The Killam family business started in 1788when John Killam and Josiah Porter had the 28 ton schooner named Janet built. Theywere among the first ship builders in Yarmouth. 

This building you see here is on Water St. in Yarmouth.It is considered to be the oldest shipping office in Canada. It was built inabout 1835. Their main business was ships' chandler, which meansselling supplies like sails and rope to sailing ships, and tramping,which means their ships went from port to port carrying whatever cargo theycould take. Many of these vessels never returned to Yarmouth.      

In the hundred year period of sailing ships, theKillam family had an interest in two hundred vessels. 

John's son, Thomas Killam, was a member ofCanada's first Parliament in 1867. He also built the ship Research

Thomas Killam, MP

George Killam gave most of the money to build theYarmouth Seminary, which was the original CentralSchool.

George Killam

The sailing ship industry ended around 1900 becausesteamships became more popular. The Killam family got into coal, gas, oil andinsurance.   

The Killam business closed in 1991 after 203years. The final owner was Robert Killam. Robert Killam has his own office inthe back of his house. In his office he has artifacts from the two hundred yearsof the Killam Brothers, even safety deposit boxes inside the vault that he movedfrom the company. The picture you see below is the vault door that used to be in theold YMCA building. This building was Wm. Law & Co. which dealt in insurance,coal and groceries.  

The Killam Bothers closed in 1991 after 203 yearswhen Robert Killam, great great grandson of John Killam, retired.

Robert Killam

Below are two pictures of Killam Bros. office onWater St. It is now operated as a seasonal museum by the YarmouthCounty Museum and Archives.



By: Logan Jamieson

"People" contents

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