In this blog post, we will look at the Yallock, Lang Lang and Yannathan milk factories. Yallock Southern Creamery, which was situated on the corner of the Yallock Creek and the No.5 Yallock drain, opened in 1897 as a Co-Operative, closed in 1898, re-opened 1899 and eventually sold to the owners of the Lang Lang Butter Factory. A butter factory had operated in Lang Lang for a few years before it closed in February 1893. It re-opened around 1895 with Charles Wood (or his company Wood & Co) being listed as the owners until 1926, when it was sold to Southern State Produce. It was then purchased by Ivan Stedman, a butter merchant, in 1928. It closed in 1940. The Factory was a major employer in Lang Lang. Farm pick-ups were initially done by horse and cart, but the 1930s the Factory had a fleet of trucks which collected from farms as far away as
Yannathan Butter Factory (pictured below) was established in 1900 or 1905 (depending on sources) and was purchased by Ivan Stedman at the same he purchased the Lang Lang Factory. From 1929 the Cranbourne Shire Rate books lists the Yannathan factory as the “old Butter Factory” so I assume it was closed at this time. Yannathan, Catani and Bayles dairy farmers could also send their milk to Melbourne on the train, after the Strezlecki Railway line opened in 1922, and in 1923 the milk train carried over 1000 gallons of milk per day from those stations.
Incidently, Ivan Stedman (1895-1979) was a champion swimmer and led the Australian team at the opening ceremony of the Antwerp Olympics in 1920. He won a silver medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay team at those Olympics and also competed in the 1924 Paris Olympics. This is an achievement, made even more remarkable, by the fact that Ivan spent over three years in the A.I.F. during the First World War and was wounded at Passchendaele.Photograph credits : The Yannathan Butter Factory photograph is taken from More Mickle Memories of Koo-Wee-Rup by David Mickle, published by the author, 1987. The Lang Lang photographs are from the collection of George Smith, held by the Lang Lang & District Historical Society.