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Windsor,  Nova  Scotia, Canada – c. 1800
by Garth Vaughan © 2001
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Long Pond Story
Long Version
Short Version

Supporting Maps
1786 – "Plan" for King’s
Windsor – Anson Map
1871 – Church Map
1879 – Hendry Map
1880 – Roe Bros Map

1878 – Bird’s Eye View

BIG Maps
1786 – "Plan" for King’s
Windsor – Anson Map
1871 – Church Map
Aerial View/Church
1879 – Hendry Map
1880 – Roe Bros Map

1878 – Bird’s Eye View
Map to Long Pond

1842 – TCH/King’s Deed

Compilation of Maps

Tourism Links

Long Pond Photos



The Long "Long Pond" Story
Haliburton’s Long Pond –
Researched and Written by Holly Hammett-Vaughan
(Link to Short Version of the Long Pond Story)

Link - Map to Haliburton's Long Pond Map to Haliburton’s Long Pond

In 1789, an Act of Legislature was passed for the permanent establishment and effectual support of a college at Windsor 1.

1786, John Clarke had been granted 500 acres in the township of Windsor, in Hants County 2. Clarke was a quarrier 3 and exporter of Gypsum 4. He owned his own wharf on the bustling Windsor waterfront. Three years after the land was granted to him, Clarke submitted "A Plan of Lands Proposed by John Clarke Esquire for the Academy or College at Windsor 1789". This plan shows a strip of 69 acres along what is now known as College Road in Windsor. It shows two "Ponds of water never dry in any Season", the ponds being in close proximity to one another and near the Northwestern boundary. It also shows John Clarke’s "Plaister [plaster] of Paris" [Gypsum Quarry] above the location of the two ponds, closer to the Northern boundary of the property 5. This property was deigned suitable to the purpose and was purchased from Mr. Clarke for a sum of £150 in 1790 6 . Work began on the College the following year 7 .

William & Lucy Haliburton, wrote a letter to their daughters Charlotte and Lucy and son-in-law in Tobago from their home in Windsor dated July 29, 1790 [six years before their son Thomas was born]. In the letter they express, "…Here with us, our Noble Windsor Looks forward with Expectation…[to] Fattening Sheaves and fruitful seasons of promise to fill the Horn of Plenty till it can hold no more…Windsor hopes to be a seat of the Muses. Academies and Colleges shall distinguish this from all Acadien villages…8."

Thomas attended King’s Preparatory School and King’s College. Originally both branches of the school were "under the same roof". Haliburton attended for at least part of this "unified" period. He matriculated, or began, at King’s College in 1810 at age fourteen 9. This means that the time spent at the Preparatory school was prior to 1810.

Historian and Haliburton biographer Victor Lovitt Oakes Chittick says the following "evidently autobiographical passage" from Haliburton’s book The Attaché, second series, II, [chapter 55, Paying and Returning Visits] may be "unhesitatingly assigned" to Haliburton’s attendance of the Preparatoy school – [Sam Slick in speaking to the Squire who is going to visit an old schoolfellow, and how that must bring back memories of the Squire’s boyhood]"… (Memory acts on thought like sudden heat on a dormant fly, it wakes it from the dead, puts new life into it, and it stretches out its wings and buzzes round as if it had never slept. When you see him, [your old schoolfellow,] don’t the old school master rise up before you as nateral [natural] as if it were only yesterday? and the school-room, and the noisy, larkin’ happy holidays, and you boys let out racin’, yelpin’, hollerin, and whoopin’ like mad with pleasure, and the play-ground, and the games at bass [base] in the fields, or hurly on the long pond on the ice, or campin’ out a-night at Chester lakes to fish – catchin’ no trout, gettin’ wet thro’ and thro’ with rain like a drowned rat, – eat up body and bones by black flies and muschetoes [mosquitos], returnin’ tired to death, and callin’ it a party of pleasure…9"
See full TCH Attaché quote

