War Memorial and Park
Links and documents
1923/01/01 to 1923/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The War Memorial and Park is an open space in the town’s central business district set aside in memory of and to honour the men and women of Yarmouth County who lost their lives in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. It is prominently located on Main Street in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and municipal heritage designation applies to the memorial and the property.
The War Memorial and Park is valued as the principal cenotaph and open space within the town of Yarmouth commemorating the casualties from Yarmouth County in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
The War Memorial was erected in 1923 after two-and-one-half years of planning and work by a committee appointed for the purpose. The project began at the urging of the local Council of Women in November, 1920, and was taken up by the Town Council of the time. The twenty-three member executive committee appointed to decide what form the memorial would take was comprised of councillors from the three municipal units within Yarmouth County as well as returned servicemen and representatives from nearly every organization within the town. General meetings were held seeking input from the general populace and a monument was finally decided upon as a fitting memorial.
The search for a suitable design for a statue eventually ended with the choice of a soldier designed by Henri Hébert of Montreal. The seven foot tall statue was cast in bronze and weighed 680 kilograms. The base section was designed and fabricated by Noble & Hyde of Montreal, an architectural firm which had designed many monuments already erected in Canada, and the granite for its construction was supplied by the Standard Granite quarries. The cost for the entire War Memorial was $16,500, all of which was raised by volunteers canvassing for donations. Following the end of World War II, bronze plaques with the names of those who had lost their lives were affixed around the base of the monument, and similarly, after the Korean War a separate granite marker was placed next to the base to commemorate those lost in that conflict.
The park within which the War Memorial stands was originally part of one of the four lots set off for public use in the original grants of the Township of Yarmouth in 1766. The westernmost section of the lot, now called Frost Park, was the first burial ground used by the early settlers in the area, and the easternmost section became an additional burial ground when the first section was filled. On the middle section of the lot, where the War Memorial now stands, the early inhabitants of the area had built a church in 1784. As far as can be determined, this church building stood until circa 1906 when it was demolished, as a new church for the congregation had been constructed elsewhere. By an Act of the Provincial Legislature, the entire lot which had been granted for public use became vested in the Town of Yarmouth in 1893 and was then decreed by the Town to be a public park. After the War Memorial was erected in 1923 the Park was further enhanced by the Council of Women with the planting of hedges and a flower bed along the south side of the Park. In recent years the hedges and flower bed have been removed, granite walkways have been extended and a new, circular apron has been laid around the base of the monument.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files, Town of Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the War Memorial and Park include:
- location on Main Street in the principal business district and near the waterfront;
- adjacency to Grand Hotel, the public library and the Yarmouth Municipal Court House;
- proximity to Frost Park, part of the same original lot granted in 1766 for public use;
- granite walkways and apron around monument;
- granite monument base with cast bronze soldier statue;
- engraved names of those who died in World War I war on granite monument;
- bronze plates with embossed names of those who died in World War II affixed to base of monument;
- granite marker with names of those who died in Korean War to east side of base of monument.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Social Movements
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Commemorative Monument
Architect / Designer
Noble and Hyde
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property files: War Memorial & Park; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2
Cross-Reference to Collection