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The region may have possibly been visited by Leif Ericson.An object known as the Yarmouth Runic Stone was found at the nearby village of Overton in 1812.
Tourism has been a major industry in Yarmouth since the 1880s when Loran Ellis Baker founded the Yarmouth Steamship Company.After the American Revolution, substantial numbers of United Empire Loyalists arrived in 1785.From 1874 to 1885, Yarmouth was the second largest port of registry in Canada following Saint John, New Brunswick.During the Seven Years' War, New England Planters settled at what is now the town of Yarmouth in 1759; the grantees were from Yarmouth, Massachusetts and they requested that Yarmouth be named after their former home.Following the war, Acadians originally from the Grand-Pré district who returned from exile in 1767 settled in the Yarmouth area.Yarmouth is the shire town of Yarmouth County and is largest population centre in the region.
Long connected to fishing due to its proximity to Georges Bank, the town is located in the heart of the world's largest lobster fishing grounds and as a result receives Canada's largest lobster landings each year.
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The town's first railway was the locally owned Western Counties Railway which was built from Yarmouth to Digby in the 1870s.
It eventually was merged into the Dominion Atlantic Railway (DAR), with a network extending into the Annapolis Valley, Halifax and Truro; the DAR later became a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
CN Marine replaced her with a newer vessel MV Stena Jutlandica which was renamed MV Bluenose to prevent confusion in tourism marketing literature.