Sunday, July 12, 2009

Creameries of Freeborn County

In 1911 there were 28 operating creameries in Freeborn County, Minnesota. Initially villages sprang up spaced about 10 miles apart, about as far as farmers could get to town with horses to deliver their milk and buy staples. Times have changed. Now there are no operating creameries and many of the villages are gone, marked only by the abandoned creameries and overgrown cemeteries. The creamery in Clarks Grove had a community meeting hall on the second floor, complete with stage and a drop curtain painted with advertising for turn of the century businesses. When I was in grade school our woodframed schoolhouse burned down. The second floor of the creamery was hastily divided into rooms and I attended school there for two years. The city fathers were too efficient. I only missed two days of school. And worse, they saved all the desks and books from the old school. A childhood dream gone awry.

Clarks Grove







Thanks to Ed Shannon for the photographs.

1 comment:

Old Toad said...

Enjoyed seeing those old creamery photos and reading your "brief history" of creameries in Freeborn County. Too bad you didn't get more days off from school though when the hometown creamery got scorched. Did they ever find the culprit who torched the creamatory?

Us old toads liked to hang out around those old creameries to lap up the good sweet stuff that got spilled by unsteady workers from time to time. Nothing like a good bath in sweet cream for an old toad (after a hard day in the swamp).