Your History

The Cheese Factories
Cannamore area Cheese Factory

Above picture is the Cannamore Cheese Factory. The men in the picture are (from left to right) Ernest McConnel, Robert Rainey, Abner Dillabough, Tom MacGregor, Jim Fraser, Bismark Stevenson, Fred Reveler, Lloyd Myers, Bevis Fraser, and Ray Dillabough

By 1900, the Cheese Factory located at the south end of town (Now apartments) was considered one of the largest cheese factories in Dundas County. Some years later, the making of butter was added. For many years Judson MARTIN was in charge of the factory operation using several helpers. Most of the time it was run by four men, one of which was Bismarck STEPHENSON.

Eventually, the factory became a joint-stock concern until purchased by Frank MORAN who was forced to make many changes in the factory to bring it up to date and satisfy the changing markets.

[An article in the Chesterville Record had reported that in 1893, the factory had produced 148,000 lbs of cheese]

Mr. A.J. MARTIN lived on Main Street in the previous home of the Presbyterian minister, Mr. John M. KELLOCKS. 

Another Cheese Factory was owned by William CAMPBELL and run by his brother Jack. It was originally located at the entrance to the Robert FRASER farm next to the Presbyterian church. In 1940, the factory was sold to a joint-stock company, was dismantled and rebuilt closer to the town [east end - possibly near SMIRLE blacksmith shop]. Here, the making of whey-butter was added to the former operation. "The new manager Paul HEFFERMAN was surprised one morning a year later in 1941 by a visit from the Earl of Athone, then Governor General of Canada and Her Royal Highness Princess Alice. Both seemed quite interested to learn that whey-butter was being made as a by-product." A few years later the factory was closed and sold to Murray DILLABOUGH who converted the building into a grist mill.

Arnot MACGREGOR wrote:
"I remember Bismarck for several reasons, one being the odd sayings that he uttered that were frequently taken up by people in the community: One such saying was 'Whuff Cute has pups' [no explanation as to what the expression means - except that Whuff Cute was the name of Bismarck's dog]."
"Mr. MARTIN's first wife was alive then, and as they had a large family required much food and supplies with frequent deliveries. Well do I remember putting package after package on a large table in the spacious summer kitchen. Many times during the summer I would then see on the table, large containers or on some occasions a wash tub - filled with dandelion wine in the process of fermenting. When finished it was intended for the men working in the factory. However, small portions had another outlet when the youngsters would dip into the wine to quench their thirst and cool off. The drink had different effects upon the imbibers from going off to sleep in the sun on the lawn to yelling and shouting. When any of them tried to walk - they showed how tipsy they were. Each time I found such a situation, reported it to the mother who quickly cut off the drinking. The above mentioned 'first wife' was identified by a reader of this site as Christie STEINBURG, the daughter of William STEINBURG and Mary MCALPINE.