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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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PORTAGE CREEK CHEESE FACTORY
A building of interest on the Portage Plains, which was opened in the early 1890s with twenty shareholders, was a cheese factory, still standing, on the farm of Wm. Cuthbert of the Portage Creek district.
The milk, which was set out each morning except Sundays, in 20 gallon cans on stands, was picked up by team and light wagon. This wagon had a rod down the cen tre and the cans of milk were placed on either side. Three such outfits were used, one for each of three rou tes.
The milk cans were unloaded by a pulley and track system on the east side of the cheese factory building.
The cheese was processed in two round presses of different sizes and was stored in a small building adjoining the factory. A stationary steam engine was the source of power. Mr. Robert Oliver, who came from Ontario, was the cheese-maker.
This enterprise was successfully operated for several years. When it ceased operation, a roller was installed in the building for rolling grain. Later on, a small building was added to the south end of the old cheese factory and it was used for a beef ring.
At a time when many historical old buildings have disappeared from our landscape it is a credit to the Cuthberts that they do not consider the old cheese factory an eyesore on their land, but rather a monument to a pioneer industry.
EAST PROSPECT DISTRICT
The history of East Prospect dates back to a time before 1871, when the few homesteaders who had settled there endured the same hardshi ps as other pioneers on the prairies.
When S. M. Marlatt arrived in the district in 1871 it was these few neighborly folks who helped him erect his home on the S.W. quarter of 30-12-6.
Mr. Marlatt must have settled with a bit of skepticism about his venture as his words, "There is a prospect of starvation," has been handed down through the years as the origination of the name of the district. He must have been fairly successful as a farmer as he worked the land for ten years before selling to vVm. McCowan who later sold to John Wishart who farmed it until his death in