Creamery


By dhowell - Posted on 02 January 2008

The creamery was in the Morgan store.

The creamery, which stood on the south side of Austin Road at the east village limits, was gutted by fire in 1929. At that time it was owned by Robert G. Sortor. Mr. Sortor came to Manchester in 1912 from Breckenridge. He established the creamery at the Soulesville location in the building which had formerly been the Morgan Agricultural Implement store.

An historical note is that Thomas Morgan (who built the Morgan store) married Deborah Soule in 1832. Soulesville (eastern part of the village) was named for this family. Soules lived in the house on the hill where the Lepshis family now reside. Thomas Morgan erected the first frame building in Manchester. The store which later became the creamery was of brick construction.

In the winter a large ice house at the rear of the creamery would be packed with ice which was used in the refrigeration of the butter during the summer.

Charles W. Sanford, who was a Freedom township farmer until 1867, came to Manchester in that year and specialized in the produce business. He made a speciality of eggs and butter. The location of this first creamery was on Washington Street, where the Herbert Widmayer home is located. Harvey Raby lived across the street (where Robert Popkey lives), according to Jane Palmer, retired librarian.

The Washtenaw County History describes the creamery. Its size was 18 x 24' with walls 14 inches thick, of which 12 inches were filled with saw-dust. The floor was the same. It was 18 ft. high and divided into two stories.

The top was filled with 60 tons of ice, the bottom fitted with zinc-lined troughs to carry off all water drippings. The lower floor could store 80,000 lbs. of butter. Sanford would buy in the spring and hold to fall, for a fine profit. The building was put up by B. A. Stevens of Toledo and cost $1,000.