Biographies for the Board of Directors of the Yarmouth County Historical Society
Peter Eldridge - President
Peter Eldridge was born in Saint John, N.B., spending his formative years there, living on the same street as the N.B. Museum. Peter is a retired high school teacher of English and related subjects and an administrator at Yarmouth Memorial High School (between 1965-1994), receiving a N.S. Provincial Community Volunteer Award,1989, for activities in both the community and school. A long-time member of the Board of the Yarmouth County Museum, during the late 1900s he served as co-chair of fund-raising for the $2.4 million expansion of the Museum and Archives. Since 2008, he has also been co-chair of the Yarmouth Area Community Fund, which assists all aspects of the community. A fan of historical connections, and avidly interested in the outstanding history of the Yarmouth area, for many years he provided a regular column in the monthly Museum newsletter (Historigram), titled “Celebrating Our History!”. Peter is currently (2018, 2019) president of the Yarmouth County Historical Society.
Charles Winship - 1st Vice-President
Charles R. Winship was born in Yarmouth NS and grew up in the county, in the village of South Ohio where he has been well rooted throughout the years. Charles has always had a real interest in things of the past like life styles, ways of doing different things and the tools to do these things. Through the years Charles has always been involved as a volunteer as well as a leader in activities in his community and beyond. He has worked with 4H groups, church youth groups along with several other organizations such as caretaker of the South Ohio Cemetery Society for 10 years, Union President at his workplace for 12 years and President of the South Ohio Community Centre Society for 3 years. He is always willing to help out when the need arises. Eighteen years ago Charles became a member of the Yarmouth County Historical Society. In 2008, Charles was voted in as President of this Society and again in 2013. He enjoys working with others and is always open to learning new things.
David Sollows - 2nd Vice-President and Programs Chair
David Sollows is a native of Yarmouth County where he developed an interest in local history early in his life. For five summers he worked as a summer student at the Yarmouth County Museum before working in the field of education. Following his studies at Acadia University, he returned to teach in Yarmouth and later served as principal at Milton School, Central School and Meadowfields Community School. He has been a supervisor of student teachers for the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Mount Saint Vincent, St. Francis Xavier, Acadia University and Cape Breton University. He is a past president of the Yarmouth County Historical Society and currently Second Vice President and Program Chair. He has served as a volunteer on the Community Health Board, The Yarmouth Communities in Bloom Committee, Beacon United Church Council, Board of 100 Guys Who Care, the Congregational Church of Chebogue Preservation Society, the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association, and is a charter member of the Yarmouth Shantymen. He is interested in all aspects of Yarmouth’s rich history and the people who made it the community it is today.
Mary Louise Killam - Secretary and Historigram Editor
Mary Louise comes from New Brunswick and arrived in Yarmouth when she met and married Gary who she met at Acadia University and who returned to Yarmouth as a Physics teacher in 1973. She began volunteering at the front desk many years ago and then was asked to become the editor of the Historigram in 2011 and thus became a member of the Board. She was then asked to take on the position of secretary which she has held since 2012.
Heather Rideout - Assistant Secretary
Bio coming soon
Mary Eldridge - Treasurer
Mary Eldridge, a life member, joined the Board of the Yarmouth County Historical Society in 1986. She has been treasurer since 1990 and has served as Finance Chair, Membership Chair and serves on the personnel committee. During 1997 to 2001 Mary was co-chair fundraising for, and administered, the $2.4 million museum expansion. Mary has spent most of her life volunteering on many local boards in Yarmouth and in Halifax, currently with Sunset Terrace, Yarmouth Public Library, VON, Yarmouth Area Community Fund, Community Foundation of Nova Scotia and the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth. For her volunteer work she has been honored by St. Francis Xavier University, the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, and received the Governor General Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Gwen Ducharme - Assistant Treasurer
Gwen Ducharme was born in Halifax and spent her early years living in Halifax and Dartmouth. Her father was in the Navy and her family moved to Victoria, British Columbia where she lived for most of her teenage years. Then she moved to Southern Ontario where she raised her son and lived in many different communities. She happily made her way back to Nova Scotia in 2004, settling in the Yarmouth area in 2007. She had a 33 year career with Royal Bank of Canada, retiring in 2018 as a Financial Planner. Her professional accreditations include Associate Institute of Canadian Bankers and Certified Financial Planner. Her volunteer experience includes Junior Achievement, SPCA, TREPA and Speak Up, Speak Out. She has a fondness for all museums that started in her childhood, she has always been interested in peoples’ stories and ensuring they are recorded for history. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Tony, walking her dog Daisy and singing with the Yarmouth Chorale.
