Windsor (Nova Scotia)
Windsor was settled in 1685 by the Acadian French, who built a network of dykes along the rivers. Windsor has always been a meeting place, first for the Mi’kmaqs, then the Acadians, and later the English gentry.
Windsor became a permanent English settlement in 1749. Its strategic location prompted the British to build Fort Edward. The Blockhouse is the only structure remaining from the original Fort and it is the oldest structure of its kind in North America. Fort Edward is a National Historic Site.
Windsor quickly became a favourite locale of the British gentry, particularly with those living in Halifax. The area’s growth and prosperity was heavily affected by this influential collection of politicians, merchants and military officers from Halifax. In fact, Windsor was such a popular “get-a-way” for people in the provincial capital that it became known as “The Athens of Nova Scotia”.
Shortly after the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists from New England in 1783, Kings College was established in Windsor, in 1788. Kings College was the first independent school in Canada, and today is a world-renowned co-educational preparatory school.
Windsor was for many years a bustling seaport and shipbuilding centre. Between 1840 and 1890, shipbuilding was the most prominent factor in the economy of Windsor.