A "Plan of the Township of Windsor from an Actual Survey by William Anson Deputy Surveyor of the Township of Windsor, 1820" shows the land that King’s Board of Governors purchased from John Clarke and his adjoining land which in 1833 became Haliburton’s property. 10

[NOTE: The photocopy of this map in the WHHS archive, obtained from the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, is from a map which was redrawn in 1893 by J. A. McCallum from the work done by Anson in 1822. Anson’s original map was commissioned by Haliburton 11 for his history, the General Description of Nova Scotia [pub. 1823], the precursor of his Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia [pub. 1829] 12, and a copy of a previous map. Making the WHHS photocopy a copy of a copy of a copy… HHV]

In his Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia (pub. 1829) Haliburton speaks warmly of King’s College. He says, "the situation of the College is extremely pleasant, and the most eligible that could be selected. It is about one mile from the town of Windsor, which is the most central point in the Province. The climate is peculiarly healthy; and it is remarkable that there never has occurred an instance of mortality among the Students since the first establishment of the institution. The buildings are erected upon an elevated spot, commanding in front a delightful view of the most improved and best cultivated parts of Nova-Scotia [Nova Scotia]. In the rear the scenery is equally fine, the landscape being much embellished by the meanderings of the Avon and St. Croix. The ground belonging to the College consists of about one hundred acres. The respectability of this establishment, its liberal endowments, the learning and exemplary conduct of its officers, the number of Gentlemen whom it has educated, and its influence it exerts upon the morals and manners of the Country, render it an object of the highest importance, that should be cherished and promoted. 13"

Haliburton liked the situation of his alma mater so much that in January 1833 he purchased thirty acres 14 "bounding to the eastward on the village, to the north on the river, and to the South on the lands of King’s College 15", had Clifton House erected and moved in with his wife, Louisa, their five daughters ranging in age from 5 to 18, and three sons, aged 15, 4 and 3 16. [Haliburton had married in 1816, at the age of 19, before he had graduated from King’s College.] He and his family took possession of Clifton at Christmas time in 1835. Haliburton was 39 17 by that time, graduated from King’s College some twenty years.

Although Haliburton’s view was as lovely as neighbouring King’s College, the land of Clifton itself was typical of the land in the area. Clifton was much more akin to the present landscape of King’s College Woods, composed of small hills, gullies and those infamous "punch bowls" or "kettle holes" that Haliburton describes in his History of Nova Scotia.

"Underlaid by gypsum, it was much broken up and very uneven; and the enormous amount of earth excavated in opening the gypsum quarries was all needed to make the property a comfortable and suitable place of residence 18 ."

On the whole Windsor is a pleasant area. Archibald MacMechan described Windsor [c1900] as "a rolling country, a land of hills, not high, or steep, or rugged, with shallow valleys between. From any summit attained, other hills are to be seen in all directions. It is a land of hill-tops and wide horizons 19."

It was during his residence that Haliburton began writing stories for his friend Joseph Howe’s newspaper, "the Novascotian" in the hope that he could accomplish with humour 20 that which he intended to achieve with his Historical and Statistical Account, that the world would learn of the beauty and varied natural resources of his "Colony" 21 [now known as the Canadian province of Nova Scotia] and that Nova Scotians themselves would be encouraged to develop these resources 22 .

In his Reminiscences of Windsor in the Seventies [1870s] written in 1934, Fenwick Williams Vroom, author of the King’s College Record serial column That Room-Mate of Mine, stated that "Clifton Avenue did not become a thoroughfare until some years later, and there was only a footpath from "Clifton" through the College woods. The right-of-way for this had been purchased from Judge Haliburton in exchange for an extensive field of several acres cut off from the College grounds and added to the "Clifton" property. This field contained the Long Pond which in winter was a favorite skating place, but some years ago the pond went dry…"23.

In Vroom’s Notes on the History of King’s College he says, "…cricket was brought to Windsor about 1845. It was played on the field to the north of the College, part of which is now covered with spruces, and part attached to the Clifton property, having been given to Judge Haliburton in an exchange for a right-of-way through his property to town. The field was near the large elms in the hollow, which stood out prominently with no spruces about them, and hence the name of "the Three Elms Cricket Club", which is so well known in the history of cricket in this province…"24

In another article about "the Three Elms" the author says, " … Long Pond was in the College grounds, and the level ground to the east of it was the cricket field … "

NOTE: This field is the area now called Clifton Avenue Extension and contains many houses.

