Every other year, "Doors Open" happens in the Walkerton area. For one day of the year, private homes and businesses allow the public in to view their buildings. This year there were twenty stops on the tour. As Ed and I have enjoyed doing this in past years, we decided to do it again this year. This year we made it to seven of the stops. We like to take our time and end up chatting with the folks tending the sites learning lots about the local history.

First stop was Marl Creek Renewables. From the web site "Marl Creek Renewables creates bio-gas from cattle manure collected at the feedlot of Carl Frook. In a process called anaerobic digestion, naturally occurring bacteria break down the waste in an airtight facility to produce bio-gas (methane and carbon dioxide). The methane gas is used to run a generator that produces electricity and heat." The "waste" produced after the digestion process is split into liquid manure (which is spread on the fields) and a dry material that is mixed with straw and used as bedding for the cattle. Bio-gas plants are plentiful in Germany but only 7 exist in Ontario --- 5 on dairy farms and 2 on cattle feed lots. Dairy manure is different from cattle feed lot manure which affects the process, thus the distinction. Carl was trained on a feed lot in Alberta where the main objective was to dispose of the manure --- producing electricity was a bonus. Very interesting stop and only a little smelly.

Another stop was at an old school house that has been converted to a home. While we were there an older woman came in and said this was the first school she taught at. Laying on the table was the woman's contract --- one of several papers the home owner had found when they renovated. She was paid $675 a year.

Another site was the ghost town of Malcolm. At one point this town had two hotels, a school, a general store, other stores, a cheese shop, post office, church and community center. Today, only the graveyard and on hotel remains. The hotel is now a private home.

Another stop on the tour was an old metal bridge. The bridge is still sturdy but is scheduled for demolition as it is not wide enough to handle modern farm equipment. This is the underside of the bridge.

Oh, you wanted to see what the bridge looked like. Here's Anne, Victor and myself standing on the bridge.

The Valentine Stark Mill in Paisley is a residence and art / gift store. Today, parts of the building normally closed to the public were opened up. The current owners purchased the mill 14 years ago, converted part of the building into a home for themselves and part of the building into their store. The mill was used to be produce four, which means there were several silos inside the building --- two of which were used when the bathroom was built. One houses the toilet another the shower --- makes a very unique bathroom. The basement was full of gears, engines and other metal things that operated the pullies that ran the mill.

Another benefit of the day was stopping at a little restaurant that we have never been to but one we will return to. It was also a bakery with fabulous donuts. Hmm, hmm good.