A Brief History of Fort Edward

Courtesy of Rev. David Curry. This is a modified version of an article that first appeared in the Hants Journal in 2008.

Strategically placed, overlooking the confluence of the St. Croix and Avon Rivers, the Blockhouse has played an interesting role in the many and varied fortunes of our Maritime and National history since its erection in 1750. Complementing and cementing the English colonial settlement of Halifax in 1749, Fort Edward belongs to those defining moments of the French/English contest for North America.

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Sept 2015 Newsletter

Summer has all too quickly passed. Here at the Museum we mark this passing with the return of our summer guides to their studies. We were pleased again this year to provide summer employment for young people from the community. Again this year we were blessed with intelligent, enthusiastic and courteous guides. Several visitors commented favourably on their experience in working with these young ambassadors. We wish Fadila, Kelsey, Logan and Chad the best in their studies.

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Windsor Family Powerhouse: Windsor streets and the families who named them

FOR GENERATIONS, hoofs, feet and tires have tread on the, often pothole ridden, streets of Windsor, Nova Scotia. If you’ve lived here since birth, you know exactly where every short-cut is. You know that the driveway that cuts between the curling rink and the bottle depot saves you at least 4 minutes of walking time. And you can probably tell when you’re talking to someone who hails from Chester Road. But, what you may not know is how your street became a part of history.

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July 2015 Newsletter

Season Kick Off and Twilight Tour

What you missed at WHHS’s official opening day

The cool June breeze gives relief to the short-clad, fanwaving people. Making their way up Fort Edward Street, the feeling of exhaustion could be heard from the occasional sigh or groan. Once at the top of the hill, the feeling of accomplishment pats away the sweat and eases aching knees. The view is marvelous, a scenic heaven for those who have never been to Windsor and an instance of restored justice for those who live down the road. This is our history and our future. Fort Edward: a staple of Windsor, Nova Scotia’s resilience and strength.

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2015 WHHS Welcoming Message

Friends,

Please excuse the delay in posting this message following the annual meeting of the West Hants Historical Society. My appointment as President was a last minute decision. As a consequence I had some outstanding commitments that I had to clear. I took on this office in anticipation that I would soon be replaced with someone younger, with more energy. In the meantime, I am hoping to introduce a few new approaches that might bring the Society closer to the community.

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Request for public input

Dr Julian Gwyn, local author and historian, is currently researching information about a list of names in conjunction with some work he is doing on the diary of Jessie MacCallum. Jessie (1885-1957) was 15 years old when she began her dairy on 1st Jan 1901. Her father was Windsor’s town surveyor.

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Student Essay Contest Winners: Ella Shaw

The WHHS is pleased to present some of the winning entries from our 2014 Student Essay Contest. The WHHS was a sponsor of this contest, awarding a prize for excellence in historical research in West Hants.

The winning essays were both written by students from Ms Kate Sircom’s grade 3 class at Windsor Forks Elementary School. Essays are presented as submitted by the students with no additional editing.

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Student Essay Contest Winners: Mitchell Larkin

The WHHS is pleased to present some of the winning entries from our 2014 Student Essay Contest. The WHHS was a sponsor of this contest, awarding a prize for excellence in historical research in West Hants.

The winning essays were both written by students from Ms Kate Sircom’s grade 3 class at Windsor Forks Elementary School. Essays are presented as submitted by the students.

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WHHS Essay Contest 2014

The West Hants Historical Society is sponsoring an essay contest for all school ages! This contest makes an excellent class or individual project.
Veronica Connelly Prize for Excellence in West Hants Historical Research
West Hants is rich in history. It is our good fortune that there are depositories for information, artifacts and pictures for these historical records. There are several heritage properties, farms, Fort Edward (national historic site managed by West Hants Historical Society), black settlements and evidence of Acadian settlements. It is the society’s intent to encourage the community to actively participate in and benefit from these treasures.

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WHHS Newsletter: January 2013 – Winckworth Tonge

The Story of Winckworth Tonge

by John Wilson

[excerpt from January 2013 newsletter]

A rather strange combination of obscure surnames, they were carried by one of the early estate owners of Windsor township and an influential member of the colonial government. Traces of the name, or corruptions thereof, can still be found locally as place names, in particular, Tonge Hill and Wentworth.

