A look at the history of an indigenous Donalda enterprise

One of the most historic buildings in our area is the Donalda Co-operative Creamery.

The creamery which functioned as a profitable enterprise for decades has stood as one of the landmarks of Donalda community.

One of the most historic buildings in our area is the Donalda Co-operative Creamery. As with other old buildings, repair and upkeep is important if the building is to survive as a historic resource. It is significant because it is an industrial building associated with the development of the dairy industry in Alberta.

A first creamery opened in Donalda in 1924 on Foster Street and was operated by John Greenbo and Henry Paege. It was a private firm known as Woodland Dairy.

In 1931 Paege owned and operated the Creamery. In the same year, he decided to install a power plant for the creamery and the community. The following year the creamery also supplied electricity to Donalda.

In 1937, Mr. Paege and other local farmers decided to form a Co-operative Creamery. Paege was finally hired as the manager at $1,200 a year. In 1948 he moved to Chipman, Alberta to operate a creamery there.

Percy Jones became the manager of the Creamery in 1947 until his retirement in 1975, then Vic Stuccey from 1975 to 1979, and short stints by Archie Armstrong, Jack Dinsmore, and Jim Ferdinand.

An increase in dairy production after World War II prompted the Creamery to be enlarged. It was eventually rebuilt on the same site in 1954 – apparently using a former machine shop building moved from Edberg northwest of Donalda.

“Donalda Maid” butter was shown across Canada at different agricultural exhibitions and won many prizes. The Donalda Co-op also operated an egg-grading station until government operators closed out all the small operators.

The Creamery finally closed its doors on April 30, 1987. At that time it was it is believed the only local farmer-owned and operated creamery building in central Alberta.

The Creamery is open for guided tours. If you would like to see the Creamery or if you have any information about it, please call the Museum at 403-883-2100 ore-mail: info@donaldamuseum.com.

Happy Birthday greetings this week to: Brent Hartum, Laura Hebbes, Michal Henderson, Jim Awe, Kelan Carroll, Trudy Bailey, Jennifer Reyes, Cathy Stewart, Chad Montgomery, Cheryl Charles, Joseph Broemeling, Claus Mueller, Loverna Dahl, Sheldon Donald, Sheryl VanHaga Amber Standage and Janine Daleug.

 

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