Disturbing The Ghosts – Part 7; History stored in stones

Windsor Nova Scotia

Shaw Brick History

“When Canada was founded in 1867, Robert Shaw’s Hantsport brickyard, which would evolve into L.E. Shaw Limited and eventually The Shaw Group, was already six years old. For almost 40 years until the turn of the 20th century, all our bricks were made by hand, but then in 1897 Windsor, Nova Scotia burned to the ground”.


Robert Shaw Brickworks


Windsor Fire – October 17 1897

“The origin of the fire is somewhat mysterious. A severe lightning storm passed over the town before the flames burst forth, and some think the barn in which the fire started may have been struck by lightning, but many strongly suspect that the conflagration originated through the carelessness of some drunken man”.

“Fortunately, no lives were lost, although the streets were perilous with flying bricks and slates, which the fierce hurricane drove like thunderbolts from the roofs”.


“The ruins of the fire are ablaze to-night. The smoldering embers have been fanned into a blaze, catching the piles of coal which are lying all around the burning premises, and the heavens are lighted with the flames which cast their reflection across the river as far as the eye can see on either side”.

“Relief measures were started in Halifax at an early hour, and this afternoon a train load of provisions, tents, blankets, &c., arrived from the provincial capital. Aboard the train were Gen. Montgomery Moore, Gov. Daly, Mayor Stephen, and 100 men of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and Royal Engineers, who were brought to attend to the erection of the tents and aid in the relief work”.


Windsor NS After the Fire of October 17 1897 – Nova Scotia Archives

A strong northwesterly gale of almost hurricane force unfortunately aided the fire. Cinders fell as far away as Shubenacadie and smoke was visible seventy miles away”.


Veteran firefighters commemorate Great Windsor Fire of 1897 – Saltwire

“The houses are built better; they’re built to a higher standard… Brick buildings came into view; asphalt shingled roofs came into vogue as opposed to wooden buildings and cedar-shingled roofs,” he said.

“Smith wrote a book on the history of the fire department years ago. While it’s out of print, it’s still available for visitors to peruse while visiting the Windsor Fire Department museum at 100 King St”.


Windsor Fire Department

The Windsor Fire Department is a  volunteer fire department founded in 1881 by Windsor Town Council and interested citizens.  Prior to 1881 there was no formal fire service in Windsor”.


“The Windsor Fire Department Veterans‘ Association is an organization of retired members of the Windsor Fire Department with sixteen or more years of service”.


King’s-Edgehill School fonds

“It was not until Bill 15, “An Act to Amalgamate King’s College School and Edgehill School as a Body Corporate to be known as King’s-Edgehill School” received Royal Assent on June 26th, 1982 that the schools were officially amalgamated”.


House swallowed by a Sinkhole in Windsor, Nova Scotia

Hants County residents awaken to find their home being swallowed by sinkhole

Windsor Nova Scotia Drone Video

DNR Website On Sinkholes

“In Nova Scotia most natural sinkholes or karst topography are formed over areas where Windsor Group gypsum occurs in the near surface. The geological boundary between the gypsum– and salt-bearing Windsor Group and the underlying sandstones and shales of the Horton Group or older basement rocks is particularly prone to sinkhole development”.


Falmouth Back Road.

DNR Sinkhole Riskmap


Geology Maps of Nova Scotia


Insurance company won’t cover Falmouth, N.S. house ruined by sinkhole

“The Strickey family says it plans to take legal action against Wawanesa Insurance”.

Strickey said the company brought in experts and machinery from Alberta and Ontario and determined the house collapsed because of “movement of earth” — an exception in their insurance policy. “It also changed the way we live the rest of our life. We had put so much money into that house and it’s like you took $250,000 and set it on fire. It’s gone.”


Photo credit CTV Atlantic

Windsor Pumpkin Regatta

Did you know the very first regatta had five intrepid souls taking up the challenge to paddle one of Howard Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkins across Lake Pesaquid.”


Pumpkin Regatta Youtube Video

Howard Dill and Pumpkin Farm – Home of the Pumpkin Regatta


Avon River, site of the Pumpkin Regatta.

Ski Martock

Martock is 600 feet high with seven trails including a terrain park, riglet park, beginner bowl, quad chairlift, T-bar lift and a Magic Carpet”.


Long Pond Hockey Enterprises

The cradle of hockey. This scenic area is the site of the earliest recorded evidence of hockey which was first played in North America  in 1800”.


Ettinger Falls Windsor Nova Scotia

“Ettinger is a special treat because it offers a wide variety of water flows. There are four sights along this river and it is best experienced from the bottom traveling upstream”.


The Avon River Heritage Society

“The Mi’kmaq called the Avon the Tooetunook which means flowing square into the sea. The Acadian name for the river, Pisiquid, also comes from a Mi’kmaw word, Pesegitk, which means to flow split-wise or junction of waters. The British called it the Avon after a Scottish river. Rivers flowing into the Avon include the Halfway, Herbert, Cogmagun, Kennetcook and St. Croix”.


Cottage Country Nova Scotia

“We have been developing communities and building homes and cottages on pristine lake lands across the province, working closely with people and families to realize their property dreams. The Cottage Country philosophy ensures that all communities are created with the least impact on the land and forest”.


Mike Oulton Meat Store – Martock Glen Farm


From farm to plate; Martock meat business and agri-zoo offering visitors educational experience.

“Mike and Diane Oulton started the farm in 1963; the meat shop opened in 1979. The farm was primarily a livestock operation, featuring cattle and sheep.”


Windsor and West Hants History

The West Hants Development Association was formed. It’s first objective was to “appraise the present situation, decide which projects are of immediate necessity, and assign a priority to these projects.”


Hants County Exhibition

“First established in 1765, the Hants County Exhibition is the oldest continuously run agricultural fair in North America. Historically the property was developed and continues to be maintained by the Windsor Agricultural Society for the primary purpose of hosting an annual agricultural exhibition to promote agricultural awareness”.


Antique Tractor Pull in Windsor NS


Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the shores of southern Nova Scotia one hour from Halifax.

We visited Lunenburg a couple of weekends ago but it was so packed due to everything re-opening that we could find a place to eat. The shortest wait was an hour. But there are lots of other interesting ‘historic’ apects to this illuminated town.

The town is ground zero for the Shakers and Keepers of Nova Scotia Freemasonry. Interestingly, the official website of the Nova Scotia Grand Lodge specifically states that their members are politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, police, firefighters, real estate agents and so on. However, they also state that their members who happen to work for the government request that their names not be listed.


Seventy percent of the original colonial buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries continue to greet visitors with their colourful façades.

Old Town Lunenburg

Lunenburg is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Established in 1753, it has retained its original layout and overall appearance, based on a rectangular grid pattern drawn up in the home country. The inhabitants have managed to safeguard the city’s identity throughout the centuries by preserving the wooden architecture of the houses, some of which date from the 18th century.


The Bluenose and its Masonic Connection

Lunenburg Waterfront

Mahone Bay

Mahone Bay is the next town over from Lunenburg which also has plenty of Freemasons, but thankfully we found a pub to eat at. The food was alright, but the real pleasure came from the oceanside view.

“This is the Mahone Bay , Nova Scotia, Canada, Masonic Lodge N° 69 R.N.S. A.F. & A.M. founded in 1967. It is the basic organizational unit of Freemasonry. Lodges meets regularly to conduct the usual formal business of any small organization (pay bills, organize social and charitable events, elect new members, etc.).” 


It was an interesting visit and of course it was fun to finally get out and about exploring Nova Scotia.

Disturbing The Ghosts – Part 8; Castles and creeks

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