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Birthplace of Ice Hockey
Windsor,  Nova  Scotia, Canada – c. 1800
by Garth Vaughan © 2001
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Long Pond at Clifton

Haliburton’s Home,
Clifton Grove

The View (Haliburton)
Building Clifton – Penny
Hale 1926
Denis 1934
Hale 1952
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Long Pond at Clifton


Clara Denis - Clifton 1934Clara Dennis –
Clifton, Windsor, Nova Scotia 1934

But my ramble leads me to old moss-grown stone gate-posts, one of which bears a memorial tablet which was unveiled by the Duke of Connaught when he was Governor General of Canada. The tablet proclaims the grounds to have been, "‘Clifton,’ the home of Thomas Chandler Haliburton, born 1796, died 1865. The Father of American humor and creator of Sam Slick, Historian, Jurist, Legislator."
What an altogether delightful spot! No wonder Haliburton selected it! A magic wood of juniper, poplar, spruce, maple, locust and acacia trees, just now in all the glorious freshness of spring. The wood is a perfect symphony of music, birds carolling everywhere.
A little brook is meandering idly through a glen of picturesquely tangled wildwood and babbling its secrets to ferns and wild roses, while a host of purple columbine bend their heads to listen.
A turn in the leafy road reveals a long low house. It is the house built one hundred years ago by Haliburton. I have been told I can obtain tea here. A lady with very blue eyes and carrying a tiny dog over one shoulder comes forward.

Will I have high tea or just plain tea, she asks, and the momentous questioned settled, I am invited to look around the house. Most interesting it is – the old-fasioned doors with their great locks and little door knobs and thier unique H and L hinges, the charming rooms, furnished with old-fashioned furniture, the old library where the judge did his writing and where he reported Sam Slick as avowing, "I hope I may never see daylight again if there’s such a country in all our great nation as the vicinity of Windsor."

"These are the book cases of the old judge," said the blue-eyed lady, indicating two large book-cases on either side of the room.

An immense stone fire-place occupied one end of the room with an old framed portrait of Louisburg Harbour cunningly set in the stones. The stones of the fire-place were brought from the old fortress at Louisburg by Beckles Wilson during his occupency of the house.

"Come down and see the cellar of the Haliburton House,"the lady invited. "This was the wine closet here," she explained, indicating a goodly-sized closet. "On those hooks in the ceiling over there is where the hams and other meat were hung."

But the great sight was the immense fireplaces here and there and the well-like space for water with it’s arrangement for heating. An old crane was still in position and several ancient pots were also to be seen.

The house was called "Clifton" in honour of Mrs. Haliburton’s old home in Clifton, a suburb of Bristol, England, and here at Clifton, Judge Haliburton and Mrs. Haliburton lived with their five sons and three daughters. The house has been somewhat altered inside and the big porte-cochére in front has been somewhat added, but the rear, originally the front, still remains as Haliburton built it.

Shadows are beginning to lenghthen. I drive along the main business street of the town until I reach the great bridge over the Avon River – only the river is not here – nothing but great reddish-brown, mud banks glistening like satin in the rays of the setting sun, with a tiny stream of water flowing between. But even as I look the tide is turning. In the distance I see movement. A little ripple is on its way (the Tidal Bore). A rill of water is approaching, followed by a larger rill. The rills change to wavelets and the wavelets to a stream until a sea of water is coming fast and strong. Fascinated, I stay on, until a mighty river is flowing majestic and free. Ships great and small are riding its bosom. The Avon, one of the famous tidal rivers of the world, is here.

Excerpt From:
Down in Nova Scotia ; My Own, My Native Land
by Clara Dennis
with photographs by the author
The Ryerson Press, Toronto 1934
HRL 917.16 D41d
Pg 66 – 68


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