The Stagecoach Era in Yarmouth

(Click on any of the below thumbnails to view a slideshow of larger images)

Roland VanNorden started a stagecoach business between Tusket and Yarmouth in 1865. The following year, he received the contract to carry Her Majesty's Royal Mail between these places every day except Sundays. Sometime later, VanNorden added a Pubnico-to-Yarmouth route, with a stop to change horses in Tusket. In addition to passengers, the stagecoach could also carry small freight.

The two stagecoaches below were owned and operated by William VanNorden during the mid-to-late 1800s.

Stagecoach Thumbnail Image 1Stagecoach Thumbnail Image2Stagecoach Thumbnail Image 3

The stagecoach on the left is believed to have been made locally. It carried six passengers inside and two outside. It was donated by Mr. Arthur Hill. The middle image shows a reproduction of an original advertisement for the new Royal Mail service.

The stagecoach on the right was made by the Abbott-Downing Company of Concord, New Hampshire. It may have been used by other stagecoach services elsewhere in Nova Scotia. Pulled by four or six horses, there was room for nine passengers inside and six outside. Three could sit on each bench with two or three more on the moveable seat in the center. Those on the outside would sit beside the driver or on the front edge of the roof behind the driver's seat. Mailbags were carried in the space between the driver's legs and on the rear baggage rack.

Roland, and later his son William, continued to provide stagecoach service between Pubnico and Yarmouth until 1897, when the railway arrived.