World War I Project – April

The West Hants Historical Society is saluting our local soldiers who died in World War 1. One hundred years ago this month, the following men were killed in action.

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Heritage Banquet: March 19, 2016

Unearthing our HISTORY – With Archaeologists Jonathan Fowler, Sara Beanlands and Rob Ferguson. The West Hants Historical Society is pleased to invite you to our annual Heritage Banquet. This year’s event will take place at the Windsor Legion on March 19 2016, beginning with a reception at 6pm. This year’s event includes a presentation on how much of our history, artifacts and other physical remains left behind by ancestral generations, lies underground and forgotten. Our presenters will describe how they uncover and interpret this history. They will discuss new technology used in their work, including ground penetrating radar and drone aircraft which were used at Fort Edward…

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Military Burials in Windsor 1914-1918

This post is in conjunction with our December newsletter and our upcoming June 2016 symposium on Nova Scotia Communities in the First World War.

First World War

It is well known that individuals trained at Fort Edward during the First World War but did you know that not all these soldiers survived to fight in Europe? Here is some information on some of those individuals.

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Loyal Hill & Captain John Grant, UNITED EMPIRE LOYALIST

Overlooking the Avon River and Minas Basin in Hants County at Summerville, Nova Scotia is one of the most interesting locations where United Empire Loyalists settled after the American Revolution. It is called Loyal Hill and is the lands settled by Captain John Grant who served in the 42 Regiment of Foot (Black Watch) and later commanded British soldiers when they recaptured New York in April 1776. For his military service as a Loyalist he received a grant of 3,000 acres, the largest grant to an individual in Hants County.(1)

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Newsletter: December 2015

Newsletter: December 2015 – The museum may be getting ready to slow down for the winter but we are still busy at work. We are excited to share with everyone the details on various projects we have been asked to participate in that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War.

On June 10-11, 2016, there will be a symposium sponsored by the Nova Scotia Museum and hosted by the Town of Windsor with the theme of Nova Scotia Communities in the First World War. The West Hants Historical Society is happy to be involved. Our first priority is to develop a biographical sketch, accompanied by good quality pictures, of five local soldiers. The plan is to have these sketches mounted on interpretative panels to be exhibited at the symposium.

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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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