Poutine Curds From the Appleton Cheese Factory?



Photo from the North Lanark Regional Museum

Appleton Boat launch & private shed. The shed is built on the foundations of the old Cheese Factory.

Imagine if you could just pop over to Appleton and get some fresh cheese curds for your next poutine?

Appleton once had a cheese factory where local farmers brought their fresh milk, where children stopped for a quick snack of fresh curds and where cheddar cheese was made. The Appleton Boat Launch now sits where the cheese factory was.

The Appleton Cheese Factory was in operation by at least 1899. Much of the history of the Cheese Factory is recorded in several ledgers now in North Lanark Regional Museum Collection. These ledgers provide a record of all the local farmers who brought milk to the factory from 1918 to 1945. Each time a farmer brought milk it was weighed and recorded in the ledgers. At the end of the week the weights were tallied up and the farmer was paid.

Appleton Cheese Factory Ledger from 1918
— Photo from the North Lanark Regional Museum

By the late 1920s the Appleton Cheese Factory had joined the much larger company known as The Producers Dairy Limited of Ottawa which included factories in Almonte, Shawville, Hull and Ottawa that produced butter, cheese, milk and cream.

As mechanization and the automobile increased in popularity, many local cheese factories were consolidated into larger industrial plants. The Appleton Cheese Factory was no longer in operation by the early-1950s with local milk going to other factories to be processed. Text from the North Lanark Regional Museum


Mrs. Robert Cavanagh, the former Martha Patterson
Library and Archives Canada/Copy number e006580518/photo cropped

From the Carleton Place Herald, Tuesday March 20, 1895: “Robert Cavanagh has sold his cheese factory at Appleton to Messrs. Wylie and Everetts who will continue its operation. Mr. Cavanagh is now rid of all his factories and will rest from his labors for a season with a view to recruiting his health which is not returning as rapidly as his friends would desire.”

On the 1901 Census Martha was living with her husband Robert Cavanagh in Carleton Place. She gives her birth date as Sept 14, 1849; her age as 51. Her husband Robert Cavanagh gives his birth date as March 17, 1839 and his age as 62. Janet Lochead Patterson is also living with them, and also a Carrie I. Patterson, shown as niece, born October 28, 1884, aged 16. On the 1911 census, Martha and Robert are still in Carleton Place on Bell Street. Robert was 73, born in Ontario of Irish parentage and Martha was 61 years of age.

Robert Cavanagh died December 31, 1921 of myocarditis, arteriosclerosis and senility. He was Irish, aged 86, born in Beckwith in 1835 and had lived 31 years at the place of his death. Robert’s father was John Cavanagh and his mother’s maiden name Blake. The funeral arrangements were made by Patterson Brothers Funeral Home, Carleton Place. He was buried on January 2, 1922 at the 8th Concession Ramsay. Just a few months later, Robert’s wife, Martha died. Martha Mathilda Cavanagh was a housewife and had resided at Bell Street 54 years. She died April 4, 1922 of intestinal toxemia and facial neuralgia. W.A. Wilson, 9916 113th Street, Edmonton was the informant. The undertaker was Jas. Patterson. Martha was buried on April 6, 1922 at 8th Line Cemetery.–Charles Patterson


1894 Jan. 2 Carleton Place Herald
District News – Appleton
“On Wednesday afternoon last the residence of Mr. R. W. Fum?erton was alive
with guests, the occasion being the marriage of his daughter, Miss Jennie M.
to Mr. Alex. McRae, of Carleton Place. Rev. G. T. Bayne performed the
ceremony. Miss Bella Fumerton, sister of the bride, acted as bridesmaid, and
Mr. J. A. McGregor discharged the duties of groom’s man. After the ceremony
the happy couple with their friends sat down to a sumptuous repast. The
bride was very popular and was the recipient of over fifty beautiful and cost
presents. To Mr. and Mrs. McRae we extend the congratulations of a host of
friends here”

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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