Windsor, Nova Scotia

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Windsor, Nova Scotia
Town
Official seal of Windsor, Nova Scotia
Seal
Coat of arms of Windsor, Nova Scotia
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Birthplace of Hockey
Motto: "E Terra Abundantia"  (Latin)
"Abundant Eastern Land"
Windsor, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor, Nova Scotia
Location within Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 44°58′49″N 64°7′45″W / 44.98028°N 64.12917°W / 44.98028; -64.12917Coordinates: 44°58′49″N 64°7′45″W / 44.98028°N 64.12917°W / 44.98028; -64.12917
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
Municipality Hants County
Founded 1685
Incorporated April 4, 1878
Government
 • Mayor Paul Beazley
 • Governing Body Windsor Town Council
 • MLA Chuck Porter (PC)
 • MP Scott Brison (L)
Area
 • Total 9.06 km2 (3.50 sq mi)
Highest elevation 32 m (105 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 3,785
 • Density 417.8/km2 (1,082/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Postal code B0N 2T0
Area code(s) 902
Telephone Exchanges 306 321 472 790 791 792 798 799
Median Earnings* $24,502
NTS Map 021A16
GNBC Code CBPAK
Website windsor.ns.ca
*Median household income, 2000 ($) (all households)

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.

Geography[edit]

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.

History[edit]

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[edit]

Raid on Pisiquid (1704)[edit]

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 Pisiquid (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.[1]

Father Le Loutre's War[edit]

Fort Edward - oldest remaining blockhouse in North America (established during 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.[2] By unilaterally establishing Halifax the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726), which were signed after Dummer's War.[3] 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).[4]

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.)[4] Many Acadians left this region in the Acadian Exodus, which preceded the Expulsion of the Acadians.

French and Indian War[edit]

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.[5]

New England Planters[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Plaster War[edit]

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.[6]

Kings[edit]

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.

Haliburton[edit]

Thomas Chandler Haliburton brought fame to Windsor during the 19th century with his writings about a clockmaker named Sam Slick.

Ships, rail and roads[edit]

Windsor and Annapolis Railway locomotive Gabriel, circa 1870

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. In 1901 the Midland Railway was built across Hants County, connecting Windsor with Truro.

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 a 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'.

Ice hockey[edit]

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.

Surrounding area[edit]

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.

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.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Windsor
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
19.5
(67.1)
27
(81)
26
(79)
34
(93)
34.5
(94.1)
35
(95)
36.5
(97.7)
32
(90)
27.5
(81.5)
22
(72)
17.5
(63.5)
36.5
(97.7)
Average high °C (°F) −0.6
(30.9)
0.3
(32.5)
4.1
(39.4)
10.3
(50.5)
17
(63)
22
(72)
25.4
(77.7)
24.8
(76.6)
20.3
(68.5)
14
(57)
8
(46)
2.1
(35.8)
12.3
(54.1)
Average low °C (°F) −9.8
(14.4)
−9.1
(15.6)
−5.2
(22.6)
0.5
(32.9)
5.5
(41.9)
10.3
(50.5)
14.2
(57.6)
13.6
(56.5)
9.7
(49.5)
4.5
(40.1)
0.3
(32.5)
−6
(21)
2.4
(36.3)
Record low °C (°F) −29
(−20)
−32.5
(−26.5)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−12.5
(9.5)
−3
(27)
0.5
(32.9)
5.5
(41.9)
2.5
(36.5)
−2.5
(27.5)
−6
(21)
−12.5
(9.5)
−24
(−11)
−32.5
(−26.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 143.4
(5.646)
105.7
(4.161)
129.9
(5.114)
102.7
(4.043)
92.1
(3.626)
88.4
(3.48)
86.6
(3.409)
75.3
(2.965)
101.8
(4.008)
108.5
(4.272)
141.2
(5.559)
132.6
(5.22)
1,308.2
(51.504)
Source: Environment Canada[7]

Notable residents[edit]

Municipal government[edit]

The town operates under a Council/Manager system of local government consisting of current elected Mayor Paul Beazley, current Deputy Mayor Laurie Murley, three elected Councillors, Dave Sealey, Liz Galbraith, and John Bergante and a Chief Administrative Officer, Louis Coutinho.

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1901 3,398 —    
1911 3,452 +1.6%
1921 2,946 −14.7%
1931 3,032 +2.9%
1941 3,436 +13.3%
1951 3,439 +0.1%
1961 3,823 +11.2%
1981 3,646 −4.6%
1986 3,665 +0.5%
1991 3,625 −1.1%
1996 3,726 +2.8%
2001 3,778 +1.4%
2006 3,709 −1.8%
2011 3,785 +2.0%
[8][9][10][11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Texts

Endnotes

  1. ^ Boston News-Letter No. 16, Mon. July 31 – Mon. Aug. 7, 1704, p. 2
  2. ^ Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008; Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  3. ^ Wicken, p. 181; Griffith, p. 390; Also see http://www.northeastarch.com/vieux_logis.html
  4. ^ a b John Grenier. The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Oklahoma University Press.
  5. ^ See Stephan Bujold (2004). L'Acadie vers 1550: Essai de chronologie des paroisses acadiennes du bassin des Mines (Minas Basin, NS) avant le Grand derangement. SCHEC Etudes d'histoire religieuse, 70 (2004), 59-79.
  6. ^ Smith, Joshua (2007). Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1780-1820. Gainesville, FL: UPF. pp. passim. ISBN 0-8130-2986-4.
  7. ^ Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 20 July 2009
  8. ^ [1], Censuses 1871-1931
  9. ^ [2], Census 1941-1951
  10. ^ [3], Census 1961
  11. ^ [4], Censuses 1981-2001
  12. ^ I:\ecstats\Agency\BRIAN\census2

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Joshua M. Smith, Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006).
  • Garth Vaughan, The Puck stops Here: The origin of Canada's great game - Ice Hockey, (Goose Lane Editions, 1996)