New Dominion Dairying Co.

 

New Dominion Dairying Company

 

               On March 12, 1895, a community meeting was held at the New Dominion schoolhouse. The topic of discussion was the final proposal for a Cheese and Butter Factory to be constructed in Afton Community area. The proposal was well received, and many of the community members were on board. An additional meeting was held a week later on March 18, to appoint the board for the New Dominion Dairying Company. The first board included: Thomas Stewart, as chair, Theophilus Stewart as President, Arthur Wright as Vice President, James MacLean as Treasurer, and George Wilson as Secretary. Construction began almost immediately after a site was selected.

             The first head cheese maker was Ludlow Jenkins, who held the position until 1900. The New Dominion Dairying Co. appointed Dan MacDonald as cheese maker in 1901, however, it is unknown how long he held the position for. Robert weeks became the head cheese maker after MacDonald, and remained in the position until the factory closed. The New Dominion Dairying Company services all of the surrounding communities, including, Fairview, Cumberland(South Shore), Rocky Point, Nine Mile Creek, Rice Point, and of course, New Dominion.  The factory was even used to house a fundraiser for the Construction of the Afton Hall. This event was held on St. Patrick’s Day in 1897.

            In January of 1926, the factory was offered for sale or rent; however, there were no interested parties at the time. A year later, the factory was put up for sale in a public auction held February 1, 1917. The building was purchased the following spring and was reopened as the Lot 65 Creamery Company. The company no longer produced cheese, as they focused entirely on producing butter. The factory is believed to have permanently closed on October 8, 1920. The Dairy served the community for over 25 years, shipping produce to markets as far as England.

             The New Dominion Dairying Co. was a pillar for the people of the Afton Community region, as it provided employment and services for community members. The company was well known and had several shareholders and patrons, many of whom were in attendance at the annual meetings held by the Dairying Co. These annual meeting took place at the Afton Community Centre. The meetings typically involved a breakdown of products and sales as well as collaborating ideas to ensure the company’s success. A meeting held in 1899, reported the status of the company was excellent and the business was flourishing. The agricultural significance of these meeting collected a deep interest from residents and farmers alike. In fact, at this time, Professors were visiting Prince Edward Island and offered information which had proven to be beneficial to the industry. [1]

             In 1895 in was recorded in the Examiner that the Patrons of the New Dominion Dairying Company had gone on an excursion. Patrons from Westville, South Shore and surrounding areas went on board the Steamer Southport at McEwen’s and Rocky Point wharves, and steamed slowly to St. Peter’s bar and returned back to the harbour. There was a full harvest moon that evening which shone brightly in the cloudless sky while the many lad and lasses danced to the sweet strains of violin and pipes until approximately midnight. It must have been an enjoyable time, because as they landed, “three cheers were given for Captain McDougald and his obliging crew”[2]

            The annual meetings were also known for having lecturers offer new applications which would be able to assist with processing milk. One such lecture was offered by a Mr. Dillon in 1897 for which he spoke of the “care and production of milk”. It was said that he dwelt strongly on the care of milk and earnestly urged each and every patron to exercise all the caution possible so the milk would arrive at the factory in good sweet condition.[3] A 1902 summary of proceedings from the month of May to December 31st gives a breakdown of the Company’s produce.

Number of patrons supplying milk 79.

Quantity milk supplied 806, 606 lbs.

Quantity of cheese manufactured 63, 111 lbs.

Quantity of butter manufactured 5924 lbs.

Net value of butter to patrons $1034 75.

Average per cent of fat in milk 3.53.

Quantity milk required to make 1 lb butter 22.9

Average price realized for cheese 9.99.

Average price realized for butter 20.96

Value of milk to patrons per 100 lbs. cheese season, 73c.

Value of milk to patrons per 100 lbs, butter season, 76 c.

Gross value of cheese, $6 306 93.

Gross value of butter, 1,242.16 

                                                _________

                                                7,549.09

Companys charge for manufacturing cheese……… 1,420.00

Company’s charge for manufacturing butter 207.41

Divided among patrons…. 5,921.68

                                                       ________

                                                       $7,549.09[4]

 

Mr. Arthur Wright was the President of the Company in 1906 and reported the elected Directors for the year. They included:  John McLean, Alex McKenzie,  Neil D MacLean, Guildford Lowther, A.A. McNeill, Neil J McNeill.[5]



[1] Patriot. Volume:36. March 9, 1899. The annual meeting of New Dominon, Dairying Co.

[2] Examiner, Volume: 42. September 6, 1895. A Pleasant Excursion

[3] Examiner. Volumer: 45. March 15, 1897. Dairy Meeting.

[4] Patriot. Volume: 50. February 21, 1906. The Annual Meeting of the New Dominion Dairying Co.

[5] Ibid.

 

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