"The Birthplace of Hockey"
Windsor is perhaps now best known provincially, nationally, and to a fast-growing extent internationally, as the Birthplace of Hockey. There is near-irrefutable evidence that it was in Windsor that the game the world knows as ice hockey had its humble origins as early as the year 1800, on Long Pond. It is in the writings of Thomas Chandler Haliburton that the first known reference to a form of ice hockey can be found: the boys of Windsor's King's College School adapted their British game of hurley to the ice. And hurley-on-ice developed over time into the internationally popular game of ice hockey, still considered by most Canadians as their national sport.
The hard work, dedication and commitment of a number of citizens of the Town of Windsor led to the creation of the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre and the Society proudly held the official opening of the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre on November 11, 1995. The Hockey Heritage Centre has been able to attract an ever-increasing number of visitors and its rapidly-expanding displays and exhibits have outgrown the existing available space.
Also, with the development of the Cradle of Hockey on the Dill Farm, interest in Windsor as the Birthplace of Hockey has increased tremendously. In addition, national recognition has been achieved in part by a number of articles in national and international newspapers and magazines, plus some 80,000 Town of Windsor brochures, focusing heavily on the Town's claim to be the Birthplace of Hockey have been widely circulated.
In 1996, Dr. Garth Vaughan, long-time Windsor resident and historian, published "The Puck Starts Here." The book documents the origins of hockey in Windsor and the contributions of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians to its evolution and development. Dr. Vaughan was also a founding member of the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society and was instrumental in the creation of the Society's current website.
In August of 1996, the Town of Windsor signed a twinning agreement with Cooperstown, New York, "The Home of Baseball," before their respective councils during a cross-border phone hookup.
The twinning arrangement recognizes the contributions of the two communities to the origins of their respective national sports. As well, the twinning document cites the amazing number of similarities, both historical and present-day, between Windsor and Cooperstown, and opens the door for the exchange of information and ideas in such areas as tourism, education and municipal planning.
Hockey represents an inextricable part of Windsor's heritage and culture. It is the hope of the Windsor Town Council that the unique nature of the Town combined with aggressive promotion of the Town as "The Birthplace of Hockey" will encourage the growth of existing business (for instance, restaurants, bed and breakfast accommodation, gift shops) and attract new investment consistent with maintaining a residentially-based community.
Windsor has many unique features. It is home to some of the world's highest tides. It was home to internationally known author Thomas Chandler Haliburton, whose literary creation Sam Slick has become synonymous with the Town of Windsor. It was the Howard Dill farm in the Town of Windsor which gave birth to the first giant pumpkins and launched an international craze.