A Walk Through History
Charles Stevens was once one of the best known business men in Central Ontario in the late 1800’s, and no one was said to be as fair and good of a dealer as he was when it came to his business and what people needed from him. For over 20 years, Stevens was engaged in the manufacture of fertilizers and was, during his time, the largest Canadian exporter in this line. His trade extended from Nova Scotia to Florida, and as far west as Ohio and the Middle States (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico etc.).
Stevens supplied fertilizers to the farmers of New England, the fruit growers and dairymen of New York State and the Orange Grove Plantations of Florida, and many of his customers stuck by his business and dealt with him for many years.
The most complete Potash Works in the Dominion of Canada (potash is a common name given to a group of minerals and chemicals containing potassium) were also owned and operated by Charles Stevens and were located in Napanee. The trade for this product extended to the United States, Canada, and also Europe. His brand of Pure Rock Potash had quite the reputation and was sought after by not only farmers, who used it as a fertilizer (potash fertilizer was used to support plant growth, increase crop yield and disease resistance, and enhance water preservation) but also by soap makers, who used it to make whipped or putty-like soaps.
In order to ship the goods he manufactured, Stevens built an extensive cooperage factory, where he made not only barrels for shipping potash and fertilizers, but also apple barrels for the growers of the Bay of Quinte District.
Stevens worked his way up to be one of the best fertilizer companies in Canada and for nine years he served the citizens of Napanee as a councillor for the West Ward, and a businessman for multiple countries for over twenty years.
Random History Fact: Historically, potash had many uses, which constantly increased the demand for such a product. It was used to make products such as soaps, dyes, glass, baked goods, and gunpowder.