Member Spotlight Archive

Amherst, Ohio

Sandstone Center of the World
Published December 2014

The first land clearing in the Amherst area was completed by Jacob Shupe in 1811. Shupe built a log cabin in this clearing, which was next to a stream he later named Beaver Creek. He brought with him a carpenter from Pennsylvania and together they built the first sawmill in Lorain County as Shupe knew there would be a great need for lumber as settlers arrived.

With lumber from his new sawmill, Shupe built the first frame house and it still stands today. Jonas Stratton, a cabinetmaker who came from Amherst, New Hampshire, started a cabinet shop in 1819 at the Corners and gave the name of Amherst to the township.

Among the first commercial establishments were a gristmill, sawmill and several quarries. Underlying Amherst were extensive layers of sandstone, a legacy from earlier geologic times. This sandstone was responsible for much of the growth of the town for some years. The quarry industry brought the railroad to the city and stimulated the shipping industry on Lake Erie, which is approximately four miles to the north.

Amherst played a significant role in the history of Lorain County. Its unique architecture and historic downtown characterize 19th century America. Amherst holds the distinction of being the Sandstone Center of the World and the city is fortunate to have many historic buildings and landmarks in and around the downtown area. Outside of the stone industry, major employers in the area today include Nordson, KTM Sports Motorcycle America and the Amherst Exempted Village School District.

Community spirit
Known for its wonderful residential districts and excellent schools, Amherst has a population of about 12,000 and encompasses seven square miles. While there have been more than a dozen new home developments within the city in the last 10 years, Amherst offers an alternative to suburban and urban living by retaining its small-town feeling.

The city was granted official Main Street status in 2002 by Heritage Ohio, Inc., a statewide organization that fosters economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of cultural tourism. Main Street Amherst promotes all aspects of the downtown business district by improving economic management, strengthening public participation, recruiting new businesses, rehabilitating buildings and making downtown a fun place to visit.

The city’s 2014 Amherst Image Book showcases the city, including features on Amherst Schools, the Amherst Public Library, Lorain County Community College, the University Hospital Amherst Health Center and more.

Diversified energy portfolio
The Amherst Municipal Electric Department was established in 1936 and serves nearly 6,000 meters.

As a member of AMP, Amherst participates in a number of AMP programs and projects that assist in providing reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen-owners. These include:

  • AMP Combustion Turbine, six gas turbine distributed generation units located at three sites around Ohio that supply peaking power
  • AMP Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas combined cycle facility that provides energy and capacity
  • Blue Creek Wind Farm, a wind farm in northwest Ohio that helps diversify the city’s portfolio of renewable resources providing power to members
  • Landfill Gas Energy, a mixture of gases produced by decomposing garbage and collected by a series of pipes for use in diesel generator units (landfill gas-to-energy sites directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Meldahl/Greenup, which includes a portion of the run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating facility currently under construction at the Meldahl Dam on the Ohio River and a portion of the existing generating facility at the Greenup Dam, also on the Ohio River
  • Mutual Aid, a network of municipal electric systems that assist each other when utility emergencies occur that are too widespread to be handled by one system alone
  • Northeast AMP Service Group (NEASG)
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA), which provides hydroelectricity generated by plants on the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers
  • OMEGA JV1, a joint venture of NEASG communities that owns nine megawatts (MW) of diesel generation installed at Cuyahoga Falls
  • OMEGA JV2, a joint venture that owns three gas turbine distributed generation units and 35 diesel units with a total capacity of 138.65 MW at sites across Ohio
  • Phase 1 Hydro, which includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities currently under construction at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River
  • The Prairie State Energy Campus, in southern Illinois, a 1600 MW state-of-the-art supercritical mine-mouth plant and adjacent coal mine

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