< Back to Windsor Area Main Page


Hants Community Hospital

Windsor (2011 population: 3,785) is a Canadian town located in Hants County, Nova Scotia. It is a service centre for the western part of the county and is situated on Highway 101. The town has a history dating back to its use by the Mi'kmaq Nation for several millennia prior to European discovery. When the Acadians lived in the area, the town was raided by New England forces in 1704. The area was central to both Father Le Loutre's War and the Expulsion of the Acadians during the Bay of Fundy Campaign in 1755. The town is the birthplace of ice hockey and also was the home of Canada's first internationally best-selling author Thomas Chandler Haliburton.

Situated at the junction of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers, it is the largest community in the District of the Municipality of West Hants and had a 2001 population of 3,779 residents. Prior to the county being divided into separate municipal districts, Windsor had served as the shire town of the county. The region encompassing present day Windsor was originally part of Pisiguit, a Mi'kmaq term meaning "Junction of Waters". This name referred to the confluence of the Avon and St. Croix rivers, which flow into the Minas Basin.

Windsor is 66 km northwest of Halifax, approximately 20 km from the eastern end of the Annapolis Valley. Windsor used to be a railway junction for the Dominion Atlantic Railway where a route to Truro joined with the mainline between Halifax and Yarmouth. The community of Falmouth, Nova Scotia and town of Hantsport are located a few kilometres to the west. Today the community is a local service centre and nucleus of the West Hants Municipal District.


St. John's Roman Catholic Church, designed
by William Critchlow Harris

Fundy Gypsum, a mining company operating gypsum mines just east of town, is a major employer in the region. Southwestern Nova Scotia's only alpine ski hill is located 3 km up the Avon River valley from Windsor at Martock. It is home to the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta.

Windsor is also home to the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. The theatre supports a touring troupe, which performs locally and internationally, as well as many children's theatre programs.

Ice hockey

Windsor maintains a claim as the cradle of ice hockey, based upon a reference (in a novel by Thomas Haliburton) of boys from King's Collegiate School playing "hurley", on the frozen waters of 'Long Pond' adjacent to the school's campus during the early 19th century. Students from King's-Edgehill School still play hockey on "Long Pond", a pond proclaimed by some as the "Cradle of Hockey", located at the farm of Howard Dill. Windsor also boasts the oldest hockey arena in Canada, the Stannus Street Rink, which no longer hosts hockey games. The town's current arena is Hants Exhibition Arena. The town was also recently involved in the shooting of a television series called Road Hockey Rumble. The town of Windsor is also home to the historic Windsor Royals Jr. B Hockey Club, as well as the Avon River Rats Jr. C Hockey Club.

Windsor info reproduced from Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor,_Nova_Scotia under the Creative Commons License


Fort Edward - oldest remaining blockhouse
in North America (established during
Father Le Loutre's War)

History

Having migrated from Port Royal, Nova Scotia, the Acadians were the first to settle in Pisiguit by the early 1680s. French census records dated 1686 list well established farms utilizing dyked marshlands.

Queen Anne's War

Raid on Pisiquid (1704)

During Queen Anne's War, in response to the Wabanaki Confederacy of Acadia military campaign against the New England frontier and the Canadian Raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, Benjamin Church (military officer) led the Raid on Pisiguit (1704) and burned the village to the ground. In the Raid on Pisiquid, Church burned 40 houses along with out-buildings, crops and cattle. There was resistance and two Mi’kmaq were wounded.

Father Le Loutre's War

Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749. By unilaterally establishing Halifax the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726), which were signed after Dummer's War. The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi'kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1751), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).

Within 18 months of establishing Halifax, the British also took firm control of peninsula Nova Scotia by building fortifications in all the major Acadian communities: present-day Windsor (Fort Edward); Grand Pre ( Fort Vieux Logis ) and Chignecto ( Fort Lawrence ). (A British fort already existed at the other major Acadian centre of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Cobequid remained without a fort.) Many Acadians left this region in the Acadian Exodus, which preceded the Expulsion of the Acadians.

