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The town is approximately halfway between the provincial capital of Halifax and the county seat of Kentville. The population was 4,965 in 2011. The area around present-day Middleton was first settled by Europeans in 1762 when a blockhouse was constructed at Fort Anne to protect Annapolis Royal from American privateers during Father Le Loutre's War. In 1784, after the war had ended and Acadians were allowed to return to Nova Scotia, settlers arrived at Fort Anne but found it burned down; they rebuilt on higher ground nearby instead (present-day downtown Middleton). In 1815 an agricultural fair called "The Fall Fair" began being held annually in what is now downtown Middleton; this became known as "Middleton Fair", which continues today as one of Canada's oldest agricultural fairs.