Rum Running

Rum Running (HM207W)

Location: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia B5A 1K9 Yarmouth County
Country: Canada
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N 43° 50.66', W 66° 7.142'

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Rum, Risk, and Riches!

The passage of the National Prohibition Act on January 16, 1920 signalled the prohibition of alcohol for general consumption in the United States and provided an opportunity for enterprising Yarmouth businessmen and seamen. Yarmouth-based vessels were perfectly positioned to pick up supplies of alcohol in St. Pierre et Miquelon, Cuba, or the West Indies and to transport it just outside the international 12-mile limit on the east coast of the United States. From there the liquor was usually unloaded onto smaller and faster contact boats that brought it to shore for distribution by organized crime syndicates operating primarily out of Boston, New York, and New Jersey. Rum running, as it became widely known, was a lucrative but dangerous pursuit often involving risky weather conditions, the threat of armed attack and seizure by United States Coast Guard cutters, and piracy at sea!
[Photo captions, from left to right, read]
A map of eastern seaboard showing routes of rum runners, "Rum Row" and role of contact boats.
Nova Scotia built rum runners Administratix, Apohaqui, and Good Luck tied up at Yarmouth wharves. These vessels were purpose-built for speed and stealth. They were usually equipped with the latest in radio communications equipment and their cabins were often armour plated. Photos:
Shipsearch (Marine) Captain H. G. Hall
Yarmouth rum runners picked up liquor in St. Pierre et Miquelon (a French possession) and delivered it to "Rum Row", usually off the coast of Massachusetts, New York, or New Jersey, and as far south as Florida. It was generally off loaded onto smaller and faster American contact boats in international waters just outside the twelve-mile limit (in the early days of rum running there was a three-mile limit). The contact boats landed the liquor in the United States for distribution by organized crime syndicates. Liquor from distilleries in central Canada was legally exported in large quantities to St. Pierre et Miquelon. It was then purchased and delivered to "Rum Row" for illegal import into the United States. Nova Scotia rum runners also picked up rum in Cuba and other parts of the West Indies.
Extract from a letter from a representative of distillery interests in Ontario to a Yarmouth contact in 1932.
Organized crime syndicates in New Jersey, New York and other parts of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States were significant players in the illicit liquor trade.
Rum runners communicated with the best available electronic radio equipment onboard their vessels and from land bases, including Yarmouth. Codes changed on a regular basis. These are copies of codes and instructions used by Yarmouth
rum runners.
Learn more about Yarmouth's heritage at the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, 22 Collins Street.
HM NumberHM207W
Year Placed2003
Placed ByYarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation and Others
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 28th, 2017 at 10:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)19T E 731586 N 4858618
Decimal Degrees43.84433333, -66.11903333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 50.66', W 66° 7.142'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 50' 39.6" N, 66° 7' 8.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Yarmouth County Rail Trail, Yarmouth Nova Scotia B5A 1K9, CA
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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