French and Indian War

During the French and Indian War, Fort Edward and Windsor played a significant role in the deportation, particularly the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755). Acadians were imprisoned in the fort as they were notified about the expulsion. Acadians numbering in the thousands were deported from mainland Nova Scotia. The deportees frequently were held onboard ships for several weeks before being moved to their destinations, thus exacerbating unhealthy conditions below decks and leading to the deaths of hundreds. Many hundreds more were lost through ship sinkings and disease onboard ships while en route to ports in Britain's American colonies, Britain, and France. The British also broke apart families and sent them to different places. Their justification for this was to more efficiently put people on the boats. This resulted in more loss of life as families could not survive without essential members.

New England Planters

The Township of Windsor was founded in 1764 by New England Planters. The next year, its first Agricultural Fair was held. This fair is still continued today, and is the oldest and longest-running such fair in North America.

American Revolution

In the American Revolution, Windsor was an important British stronghold. Fort Edward was the headquarters in Atlantic Canada for 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). A relief force was mustered at Windsor to crush the American-led siege at the Battle of Fort Cumberland in 1776.

Loyalists

Following the American Revolution, Windsor was settled by United Empire Loyalists.

Plaster War

Windsor developed its gypsum deposits, usually selling it to American markets at Passamaquoddy Bay. Often this trade was illegal; in 1820, an effort to stop this smuggling trade resulted in the "Plaster War," in which local smugglers resoundingly defeated the efforts of New Brunswick officials to bring the trade under their control.

Kings

The University of King's College and its secondary school, King's Collegiate School, were founded in 1788-1789 by United Empire Loyalists as Anglican academic institutions. The college remained in the community until a disastrous fire on February 3, 1920. In 1922 it moved to Halifax, with the assistance of the Carnegie Foundation and continues to this day.

The King's Collegiate School continued operation on the campus and was joined by a sister girls school, 'Edgehill School', in 1890. In 1976 both institutions merged to form King's-Edgehill School, and remains the oldest independent (i.e. private) school in the Commonwealth outside of the United Kingdom.

Ships, rail and roads

In 1878, Windsor was officially incorporated as a town. Its harbour made the town a centre for shipping and shipbuilding during the age of sail. Notable shipbuilders such as Bennett Smith built a large fleet of merchant vessels, one of the last being the ship Black Watch. As the port of registry for the massive wooden shipbuilding industry of the Minas Basin, Windsor was the homeport of one of the largest fleet of sailing ships in Canada. Notable vessels registered at Windsor included Hamburg, the largest three masted barque built in Canada and Kings County , the largest four masted barque. Following the completion of the Nova Scotia Railway 's line from Halifax in 1857, the town became an important steamship connection giving Halifax access to the Bay of Fundy shipping routes. The railway continued westward as the Windsor and Annapolis Railway in 1870, eventually connecting to Yarmouth as the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1893. No longer the railhead, Windsor's steamship connection diminished but the central location of Windsor on the railway fostered the growth of numerous factories such as textile mills, fertilizer plants and furniture factories. The home of one of the industrialist families of this era, the Shands, is preserved today in Windsor as the Shand House Museum.

Over the course of its history, Windsor was victim to two disastrous fires, on October 17, 1897, and January 6, 1924, both of which destroyed part of the town.

In 1970, the construction of a flood-control causeway carrying Highway 101 and the Dominion Atlantic Railway across the Avon River closed Windsor off from shipping and has affected navigation in the Avon River downstream from the causeway due to excessive siltation. Highway 101 is scheduled to be upgraded to a 4-lane expressway in the future and there have been discussions about replacing the causeway with railroad and highway bridges to improve water flow. Today, the Avon River on the upstream side of the causeway which is obstructed from freely flowing into the Bay of Fundy is called 'Lake Pisiquid'.


Wolfville streetscape, spring 2006. The view
shows the Al Whittle (Acadia) Theatre, a house
of movies and live performances now operated
by a non-profit cooperative.

