In the 1970s, several town residents realized the importance of North Yarmouth’s history and took steps to preserve and protect the town’s historical resources. In October, 1974 North Yarmouth Historical Society held its first official meeting. The first officers were Nellie Leighton, President; Linda Wentworth, Vice-President; Shirley Fountain, Secretary; and Edith Atkins, Treasurer.
On March 3, 1973 the organization was incorporated. Proactive efforts at preservation were led by “old timers” and newcomers alike. Volunteers became skilled in deed research, conducted an old house survey, and rescued and preserved ancient town records, photos, and other ephemera. The organization today rests on the solid foundation laid by these preservationists.
The Archives and a small workroom are located at the town’s fire station, at 463 Walnut Hill Road. In 1980 a secure vault was built to house NYHS’s collection of maps, papers, objects, journals, diaries, and photos. North Yarmouth Historical Society also cares for records from several local civic and religious groups
The 1853 Old Town House, the town’s first town hall and only historic municipal building, is located on Route 9 just south of the Royal River. In 1976 it was saved from imminent destruction when N YHS purchased it from the town for $1.00. A large number of volunteers helped to restore it in the 1980s, and until it was closed due to structural issues in 2009 it was used for NYHS events and private functions.
North Yarmouth Historical Society plans to move the Old Town House to the site of the former Wescustogo Hall and restore it to public use. This is an active project that NYHS hopes to complete before the end of 2020.