For nature lovers and campers, there is a campsite (shown below) directly in Bridgetown along the Annapolis River, as well as one on the crest of North Mountain, in Valleyview Provincial Park, between the Bay of Fundy and town.
The summer festivals bring tourists, many of them filling the campsite. As well, the town has several bed and breakfasts, a motel in the heart of Bridgetown and a motel with cabins close to the crossroads of Highway 201, on the southern edge of town.
Reminisce Bed and Breakfast, on the road leading south over the bridge
Queen Street (shown left and right; the northern end is in the forefront), named after Queen Victoria, is the
main shopping area in town and is an historic street, with many buildings from the early to late 1800s. As you turn left onto Queen from Albert Street (far end), you can see the pattern that Captain Crosskill created in 1821. Almost all of the original boundaries remain, although the majority of the 90 x 90 foot lots have been divided.
The Bank of Nova Scotia, on the corner of Queen and Granville Streets (shown at left), was present in town before 1900, built by local dentists of the time. It is on the site of a tavern and an inn, where, in 1824 at a meeting, the name of the town was chosen. It was also where the stage coach stopped for many years.
At that same intersection, just across the street, is The Royal Bank (above right). It has been on this site since 1910, although the present building is only a little over 60 years old.
The End of the Line Pub is past the bridge, heading south. This was the town train station for many years. I took this train a couple of times from Bridgetown to Halifax, where it pulled into the city station next to the Nova Scotian Hotel. Most of the train tracks across Canada were removed, leaving only main lines now running across the country.
Our friends the Nashes from Chester, on Nova Scotia's South Shore, and the Kranabetters from Nürnberg, Germany inside the pub this past summer. One of the things I always order not long after I arrive in Nova Scotia is a hot turkey sandwich. It isn't fancy and it is full of calories, but I like it. It is not something one will find in a German Gasthaus, so I always look forward to it. This is one of my Canadian weaknesses!
The town center has several businesses, including a drugstore, hardware store and supermarket, but to find a good clothing store, one must head to New Minas or Halifax. The variety store does carry some clothing.
The Liquor Commission, for wine, beer and spirits, is now situated in the same building as the supermarket, which, for us--and likely most others--is convenient.
Below, a few of the services:
The post office is one of the gathering places and whenever you go there to pick up mail or to send off a letter, you will likely see people having a discussion or two.
Two of my favourite stops in any town, the town library and the secondhand book store.
The most striking of all in Bridgetown are the beautiful homes that line the streets, the majority of them built in the 1800s and early 1900s. Here are a few of them.
My father spent the last ten years of his life in Bridgetown, all but a year of it in the Victorian house on Granville Street with my sister Paula and Laurie, where he had his own suite with a veranda, built onto the house for him in about 1979. The house itself was built in the 1890s. The two pictures below show the house: the bottom one, a side view, shows the extension at the back where my father lived. The house in those days was white.
For those who wish to visit Bridgetown, it is situated about 200 kilometers west of Halifax via highway 101, about a two-hour drive west of the Halifax International Airport.
Note: As with my previous blog post about Bridgetown, some of my information came from those same sources I mentioned: the official Bridgetown website and brochures from Jubilee Park, including the one on "A Walking Tour of the Town of Bridgetown, Nova Scotia."