“Hops require well drained sandy loam soil and moderate climate. There were many farms in Brighton Township with suitable conditions. Beer was a popular beverage and much in demand from earlies settlement. Barley was the other commodity needed to make beer. The old stories relate that almost every farmer planted ten acres of Barley each year and the cash money obtained from the crop was designated to pay the taxes. There was a ready market in Rochester NY for all the surplus yield of both hops and barley and Presqu’ile harbour provided safe anchorage for the ships needed for transportation.”
Source: History of Hops and Barley Boom 1860-1890 by Basil McMaster (2001)
Info about the pictures: Elijah McMaster was born in 1857 and at the peak (1880) of the hops and barley boom years (1860-1890) owned 25 acres on Telephone Road. To help supplement his income Elijah worked as a carpenter and helped build the hop kiln for his neighbour Willet Bedal. This building was moved in 2002 to Memory Junction!