I stopped in Windsor to take a look at the building that was once the home of Nova Scotia Textiles Limited – it’s an interesting building that is somewhat of a landmark for me as I travel along Highway 101.
Being a photojournalist I had to do more than take a few shots – I had to do a bit of research to learn the history of the building and Nova Scotia Textiles Limited, and what the current fate of the building is.
Let’s start with some local history.
One of the early settlers of Windsor, William Nesbitt, was granted land near that included a small island near Fort Edward. Nesbitt Island was was connected across marsh land to Windsor by a road called Nesbitt Street.
With the coming of the railway, much of the dyked land between Fort Edward and Nesbitt Island became a rail yard, and Nesbitt Island became the other side of the tracks and the site of heavy industries.
It was designed for carding, spinning and weaving basic cotton fabrics.In 1881 the newly formed Windsor Cotton Mill company purchased 3 lots of land on Nesbitt Island, and commenced construction of a mill for carding, spinning and weaving of basic cotton fabrics was completed in 1884. Homes were built on the ‘Mill Island’ to accommodate the mill workers.
The Windsor Cotton Mill, later Nova Scotia Textiles, became the home to the Eureka Woolen Manufacturing Company in 1915, when their original factory in Pictou County was destroyed by fire.
In 1891 the factory was sold to the Dominion Cotton Mills Company. The factory closed due to economic conditions from 1912 until 1916. In 1916 the mill was bought by the Nova Scotia Underwear Company.
In 1920, J.E. Mortimer came to Windsor from England to restructure the company and in 1922 Nova Scotia Textiles Limited was incorporated as primarily a long underwear manufacturer. The company was taken over by his grandson, J. Edward Macdonald, in 1956 and he continued to run the company until the plant closed in 2006.
Look at this – you can still see parts of the word “EUREKA”, and that’s what inspired me to take a closer look at this piece of history – at one point the mill was home to the Eureka Woolen Manufacturing Company.
And now you know…