Wolfville is a Canadian town in the Annapolis Valley, Kings County, Nova Scotia, located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of the provincial capital, Halifax. The town is home to Acadia University, Landmark East School and the Acadia Cinema Cooperative, a non-profit organization that runs the local movie/performance house. It is a popular tourist destination for the scenery of the nearby Bay of Fundy and Gaspereau Valley, as well as for the many cultural attractions which are offered by the university and town. In the past few years, several Victorian houses in Wolfville have been converted to bed and breakfast establishments.

Culture

Wolfville is considered by many to be one of the more vibrant cultural centres in Nova Scotia. The Acadia University Art Gallery and The Atlantic Theatre Festival are both located on Main Street along with many bistros and boutiques. The town's history is presented at the Randall House Museum, operated by the Wolfville Historical Society. Each year, the Annapolis Valley Music Festival is held on Acadia Campus, where many talented musicians from across the valley compete.

Wolfville has a Farmers Market every Saturday morning year-round (8:30am–1:00pm), and on Wednesday evenings from June to December (4:00–7:00pm). The market is located at 24 Elm Ave in Wolfville in the DeWolfe building, a former apple packing warehouse.

Eddy (M) Melanson was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia on July 25, 1938.

Notable residents

  • Joseph Barss, privateer
  • Alex Colville, artist
  • Arthur Chute McGill, theologian and philosopher
  • Mona Louise Parsons, member of the Dutch resistance, WW2
  • Kathlyn (MacLean) Corinne, a drama teacher born in Wolfville, who was the mother of Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine
  • Mark Oakley, creator of Thieves and Kings
  • Jim Murphy, Electronic Health Pioneer
  •  

    Wolfville info reproduced from Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfville under the Creative Commons License

    Wolfville History

    The First Nations

    From ancient times the area of Wolfville was a hunting ground for many First Nations peoples including the Clovis, Laurentian, Bear River, and Shields Archaic groups. They were attracted by the salmon in the Gaspereau River and the agate stone at Cape Blomidon with which they could make stone tools. In around 700 AD, the first Mi'kmaq, related to the Algonquin and Ojibwe peoples, migrated into Nova Scotia and bumped the other tribes out. The Mi'kmaq were seasonal hunters, using dogs and webbed snowshoes to hunt deer, and using the various semi-precious stones (including jasper, quartz, and even amythest) from the Blomidon area to make arrowheads.

    The French

    After an initial effort in 1604 by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons and his cartographer Samuel de Champlain to establish a colony at Saint Croix Island the colony was relocated to the Habitation at Port-Royal. The French and the Mi'kmaq quickly established a reciprocal relationship which continued to serve both peoples well until the mid Eighteenth-century. The French found the area to be rich in furs and fine fertile land. Reports sent to France by individuals such as Samuel de Champlain, Marc Lescarbot and Nicolas Denys proclaimed the rich bounty to be found in the Annapolis Valley area.

    French settlement efforts continued in fits and starts and by 1636 under Charles de Menou d'Aulnay Port Royal was reestablished after Acadia/Nova Scotia was handed back to the French under the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The progeny of these settlers, as well as the second wave of settlers under Hector d'Andigné de Grandfontaine would eventually become known as the Acadians. By the late 1690s their population numbered about 350. French settlement in the Wolfville area began in about 1680 with a Pierre Melanson establishing his family at Grand-Pré. The Acadians prospered as farmers by enclosing the estuarine salt marshes with dykes and successfully converting the reclaimed lands into fertile fields for crops and pasturage.

    In 1710, however, Acadia was lost by the French crown after the English laid siege to Port Royal/ Annapolis Royal. Under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, signed at the close of the War of the Spanish Succession, Acadia was ceded for the final time to the British. For the next thirty-six years, until the establishment of Halifax in 1749, the British remained at Annapolis Royal and Canso. The French-speaking Catholic population grew over the intervening years to well over 10,000 and the Minas region (Wolfville and environs) quickly became the principal settlement. Acadia was a borderland region between two empires and this caused a complex socio-political environment to develop for the Acadians. Both the British and the French coaxed and threatened the Acadians in attempts to secure their loyalty as is evidenced by the various oaths of allegiance each side attempted to extract from them. This complex situation led many Acadians to attempt to maintain a neutral path; while others either openly supported the French or the British.

