the Past has featured several Transylvania dairies during National Dairy Month
but did you know that Transylvania County had two cheese factories in the early
late 1917 assistant dairy manufacturing specialist, Reeves Noland met with
local farmers to promote establishing a cheese factory in the county. According to Noland if the daily output of
milk within a three mile radius of the factory was at least 100 gallons, cheese
making was a viable and profitable option for farmers. He recommended organizing a cooperative with
five or more stockholders.
March 1918 County Agent R.E. Lawrence had organized a group to form a
cooperative cheese factory. Mr. Lawrence
stated, “It takes three gallons of milk for one pound of butter and only one
gallon for a pound of cheese. The butter
sells at 40 cents a pound and the cheese at 29 cents. Out of three gallons of milk made into butter
one gets 40 cents; out of the same number of gallons made into cheese he gets
84 cents—a little more than double.”
|The Penrose Cooperative Cheese Factory was located
on the farm of W.L. Talley. The Talley home still stands on
Old Hendersonville Highway at Penrose.
Penrose Cooperative Cheese Factory, which opened on July 15, 1918, was located
on the farm of W.L. “Luther” Talley. The
one-and-one-half story structure with a 14 by 20 front room and a smaller back
room was constructed for about $850. The
operation had a capacity to produce 300 pounds of cheese per day and provided a
cash market to local farmers for both milk and eggs. They won best cheese at
the State Livestock Show in the Fall 1918.
Everette Talley was the first manager and cheese maker at the factory.
1921 the group re-organized as the French Broad Cooperative Cheese
Company. Stockholders included C.F.
Woodfin, C.V. Shufford, J.M. Talley, R.S. Boyd, Cheesemaker and W.L. Talley,
President. The last mention of the
company was in the 1924 Report to the Commissioner of Revenue, State of North
group of Transylvania farmers organized the Selica Cooperative Cheese Factory
in 1919. Officers for the group were
H.N. Blake, President; C.C. Duckworth, Vice President; Charles Orr, Secretary
and Treasurer; W.C. McCall and E.O. Bryson, Directors. The Selica factory was located near the
County Farm on the south side of the railroad at Selica Station on property
deeded to the cooperative by C.C. Duckworth. They began operation on August 1, 1919 and
were able to purchase up to 200 gallons of milk per day.
mention of how long the business operated was found. However, they are listed on the Delinquent Tax
List in May 1926 and May 1928. In June
1928 the property was listed for sale to highest bidder on July 2, 1928 at the
there are no known photographs of either of Transylvania’s cheese
factories. If anyone does have pictures
of these businesses or the structures after the cheese factories closed please
contact the Local History Room at the Transylvania County Library.
and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at