Middleton is a town in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Situated on the north bank of the Annapolis River, it is located near the centre of the Annapolis Valley, from which it gets its nickname, “The Heart of the Valley”. Take a look below for 25 fun and amazing facts about Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada.
1. Where the Annapolis River and the Nictaux river meet was a popular shad fishing spot for Mi’kmaq families before the arrival of the European settlers.
2. It would be later settled by French Acadians that used these waterways to reach the capital of Port-Royal and farming. In the late 1750s the region was settled by New England Planters, and Loyalists to replace the ousted French Acadians.
3. The first four families to be granted land there would later comprise the town of Middleton.
4. They included families with names like Gates and Marshall and Richardson. Col. Philip Richardson received six lots of two hundred and fifty acres each, which ran from the Annapolis River half way to the Mountain to the north, while his neighbour to the west, Anthony Marshall, got two 424-acre lots which ran all the way to the top of the mountain.
5. A Neily family, from Ireland via Ardoise in Hants County, got the next two lots in what would be Lower Middleton, while Benjamin Chesley got the last two lots, next to the town limits.
6. At a public meeting held December 18, 1854, Rev. James Robertson having been appointed chairman and W. A. Fowler, secretary, passed the resolution unanimously. ‘Resolved, first, that the locality hitherto known as Wilmot Corner, or Fowler’s Corner, be henceforth called by the name of Middleton’. This name was chosen by its citizens and selected because of its location midway between Halifax and Yarmouth.
7. The town was incorporated in 1909.
8. In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Middleton recorded a population of 1,832 living in 892 of its 995 total private dwellings, a change of 4.7% from its 2011 population of 1,749.
9. With a land area of 5.57 km2 (2.15 sq mi), it had a population density of 328.9/km2 (851.9/sq mi) in 2016.
10. The re-opening of the Torbrook Iron Mines and the second railway line in 1889 sparked a decade of rapid growth and development. With many industries supporting and connected to the agriculture and manufacturing industry.
11. Today the town’s economy is also heavily influenced by its proximity to the air force base CFB Greenwood in nearby Kings County.
12. The early records of the Board of Trade were lost in the Great Fire of 1911 but from the reports of its initial activities, the board was formed out of a need to vigorously pursue the issues of the day which affected business and industry – railway schedules and rates, street lighting and a variety of matters involving the municipal government of the day.
13. Two merchants, Harry Reed and Gorden Gross, formed the Board, with newspaper publisher Fred Cox as their secretary-treasurer.
14. A.W. Allen & Son – Established in 1901. The Allen Mills and factories were at their peak of production between two world wars. The company owns about 2000 acres of woodland on the south mountain which was logged in the winter. Fires were the bane of the mill, with one serious fire in autumn 1939 destroying the new two-storey factory and another in 1945. The mill was replaced by the present day building.
15. In 1935 the Canadian Canners Plant opened and was a big boost to the industrial life of the town following the great depression. It gave direct employment to the 175 workers plus many other in the growing of fruit and vegetables for canning. The plant canned peas, beans, pumpkin, carrots, apples, pears, strawberries and plums. In the late 1950s the Del Monte company bought out and consolidated their business, closing the plant.
16. Middleton is at the half-way point between Halifax and Yarmouth on Highway 101 and Trunk 1.
17. Middleton is the northern terminus of Trunk 10 which connects the town with Bridgewater and Lunenburg on the South Shore.
18. The town was located on the Dominion Atlantic Railway’s (DAR) mainline from Halifax to Yarmouth and was also served by CN Rail’s line from Bridgewater to Bridgetown (and on to Victoria Beach). CN Rail abandoned its line through Middleton in 1982; it had formerly been the Nova Scotia Central Railway (NSCR). The DAR abandoned its mainline through the town in March 1990, following the January 15, 1990, abandonment of the Evangeline passenger train service by Via Rail.
19. The abandoned DAR and CN railway lines are currently owned by the Government of Nova Scotia and used as recreational trails. The old railway station is now a railway museum operated by the Futureview TREA.
20. Middleton is home to two public schools: Annapolis East Elementary School serves grades Primary-5, and Middleton Regional High School serves grades 6-12. The town is also home to a Nova Scotia Community College campus.
21. Soldiers Memorial Hospital is located in the town and provides tertiary care services for the eastern part of Annapolis County. The provincial government is funding construction of a new 50-bed nursing home in the town which is opened in late 2009.
22. Middleton is home to the Annapolis Valley MacDonald Museum, which is housed in the original Macdonald Consolidated School. This school, founded in 1903, was the first consolidated school in Canada, established with a grant from the Macdonald Tobacco Company of Montreal. The museum has many travelling exhibits, and is the home of the Nova Scotia Museum Clock collection.
23. Middleton hosts an annual three-day festival called “Heart of the Valley Days” every summer, during the month of July.
24. Middleton Farmers’ Market was founded in 2008. It is held every Friday during the summer and fall in the park across from the Town Office from 3 pm to 7 pm. The Market is a non-profit member-run organization of market vendors and individuals from our community.
25. Middleton has an official town crier who has performed his functions for the town since 1984. He has attended all Heart of The Valley parades and attended town crier competitions in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, England and Belgium on behalf of the town. In 1988 he organized and hosted the first Heart of the Valley International Town Criers Challenge. In 2009, as part of Middleton’s centenary celebrations, the second Heart of the Valley International Town Criers Challenge was held.