Windsor, Nova Scotia

From Academic Kids

Windsor is a small town located in central Nova Scotia at the junction of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers. It is the largest community in western Hants County with a 2001 population of 3,778.

Windsor is 66 kilometres northwest of Halifax, approximately 20 kilometres 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.

Today the community is a local service centre for the rural communities of West Hants. 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 kilometres up the Avon River valley from Windsor at Martock.

Contents

History of Windsor

The French were the first to settle in the area around 1685. They named the community 'Pesaquid'. While the British followed suit in 1749. The British built Fort Edward in 1750, which later burned down except for its wooden blockhouse. That blockhouse is now the last of its kind in Canada and is a major tourist attraction in Windsor.

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

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', today the oldest independent (ie. private) school in the British Commonwealth outside of the United Kingdom.

Thomas Chandler Haliburton brought fame to Windsor during the 1800s with his writings under the pseudonym of Sam Slick.

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, and it was one of Nova Scotia's major port communities following the completion of a railway line from Halifax, giving that city access to Bay of Fundy shipping routes.

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 Nova Scotia 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 Pesaquid'.

Ice Hockey

Windsor maintains a claim as the birthplace of ice hockey, based upon evidence of boys from King's Collegiate School playing "hurley" or a hockey-like derivative of this game, on the frozen waters of 'Long Pond' adjacent to the school's campus during the early 1800s.

Municipal Government

The town operates under a Council/Manager system of local government consisting of current elected Mayor Anna Allen, four elected Councillors and a Chief Administrative Officer.

See also

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