Mammoth Cheese monument - Perth, Ont

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by 60103, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Good call Chris! :thumb:

  2. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    "By The Labour of Their Hands - The Story of Ontario Cheddar Cheese" by Heather Menzies details the story of the cheddar cheese industry in Ontario.

    One of the first mammoth cheeses was the Ingersoll cheese of 1866. It weighed in at 7,300 lbs. It took the milk of 2,400 cows from some 250 farmers to make the cheese. When it was ready for shipping, it took 3 teams of powerful dapple-grey Percherons to haul the cheese to the Great Western Railway station. It toured northern New York state, going to the Saratoga Fair, on to the CNE and then on to England. There were rumours that it was denied anchorage when it arrived in Liverpool because of its noxious odour and seeping deteriorated condition. These were thought to have originated from the rivals of Canadian cheddar.

    With the arrival of the Ingersoll cheese, almost overnight, Canadian cheddar became an export staple with a name in the English market that would endure for over a century.

    While the Ingersoll cheese was the initiative of the local cheesemakers themselves, the Perth cheese was largely a government initiative. Compared to the Ingersoll cheese, it weighed in at 22,000 lbs. Twelve cheesemakers from 12 cheese factories working under the supervision of one James Ruddick, assisted by a George Publow were involved in the initial stages of making the milk into cheese curd. As the curd was made, it was hauled to the CPR frieght shed at Perth where a special press had been constructed made of quarter inch boiler plate and measuring 9' across and 6' high. The press itself weighed 3,000 lbs.

    It took 3 days worth of cheese curds from all 12 factories - or an estimated 207,200 lbs of milk.

    The cheese first travelled to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. It travelled by train from Perth, Ont through Toronto to Windsor en route to Chicago. It was laid out on an open flat car, followed by a second car carrying four 1,000 lb mini-mammoths. The railway prepared a special poster detailing the cheese's tour through Ontario and inviting the public to visit it along the way.

    From Chicago, the mammoth cheese went to England where it was eventually sold to Jubal Webb, a London caterer. It was the subject of a large parade drawn through the downtown streets of London where it was installed in a special exhibition hall festooned with flags and evergreens in London's West End. Ladders were erected to allow personal inspection of the cheese. Samples were cut with garden spades.

    For a moment, everyone knew about Canadian cheddar cheese.

    Excerpts from the above book.

    Bob M.

Share This Page