Sharon Robart-Johnson – At Home Here in Nova Scotia

Occupation: Independent historian & Author

Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Currently Resides: Greenville, Yarmouth Co., N.S.

Where’s your favourite place in Nova Scotia to grab a coffee?

Train Station Tim Horton’s, Water Street, Yarmouth, NS.  I am there almost every morning, meeting and chatting with the regulars.  I love the atmosphere that creates.  When the old Dominion Atlantic Railway station was torn down a replica of the building was erected and now houses a Wendy’s and a Tim Horton’s.  There are replicas of the old lamps hanging on the wall as well.

Where’s your favourite place in Nova Scotia to grab a pint?

I am a non-drinker.  But, if I were, then I would have to say Rudders Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub.  They brew their own beer.

Where’s your favourite place to shop in Nova Scotia?

I do not like shopping very much but, when I do shop, which is not often, I prefer Malls with the different stores that give me a choice.  Specialty shopping – If I am looking for one specific item, I prefer the smaller privately owned stores that sell mostly the item(s) I am looking for.  There isn’t one store in particular it depends on what I am looking for at any given moment.

Where in Nova Scotia would we stand to see your favourite view?

Cape Forchu LighthouseMy favourite view hands down is from the Cape Forchu Lightstation, Cape Forchu, Yarmouth.  When the fishing boats are going out one behind the other it is like watching a parade and the spectacular view of the ocean is incredible.  And, you haven’t seen a sunset until you’ve watched it from Cape Forchu.

Name 3 things we’ve gotta do when we visit Nova Scotia:

Yarmouth County Museum1. As an historian a visit to the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives is a must for me.  With their extensive collection of artefacts and archival materials research is made easy.

2.  This year will be especially busy in Yarmouth.  It is our 250th anniversary of incorporation and the events that are being planned are phenomenal.  One of the events is “come home to Yarmouth.” My family is one of many planning a “come home to Yarmouth” family reunion.

3.  Drive, drive and drive some more.  Nova Scotia’s scenery is fantastic.

What makes Nova Scotia such a special place on earth for you?

Nova Scotian hospitality cannot be beat and I am proud to call Yarmouth, Nova Scotia my home.

SABS 4 more 411

To learn more about Sharon's book see "Africa's Children"

For more information on Sharon - please visit                      


  1. I am also a Yarmouth native who watched Sharon work long and hard to develop her book, Africa's Children, from the archives at the Yarmouth County Museum. As an author, also from Yarmouth, I am proud of her achievement and wish her well. Hers is an important history of black people in our own home town, our own back yard, a book long overdue.

    Comment by Rosemarie Nervelle — February 13, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  2. The book "Africa's Children" was an educational read as well as an easy read. The author was able to write the book in story form changing what could otherwise have been just "a boring history book". Until I read this book, I was not aware that slavery had ever taken place in the town where I was born and educated. This book needed to be written.
    Thanks to the author for bringing this excellently written and informative book to us.
    I would like to see this book in all the schools in Canada.
    Bobbi - Toronto, Ontario

    Comment by Bobbi - Residing in Toronto Ontario — February 14, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  3. Sharon,
    I have recently joined my aunt in her quest to research our family history ... as a child I didn't like anything to do with history but now I can't seem to get enough. Some of the branches are much easier to trace than others, some are near impossible to find any information at all. One such branch would be that of my (4th) great grandfather, Capt Jesse Gray.
    In my digging through our family history I've read many stories, some quite funny, others sad ... and then there's Jesse. As a child I had heard that we had an ancestor that had owned a slave and that he had sold her for a bushel of potatoes. Nobody elaborated on it any more than that, whether because they didn't know any more or (I hope) they were embarrassed by the fact. Like many other descendants I've hit a wall in trying to find any of our Grays beyond him on that particular line, it seems he did a particularly good job of hiding his family history, whether for their protection or his own. As I read more about him I expect the latter is more likely.
    I recently started reading your book about the history of blacks in Yarmouth. I grew up in Plymouth, always aware that certain parts of town were where the black people were (mainly South End and Greenville), when you mention specific areas I can picture exactly where they are.
    When I started reading I had figured on basic history, some names and places, the usual stuff, plus I knew Jesse was mentioned and thought I could gather more info on him ... for that I must apologize. Not for his actions and my family relation to him (like they say, you can't choose who you're related to) but for my own ignorance of the history and behavior of very town I grew up in. The stories you've gathered are amazing ... incredible accounts of such pain, degradation, and strength. Your book is a real eye-opener and I thank you for writing it.

    Comment by Deborah Gray — January 30, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

  4. Hi - I was born in Lynn, MA USA. Lynn is home to many descendants of the Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia. It was a pleasure reading Sharon's book which contained many references to my Chandler family and their friends. Three years ago, I also had the pleasure to meet Sharon for coffee at her favorite spot in Yarmouth. Sharon was also kind enough to take time to show us the museum. I am planning a family 2017 reunion in the Darmouth/Halifax area. This is also the location of my daughter's marriage 16 years ago. For many reasons Nova Scotia has a very special place in my heart and genes. And I now can add Sharon to those fond memories and connection.

    Comment by Joanne Schumpert — August 23, 2016 @ 3:06 pm

  5. My husband and I visited with you while you were at the museum. We were following up family research of the Eskins, Ruggles, Robinson family . My sister Janice started it. I have a copy of your book and made sure my brother had a copy too. Although he was to young when we left Yarmouth for Montreal, I am the one who has maintained interest and contact there. We as a family (11 of us) are coming there from today Aug 15, through 24 maybe later. We'd like very much to meet with you. Maybe ask questions about the people we do remember. Gilbert Parker was one of them. Jeannie O'Connell (cousin). Betty Ann Surrette a friend from 1st gradd I think. We left in 1953 I think. My name is Joan Ruggles Hoyte 843 991 2604. Please call. Thank you

    Comment by Joan Hoyte — August 15, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

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