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Tillamook Creamery

Once cheesemaking was introduced to Tillamook County, the floodgates opened and little creameries were quickly constructed all around the county. This primarily was because the roads weren’t all that good and it took a long time to transport milk from one side of the county to the other by way of horse and wagon. It was easier for a farmer to take his few cans of milk to a local creamery.

One such creamery was the Tillamook Creamery. It was located about a mile south of town, which today is 12th and Main in the city of Tillamook. In 1903, the president of the Tillamook Creamery had the idea of hire a young lawyer as a bookkeeper and salesman. That was a brilliant decision, because the young lawyer was none other than Carl Haberlach, the man who suggested organizing the local creameries into a cooperative.

In this photo, taken around 1900, the man with the hat holding a plug of cheese (front, right) was a young Fred Christiansen. Fred learned to make cheese from Peter McIntosh, and after a time as cheesemaker, went on to very long and successful career as cheese inspector. (I’ll tell you his tale later.)

The Tillamook Creamery wasn’t the first creamery in the county but it was one of the larger ones. In 1949, its board of directors agreed to merge their cheesemaking operations with three other local creameries, plus the Tillamook County Creamery Association, and build a new, centrally-located plant in Tillamook.

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