John Sollows - Education Chair
John Sollows was a summer student during the Museum’s first year on Collins Street in 1969. He is a life member of the Yarmouth County Historical Society and joined the board in 2005 as Education Chair. John was born in Yarmouth; the Sollowses arrived in Yarmouth from Beverley, Massachusetts in the early 1760’s and a namesake launched the first boat in the county at Fish Point in 1764. John spent most of his working life in aquaculture and fisheries development projects in Africa and Asia. Besides his work with the Society, John is Executive Director of the Tusket River Environmental Protection Association, Secretary of the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association; Secretary of the Nova Scotia Heritage Fairs Society, serves on the Saint Ambrose Refugee Committee, helps others with immigration issues, and tutors kids.
Vaughn Bullerwell - Finance Chair and Personnel Chair
Vaughn Bullerwell has been involved with the Yarmouth County Historical Society since 1993. He has worked as a volunteer and casual employee in the museum and archives, and has served on the YCHS board in various roles including as President. Vaughn is a faculty member in the School of Business of the Nova Scotia Community College, Burridge Campus.
Elaine Howatt - Gift Shop Manager
Elaine Howatt was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She attended Mount Allison University, Class of 1978, and Holland College, Class of 1980. She retired in 2013, after a long career with the Nova Scotia Civil Service. She's been a Yarmouth resident since 1998 and believes in volunteering and community good. She enjoys history and learning. She is presently new to the Yarmouth County Historical Society as the Gift Shop Chair.
In 2014, she received the Town of Yarmouth and Municipality of Yarmouth, Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding volunteer services benefiting our community.
Mike Cunningham - Historic Sites Chair
Michael Cunningham joined the Yarmouth County Historical Society in 2004 and became a member of the board in 2018. Mike was born in Yarmouth and his family first settled in the area around Cape Sable Island in 1785. Mike retired in 2018 after a 38 year career as a commercial pilot, the last 22 years of which was spent as an aircraft accident investigator. Herbert Cunningham, his grandfather, was chief lightkeeper at Cape Forchu light station between 1922 and 1952. His historical interests and research experience include: lighthouses of southwestern Nova Scotia; Yarmouth in WWI; Yarmouth shipping and fishery history.
Steen Gates - Membership Chair and Publicity Chair
Bio coming soon
Susan Winship - Pelton Fuller House Chair
Susan joined the Yarmouth Historical Society in 1993 and immediately volunteered for the Costume Department. She is presently the head of the Department. When the Pelton-Fuller House became a part of the Museum in 1995, Susan became a committee member and later, after Audrey Kenney stepped down, Susan became the chairperson.
Susan is also on the Ways and Means Committee and a Board member. Though born in Liverpool, N. S., Susan has always lived in Yarmouth which is her ancestral home. Her people came as Planters and Empire Loyalists. Susan has always had a passion for history and the Museum is the perfect fit.
Ingrid Deon - Promotions Chair
Ingrid Deon has been a member of the Yarmouth County Historical Society Board of Directors since 2017 and was the Assistant Director of the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives for nearly two years, from 2014 to 2015. Ingrid lives in Middle West Pubnico and is currently the Manager of Social Engagement at Colour, a digital marketing agency in Halifax, Toronto and New York. Ingrid’s interest in the history of Yarmouth County began when she worked at the Musée des acadiens des Pubnicos as a university student. Ingrid is one of only a few Acadians who is also a Mayflower descendant.
Carrie Thompson - Publications Chair
Bio coming soon
Susan Fuller - Volunteer Chair
Sue Fuller was born Susan Hamilton in Yarmouth. She was educated here and in Truro , returning to Yarmouth " home " after adventures in other parts of Canada. She retired from driving a school bus in 2015. Her friendship with the museum's Curator, Nadine Gates, brought her to the museum on many occasions to help decorate or help move some display. The more time she spent here the easier it was to find herself here. Barbara Nicholl [fellow volunteer] was also one to ask her to help out in the kitchen. Working with Barb and Barb Hinkley and others made it comfortable to do more. She finds herself in the museum at least a full day a week and more depending on the project being worked on. The ongoing backlog is always in need of attention. Photographing the artifacts to have online is a new current project which she enjoy. As you can see she prefers a behind the scenes kind of task.
Seamus Murhpy - Member at Large
Seamus Murphy is a native of Yarmouth whose interest in this county's history was ignited when working as a summer student in the museum for two years. Seamus returned to the Yarmouth area in 2018 and works as a staff lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid.
Sharon Robart-Johnson - Member at Large
Sharon Robart-Johnson’s background is comprised of both African and European ancestry. Born in the South End of Yarmouth, she is a thirteenth generation Nova Scotian. She has been a volunteer, on occasion, in the museum/archives since 2001, volunteering in the archives for five years and then as Publication Chairperson for two years. In 2009, her first book Africa’s Children: A History of Blacks in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia was published. Her other accomplishments include articles written for the American website, Blackpast.org; an article in the Nova Star’s Cruise Ferry – Starboard magazine, titled Blacks in Yarmouth Town and County; and she was also featured on the website http://seaandbescene.com/?s=Sharon+Robart-Johnson. Researching Black history is her passion.
Bill MacConnell - Member at Large
Bio coming soon
Charles Webster - Member at Large
Bio coming soon