by Martin Aarbo

In the early homestead days one important source of income was milking cows, selling milk and butter to the many bachelors and newly arrived settlers.

As more homesteaders settled in there was a surplus of cream.  A cream testing station was established in 1916 by Mr. William Milholland Sr. He weighed and tested the cream and paid farmers for the butterfat in the cream. Cream  was then transferred to forty gallon wooden barrels and hauled to Vermilion by the local freight hauler. Sometimes Mr. Monkman, the mailman, would haul the cream. Mr. Milholland served the homesteaders faithfully with this service until 1920, when the railroad came to St. Paul.


In the summer of 1922, Eddie Davis who had a store at Mooswa bought a truck and started a freight and cream haul to St. Paul. He picked up cream at Elk Point and from any farmer along the way.

When the railroad finally arrived in Elk Point, farmers saw the need for a creamery in Elk Point. A meeting was held November 23, 1927 for discussion, and with the idea of starting a company to be known as The Elk Point Cream Producers Association Ltd. Mr. Love from Woodland Dairy of Edmonton was called gave an outline of a plan for the formation of a company with Woodland Dairy and Elk Point Cream Producers. It was moved by Mr. 0. Howe, seconded by Mr. J.C. Lambright, that they accept Mr. Love's proposal. The motion was carried.

March, 1928, a canvass was made to sell $25 shares to finance building of a creamery. 188 shares were sold; 89 shares held by Woodland Dairy and 99 shares held by merchants and farmers in and around Elk Point.

April, 1928, a meeting was held to elect nine directors; five from the country and four from the village. They were as follows:

O.J. Fish
W.F. Wolfe
Dr. F.G. Miller
Bruce MacDonald
0. Holthe
C. Zarowny
B. Povaschuk
C.J. Markstad
C.A. Johnson

Contract for the construction of the creamery was awarded to Hayward Lumber Co. and construction was begun in early spring of 1928. It opened for business in 1929 with Mr. Selmer Johnson the first butter maker. In 1931-32 Bill Hetsler and his son Wes were butter makers, followed by Art Dykstra from 1933 to November 8, 1935.



Bill Millholland at the old creamery - 1954


Old Elk Point Creamery Building

Having a lot of trouble getting a good water supply and also because of the depression years, shareholders decided it was good business to lease the creamery. Mr. Clare Johnston agreed to lease it for $25 a month and to dig a new well. Mr. Johnson operated until Bob Dale took over in April, 1938. In July of 1938, Mr. Dale bought the creamery for $500 or $2.30 a share. After Mr. Dale passed away the creamery was sold to a company known as Elk Point Dairy Products in 1953.

A new creamery was built in 1959 and closed down in 1973. The old creamery is now being used as a slaughter house and the new creamery as a bottle depot.

Wm. Milholland Jr. started working for Clare Johnston in 1937, and continued as butter maker until 1973, except for a leave of absence for a year and a half in the late fifties.

It is interesting to note that Mr. Milholland Sr. started buying cream and his son carried on in his father's footsteps for 37 years, winning many awards for his ability to make good butter.

After 1973 farmers again had to haul their own cream to St. Paul, Bonnyville or Vermilion.