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1894, 1897-1922, 1926-1934, 1938-1948 (Creation)
- East Zorra and Blandford Cheese Manufacturing Co.
- East Zorra-Tavistock, Township of
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The factory was started in 1871 as a result of the amalgamation and closing of ten small privately owned factories which were operated by the following farmers: D. Malcolm, F. Malcolm, J. Malcolm, Wm. Malcolm, James Lockhart, Francis Sims, Andrew Nichol, Robert McLean, Ascot Lock, and John Bair.” Francis and David Malcolm, who each had a small cheese factory, were leaders, as well as Wm. Cowing and James Lockhart, in establishing the co-operative factory. David Malcolm closed his factory (the Olive Leaf Cheese Factory) when the new factory started, and with his daughter Jessie became the cheese maker of the co-operative. After a couple of years, however, he re-opened his own factory.
The first Board of Directors of the East Zorra and Blandford Company were: James Lockhart, James Malcolm, Andrew Nichol, Wm. Cowing, Joseph Walton, Robt. Thompson, Francis Malcolm, Joseph Stevenson and Robert McLean. According to the Atlas of Oxford County, 1876, this factory was second only to Brownsville in the province of Ontario in the amount of cheese produced.
By 1897 after 26 years operation it was seen that there were defects in the design of the original building, as well as signs of wear and tear. The principal defect was that the wooden floor was built so close to the ground that it was impossible to clean the area under it and after 26 years there was considerable accumulation of decaying refuse which had seeped between the planks. As a result a new factory was constructed of white brick with a floor raised five feet about a basement (the first of this design in the country). The basement had a concrete floor and was constructed so as to simplify good sanitation. The old 100’ x 40’ curing room was retained, but the “make” and “press” rooms were demolished.
Some of the presidents for the company have been: 1874 – John Wilson, 1882 Abraham Bean, 1884 Thomas Lockhart, 1887 John Beattie, 1890 Anthony Miller, 1917 James Brown, John Scott, 1921 R.S. Gillespie. In 1934 fire completely destroyed the factory and dwelling but before the end of the year new buildings were erected and operations resumed. Up until 1948 the price of cheese had varied from a low of 9.09¢ per lb. in 1890 to a high of 20.89 in 1946. The factory ceased operations in 1955 after 82 years in business. Mr. Wilfred Wells was the manager and salesman for the last 27 years.
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- Canadian English
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COA 34 Incorporations