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Tiverton, Ontario, Canada


(circa 1900)
(August 1989)
Main Street Downtown Tiverton

Looking east, large store in centre is Crawfords. All the buildings remain, except for the ones to the right of Crawfords store. Tiverton is located halfway in between Kincardine and Port Elgin, in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Highway 21 runs directly through Tiverton. It is a small community of approximately 800 people, who take great pride in their little village.


Nothing but unbroken forest greeted Timothy Allan when he first settled in the Tiverton area in the fall of 1850. Several years of back-breaking labour followed as he cleared the bush, at first alone, but later in the company of other settlers. It was not until 1857 that a store opened in the area, owned by Norman McInnes, and in 1860 a post office was opened in the same store. It was at the time that Tiverton received its name. Mr. McInnes, storekeeper and postmaster, soon started the first manufacturing industry in the village, a pot and pearl-ash factory.

The Village's First Industries

A. McBain added the next industry, a wool-carding mill and in the late1860's John McLeod started up a grist mill. About the same time John Dewat opened the second store in the village. For the next decade Tiverton served as a grain market for local farmers. Grain purchased in the village was stored in warehouses at Inverhuron but the business ceased with the burning of the warehouses in 1882. During these years a sawmill, a planing mill and machine shop, and John MacDonald's tannery all opened in the village and became thriving enterprises. Mr. MacDonald's tannery employed about 25 people and turned out over $20,000 worth of leather every year. Alfred Robinson founded the village's newspaper "The Tiverton Watchman" in 1874 which published local news and events.

Incorporation of the Village

On December 5th, 1878, Bruce County Council passed a bylaw to incorporate the village of Tiverton and the local citizenry, ignoring a provision in the municipal act, which required a three month waiting period, immediately held council elections. A special act was passed by the Ontario Legislature's House of Assembly at it's 1879 session to ratify the incorporation of the village as well as the election of the reeve and councilors. The first council was as follows: Reeve, John C. McEwen; councilors, John McAulay, Joseph Robertson, John McLeod and G.B. Lamont, treasurer; Donald Robertson, assessor; George Dayton, collector.

A Major Fire in The Village

Tiverton suffered a major setback in the fall of 1897 when an extensive fire destroyed several shops in the business portion of the village. In view of the loss, County Council refunded the amount of the county rates to the village for that year and the destroyed buildings were replaced with new structures. Social activities in the village centered around the three churches during the last century. In 1860 a new frame church was built in Tiverton for the forerunners of the present Knox Church congregation. In 1900 the cornerstone of the Knox Church was laid and dedicatory services were held the following year on Jan.6,1901. The Methodist Church congregation had existed since the late1850's, first worshipping in a frame building before moving to a brick church. The church was closed in 1930 and the congregation dispersed. The building stood vacant until it was purchased and remodeled in 1944 by the local Baptist congregation. Taken with gratitude from the 1999 old boys and girls reunion leaflet.


A history account written in 1906.

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