In 1902, Samuel Bisset settled in Saltford. He was a dairy farmer who owned land from the centre of Goderich to Point Farms, 7 kms north on highway 21. His herd was famous around the world. He won awards for his Holsteins in North America and in Europe. His farm was handed down to three generations of Bisset’s until the farm closed in 1972. In 1896, the Bisset’s, known for their progressive farming practices, were the first in Ontario to bottle and distribute milk in glass bottles. A Bisset milk bottle can now fetch up to $1,000 a piece.
The Bisset’s installed their first milking machine in 1910, produced creamery butter in 1918, and ice cream in 1920. The Bisset’s were famous for their ice cream. It’s said by the locals that it was the creamiest, best ice cream they had ever tasted. The original Bisset barn is now occupied as a residence. The silos have been joined together and form a unique house. The barn walls still exist, but are now home to a beautiful garden. The original sidewalk is still intact and connects the silo house to the original creamery.
In 1866 Samuel Platt discovered salt brine in Saltford. He was drilling the northern bank of the Maitland river in search of oil. At a depth of 960 feet he struck one of the most expansive deposits of salt in the world. A sample of the extracted salt brine
was tested by an authority of the time, Professor Goessman, who said it was "the most concentrated possible and the purest known. "Although dazzling-white salt from Goderich outclassed the more famous English salt by winning first prize at the 1867 Paris Exhibition, mass production of salt was not actually begun in Goderich until 1880 while the site was being operated by a chemist, George Rice.
Samuel Platt’s discovery initiated a salt rush. By late 1867, 12 independent salt wells were dotting the Maitland River valley down to its confluence with Goderich Harbour and Lake Huron. Salt fever had hit the area! Samuel Platt had made salt, for centuries one of the world's most sought after commodities, synonymous with " the prettiest town in Canada." His discovery, furthermore, distributed the seeds for the eventual
Samuels Hotel is named after 2 Pretty Cool Guys who were fathers of industry in Saltford and Goderich. Here's their story:
creation of a major North American company destined to become, by the late 1990s, the world's largest suppliers of salt.It wasn’t until 1959 that salt was mined in the Goderich area. The Sifto Salt Mine is the largest salt mine in the world. It measures 2.4 km (1.5 miles) wide and 3.2 km (2 miles) long and employs over 500 workers. The mine extends 14 km (8.7 miles) under Lake Huron and is 533 meters (1,750 feet) deep.
The ceiling of the huge beehive complex averages 13.7 meters (45 feet) in height. If you need a visual, it is as deep under the lake as the CN Tower is tall.Sifto Salt Mine produces 3,500,000 ton of salt annually. Although tours inside the mine were available some time ago, they are no longer permitted due to insurance liability issues.Colborne School circa 1860 Saltford School Sheriff MacDonald donated the land for the first Saltford School, which opened in 1860 as a frame building 24 feet x 30 feet. In 1864, the present brick building was erected at a cost of $2030.00 by John Lamont.The first teacher, William Gibbons, was engaged at a salary of $260.00. Saltford School closed its doors to students in 1966. The building was then purchased by Local 1863 and was used for union meetings and also rented out as a banquet hall. The property was converted to a boutique hotel by Hugh and Kim Burgsma and hosted its’ first guests on July 15, 2010