Located halfway up the
Nothing but unbroken forest greeted Timothy Allan when he first settled in Tiverton in the fall of 1850. He was the first European settler to discover the quality of the soil. After years of back-breaking labour he cleared himself a sizable piece of land and set an example for the other pioneers that followed. In 1857 Norman McInnes opened a general store in what was then called
Tiverton thrived from the beginning, McInnes, the storekeeper and postmaster, started a pot and pearl-ash factory in his back yard. For people who don’t know what this is, potash is an impure form of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) mixed with other potassium salts. Potash is made by collecting and boiling the ashes of hardwood trees. Pearl ash is created by cooking and further refining the potash. The first patent ever issued by the U.S. Patent Office was awarded to Samuel Hopkins in 1790 for an improved method of making pearl ash. Today this industry is almost completely obsolete, but 150 years ago pearl ash had a myriad of uses, including the manufacture of soap and glass. Its principle application was as a detergent for cleaning raw wool – consequently
McInnis certainly prospered from the settlers burning trees around Tiverton in the 1870’s, and the domestic wool trade fed a healthy demand for pearl ash. Historical records show that Norman McInnes helped finance nearby saw mills and a grist mill, and his money even helped set up a grain market for local farmers. To this day, the McInnes name still appears on the mailboxes of the largest farms in the area.
With agriculture so prevalent in Tiverton, it’s rather surprising the town has become famous for something else – energy. By some strange coincidence, this small community has become a huge energy hotspot. There are three distinctly different energy production centers located in and around the municipality.
Station is the largest nuclear facility in
Ontario's first commercial wind farm, called Huron Wind is also located near Tiverton. The wind farm consists of five 1.8 MW wind turbines that supply enough electricity to power 3,000 homes on an annual basis. Monitored remotely, the turbines spin approximately 95 per cent of the time, producing variable amounts of electricity in correspondence with the power of the wind. The turbines are 107 meters tall from ground to blade peak.
While ethanol appears in the press a lot lately due to its many benefits as a sustainable fuel, few people realize the tremendously positive impact on the local economies around the plants themselves. An average-sized ethanol production plant like the one at Tiverton employs about 40 people with good-paying, high-skill jobs and provides spin-off jobs through local providers of goods and services. More than 70 per cent of revenue from an ethanol plant is spent within a 150-km radius of the site. Local people are employed. Local crops are purchased to make the ethanol, and the local tax base is significantly expanded. Farmers also benefit from reduced transportation costs.
For example, GreenField Ethanol plant managers buy local corn and send wet
distillers grains back to the feedlots in and around the area. Remember those
163,000 cows? That means there will always be a demand for distillers’ grains
Back in the autumn of 1850, Timothy Allen couldn’t have guessed that he was
clearing one of