    During the War of the Austrian Succession the Acadians in the Wolfville area were implicated in the Battle of Grand Pré which saw a Canadian military force, reinforced by Mi'kmaq and Acadians, defeat a British force. With the onset of the Seven Years War the Acadians in the Wolfville area, along with all Acadians in peninsular Nova Scotia, suffered under the deportations that took place during the Expulsion of the Acadians,(see also the Bay of Fundy Campaign ). Beginning in September 1755 and continuing into the fall approximately 2,000 Acadians were deported from the area about Wolfville. The villages lying beyond Grand Pré were burned by the British forces and still more buildings were destroyed by both sides during the guerilla war that took place until 1758.

    The English

    Around 1760, the British government in Nova Scotia made several township plots of land available in the Annapolis Valley for colonization and Horton Township was created in the Grand Pre/Wolfville Area. Because of pressure on agricultural lands in New England, anglophone farmers moved north in search of fertile land at a reasonable price. It is thought that between 1760 and 1789 more than 8,000 people known as New England Planters emigrated to the land around the Annapolis Valley. They settled, and re-used the same dyke-lands as the Acadians had used before them, repairing and later expanding the agricultural dykes. In 1763, there were 154 families living in the area of Horton Township.

    The New England Planters set up a primarily agricultural economy exporting cattle potatoes and grain and later apples as well as developing lumbering and later shipbuilding. The town site for Horton was initially surveyed in the Grand Pre area at Horton Landing near the mouth of the Gaspereau River. However the town instead gravitated around the sheltered harbour on the Cornwallis River at Wolfville, at first known as Mud Creek. The first official record of a Baptist church in Canada was that of the Horton Baptist Church (now Wolfville), established on October 29, 1778. The church was established with the assistance of the New Light evangelist Henry Alline. The Baptist movement remained strong in the area and in 1838 lead to the founding of Acadia University as a Baptist college.

    In 1830, the town of Mud Creek switched its name to Wolfville, in honour of Elisha DeWolf, the town's postmaster at the time. In the mid-19th century, Wolfville was renowned as the world's smallest port. The town welcomed Confederation in 1867. The Windsor and Annapolis Railway arrived in 1868, later becoming the Dominion Atlantic Railway making Wolfville a seaport devoted principally to the export of apples from the orchards of the fertile Annapolis Valley. Wolfville Harbour was also a terminus of the MV Kipawo ferry, the last of a long succession of ferries that connected Wolfville, Kingsport and Parrsboro for 200 years. The harbour, which empties twice a day due to the high tides of the Bay of Fundy, was once described by Robert Ripley as the smallest in the world. On March 20, 1893, the TOWN was incorporated with Dr. E. Perry Bowles as its first mayor.

    In 1985, the town was declared a nuclear free zone. Wolfville was declared Canada's first fair trade town on April 17, 2007.

    Windsor Area Map

    Map by Microsoft Map Point. Copyright © and (P) 1988–2012 Microsoft Corporation and/or its suppliers. All rights reserved. http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/ © Certain mapping and direction data © 2012 NAVTEQ. All rights reserved. The Data for areas of Canada includes information taken with permission from Canadian authorities, including: © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, © Queen's Printer for Ontario. NAVTEQ and NAVTEQ ON BOARD are trademarks of NAVTEQ. © 2012 Tele Atlas North America, Inc. All rights reserved. Tele Atlas and Tele Atlas North America are trademarks of Tele Atlas, Inc. © 2012 by Applied Geographic Solutions. All rights reserved. Portions © Copyright 2012 by Woodall Publications Corp. All rights reserved.