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WHHS Newsletter: November 2012 – Great Fire of Windsor, 1897

The Great Windsor Fire of 1897 [excerpt from November 2012 Newsletter]
On October 17, 1897, disaster struck the town of Windsor, Nova Scotia. At three a.m. that Sunday morning, a fire started that would destroy most the town and leave most of its residents homeless and penniless.

The fire started in the rear of the Marine Block on Water Street and spread throughout the town from King Street to Clifton Avenue, and from the waterfront to the area of Windmill Hill (location of the old Elms Nursing Home).

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WHHS Newsletter: October 2012 – Thomas Chandler Haliburton

The Life of Thomas Chandler Haliburton
by Mark MacGillivray
Thomas Chandler Haliburton was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia on December 17, 1796. He was the son of a known political figure named William Haliburton. His mother died as Thomas was only a year old, so he was raised by his stepmother named Susanna. Growing up in an aristocratic household, young Haliburton attended King’s College from which he received a B.A. in 1815 at the age of 18, beginning his carrier which would eventually land him a job as a judge.

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Hants County Exhibition

Let’s all go to the Fair!
Hants County Exhibition – 247th anniversary
Crisp September days have arrived and that can only mean one thing: It is time for the Hants County Exhibition. With the first exhibition being held May 21, 1765, the Hants County Exhibition claims the title of the oldest agricultural exhibition in North America with this year marking its 247th anniversary.

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WHHS Videos on YouTube

Thoughts From Places: Fort Edward Check out a wonderful new video by Kerri Beazley, summer student at the West Hants Historical Society. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Fort Edward yet, please take a trip up and experience

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Windsor and the first Prime Minister of Israel

Israel’s first Prime Minister

What does the town of Windsor and the first Prime Minister of Israel have in common? Need a hint? (It dates back to World War One.) Well, here is the answer. During the Great War the British Army used Fort Edward as a training ground for Jewish men preparing to fight the Ottoman Turks in Palestine. This unit would become known as the Jewish Legion and would see action in 1917. One of the men in this unit was named David Ben-Gurion, who in 1949 became the first Prime Minister of Israel.

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WHHS Newsletter, June-July 2012

Upcoming Events

Hello everyone!

We’ve got an exciting event coming up at Fort Edward; for the second year in a row, the 84th Regiment of Foot will be holding a Military Encampment at Fort Edward for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. There will be live military drills, black powder demonstrations, a sunset ceremony, as well as many other interesting performances. Everyone who attended last year had a great time talking with the soldiers and watching them re-enact a part of our history.

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WHHS Newsletter, April-May 2012: Editor’s Note, Snoop Corner

Snoop Corner

‘Who’s in the News’ and ‘Can you Identify this Photo’ have been replaced with the ‘Snoop Corner’. Since some of the volunteers are now filling in for the members who have stepped down, one being genealogy researcher, we are finding articles, newspaper clippings, photos, scrapbooks, family history, etc. that we never knew existed until now. We had two headings to choose from: The Treasure Find and the Snoop Corner. Though the former has a much nicer sound, the latter really explains it because if we did not look into that particular file we may never have found the below photo…

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WHHS Newsletter, April-May 2012: Historical Tidbit

Near the top of the stairway leading to the Old Parish Burying Ground there is a unique headstone. Rather than standing, it is lying down, and not by accident, it was made that way. The inscription reads:

Thomas Edward Robinson, Esq.
A native of England G. B. & Contractor W. & A. Railway
Died April 11th 1869, aged 39 years

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Welcome to our website and blog!

Since much of this area’s history was shaped by the water it seems only fair to have the first blog topic relate to this theme. The WHHS has many photographs of the bridges that have spanned the Avon River. The photo here shows the Windsor Covered Bridge and Train Bridge and dates to sometime before 1887. Before the construction of a bridge across the Avon travel was more of a waiting game. One would have to wait for the tide to come in to cross by boat or risk crossing the sandy floor bed at low tide-neither being great choices for a traveller in a hurry.

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