Goshen Dairy Industry
In the late 1800’s the farmers of the Goshen area had an abundance of milk. Since there was more milk than needed, some was fed to pigs. The farmers felt that the milk, which was high quality, should be put to better use. The farmers considered a cheese factory and with the help of Mr. George Vinton of Lower South River, a manufacturer of butter and cheese, plans for a cheese factory were set in motion. Mr. Vinton required a certain number of cows for the factory, an amount easily found in Goshen. Peter MacIntosh, grandfather of present day Peter MacIntosh, owned the largest number of cows; fourteen. Altogether there were two hundred cows throughout the community.
The Factory was constructed on the sand bank near the home of Mr. MacIntosh. The specifications for the factory were 60×30 feet and a border shed 14×10 feet. In 1897, the work began and was soon completed. The building was very modern for its time and contained all the necessary equipment for cheese making. In 1898 an agreement was made between the farmers and Mr. Vinton that he would provide a good mercantile article and furnish all the material used, such as boxing. Between the months of June and October the milk was delivered to the factory by 8:30am every morning brought by wagons and carts. In a very short time lovely large yellow cheeses were being produced and sold at market prices. In one year, Mr. William MacIntosh’s milk quota for four months was 221 pounds for which he received $193.38.
Although the farmers were pleased with the arrangement and the fact that they could also keep the whey for their pigs, they soon realized that the price they were receiving was not nearly enough for their good quality milk. At this time a creamery was opening for the sale of milk products and the farmers decided to sell their milk to the creamery thus putting the Cheese Factory out of business. It was later torn down to make room for the Argyle school, located at the beginning of Cheese Factory Rd. Another creamery was opened in Loch Katrine but burned down in 1925.
From the 1900′s to the 1920′s, there were creameries and cheese factories built throughout the Goshen area, each one serving the farmers in their small area. By the 1940′s dairies were consolidated into co-operatives such as the Eastern Dairy Foods Co-op in Antigonish and later the Scotsburn Dairy Group.
To learn more about the Scotsburn Dairy’s history click here.