The deed of this transfer, dated January 28th, 1842, clearly lays out the land which was traded. This land makes up Clifton’s lower field along what is now known as Clifton Avenue Extension 25 . Maps from after that period show the new "Clifton Avenue ".

Ambrose Church surveyed Windsor in 1871, and his meticulous map shows a large, distinctively shaped pond [three concentric, overlapping circles, with the central circle being of slightly larger size] situated in the field adjacent to King’s College Woods. 26 It was this field that came to Haliburton in the transfer with King’s. [Recent measurements by land surveyors coincide with those of the Ambrose Church Map of 1871. The Long Pond was 900′ X 200′. Compare this with the size of the rinks today. The official NHL Rulebook states in Rule 2 that the dimensions of a rink should be 200′ x 85′.]

The Roe Brothers map of Windsor from 1880 shows the pond on Clifton Property in less detail 27, but the shape is still distinctive.

During the 1800s, before airplanes and aerial photography, the illustrated "Perspective Map" or "Birds-eye View" was popularized in North America. Not drawn to scale but, rather, drawn to incorporate everything of importance in an area, it was easiest for the artist to accomplish this by illustrating the city or town "as seen from above".

The Birds-eye View of Windsor – 1878 28, shows Haliburton’s property and the long pond, adjacent to Clifton Avenue.

A compilation of excerpts from "John Clarke’s Plan", the "William Anson Map" and the "Ambrose Church Map" shows more clearly the location of Haliburton’s Long Pond.

The Windsor Hockey Heritage Society hopes one day to see the segmented pond reinstated and designated as a national historic site. With sink holes compacted with clay, it would hold water in all seasons and become a major tourist attraction to compliment the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society’s Museum and agenda of preserving the hockey history of the colony and province of Nova Scotia


Perhaps there will be more information found about Haliburton’s Long Pond. The WHHS will continue researching. Unfortunately fire has destroyed many valuable documents, personal journals, &c. King’s College, Windsor, burned down in 1871 29 and again in 192030 . In between those two fires, Windsor itself was all but obliterated in the Great Windsor Fire of 1897 31.

It is interesting to note that Reginald Vanderbilt in his "History of King’s College School", Windsor, says that after the first fire and the rebuilding of the College in 1877 that "…Among the improvements to the plants and buildings we find that the Board had the barn at the back of the building removed, a cricket pitch layed out, terraces built and the playing field drained, and an open-air skating rink built for winter use…32". So the students had an alternative site to Long Pond for ice skating.

In 1970 a "Tour Bus Route" was built running through ‘Centre Ice’. Recent measurements by land surveyors coincide with those of the Ambrose Church Map of 1871. The Long Pond was 900′ X 200′ in it’s heyday. Even though, as Vroom said, the Long Pond "went dry" , it still fills with water during rainfall. When this preceeds sub-zero temperatures, the old pond freezes, making two large rinks for the neighbourhood. It’s extreme length and the fact that it is usually bone dry and partly forested are the prime reasons why nobody in recent years recognized it for what it is. Many a Windsorian has skated on Haliburton’s now famous Long Pond, without knowing it!

Haliburton's Long Pond Fall 2002 Haliburton’s Long Pond Fall 2002

"Long Pond was the great swimming place; yet possibly some of the present [1930s] generation may not even know where it is, or was. Our road was up Clifton Avenue, and the turning to the left as if going to Mr. Burchell’s. When one got about opposite Clifton House, in the field was Long Pond…
(see more)

Excerpts from: "I Remember"
by H. Percy Blanchard
Capter 10 – In Swimming
(Windsor, Nova Scotia)
First Published as a weekly column to the Hants Journal c. 1930.

How to get to Haliburton’s Long Pond.


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