County Museum and Archives
Yarmouth Bar from another era. Photo credit - Yarmouth County Museum and Archives


“Yarmouth began to grow rapidly in the early 1800’s. There were about 100 ships calling this home by the 1830’s. Many ship owners lived in Yarmouth but their business was shipping goods between international ports. “Often, when they left Yarmouth, they did so empty, picking up cargos in nearby Canadian or New England ports.” 
“In order to be stable, ships needed a certain amount of ballast in the bottom of their hulls, especially if they were empty. After they picked up their cargos and became heavier, excess ballast stones went overboard. Beach stones were also used in many construction projects, for example, early cellars and foundations.
“A great place to get ballast/beach stones was at the nearby Yarmouth Bar, just a short sail up the harbour. Each year they took more and more stones from Fish Point and the Bar,” he said.
The practice of taking the rocks went on for years as Yarmouth Bar became lower and lower.
 Waves generated by storms carrying silt/mud/sand were crossing the Bar much easier, choking the harbour channels. By 1832 it was so bad, Yarmouth’s future was threatened. In 1873, the federal department of public works undertook a huge project to solve the problem, building 2,800-feet of protected breakwater.
Cunningham says that today when we cross the Yarmouth Bar we tend to take it for granted, but the Yarmouth people sure didn’t in 1832. 
“The future of the town was at risk, people were taking too many rocks away. Now in 2019, 187 years later, we’re asking people to help us put rocks back to protect the point and our history.” 
He says that donation categories for the fundraising are being finalized. Donations will be recognized on a plaque placed on the monument.

More stories about Fish Point:

May 9, 2019 Improvements on the way for Fish Point Memorial site

June 19, 2019 The building of Yarmouth bar: history uncovered for forgotten community 
 

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