Larkspur historical Society
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Spring Valley Cheese Company

The Spring Valley Cheese Company was very typical of the many creamery operations scattered throughout Douglas County before the turn of the century. With the rich grasses abundant throughout this area many early homesteaders would raise milking shorthorn cattle which produced more butterfat and could withstand the harsh winter weather conditions. Most families would milk 10 or 20 cows daily and then separate the cream by hand to take to the creamery locations. They would then combine a corn silage produced on the land with the remaining skim milk to feed back to the herd.

Dairying became a way to raise cash weekly or monthly when crops were not ready to harvest and sell.

Spring Valley Cheese Factory - BuildingMost creameries were located in the different settlements scattered around the area. The Williams Cheese Factory at Cherry was just a few miles north of Spring Valley making the traveling distance shorter for dairy ranchers living closer to that area. All milk was transported by horse and wagon year around. In 1894, the Spring Valley Cheese Company began its operation with Jesse Knowles and Newton Alderman being the original proprietors. A sign on the north wall read Spring Valley Cheese Company full cream cheese, Greenland, Colorado. A lease by Mr. Knowles of the creamery in 1909 to the Higby Mercantile Co. was to run until 1913. The exact date the cheese factory closed is unknown. Families living in the area in the 1920's and 1930's with dairying interests transported their milk to Larkspur to Carlson Frink Creamery, noted for its black canyon cheese, or to Monument for shipment to Colorado Springs.

Legend from the old timers of the area has it that after the cheese company ceased operation dances were held on the second floor of the barn which had acquired the name “Tipperary Hall“ from the Irish song “It's a long way to Tipperary." Bootlegging was plentiful and the booze would be hidden in West Cherry Creek and then picked up, if not stolen first, and taken to the dances. Many names were written on the walls with dates ranging from 1908 through 1917. When the structure became in ruin dances were then held at the Spring Valley School located a little farther West from the creamery. Community activities such as these dances, the grange meetings, school activities, and church services were important to early pioneers.

Spring Valley Cheese Factory - Cheese Wall

In 1996 the structure, being dilapidated, was torn down.