Skip to page body Home About GP City Government Residents Business Visitors I Want To...

1930s Cream Can March 20162016 marks the centennial of the first train to come to Grande Prairie. This metal cream can was used to transport milk or cream from farm to Dairy and it is part of our local railway story. In the 1930s and 40s, many local farmers supplemented their incomes by selling cream to the Northern Alberta Dairy Pool in Grande Prairie. This was a large provincial co-operative that made and sold milk, butter, cheese and ice-cream. In northern Alberta, their products were sold under the Nu-Maid brand.

The farmer collected his cream daily and took it to the nearest railway station each morning. The full cans were collected by the trains when they stopped, hence the term “milk run” was developed for slow moving trains. The cans were marked with the owner’s name. The station used these names to allow the Dairy to credit the proper person for their cream and to ensure they got their can back the next day. The Dairy cleaned the cans after emptying them.

The train went west to Grande Prairie at 9:00 a.m. and it was not unusual to see a dozen or more cans lined up waiting for the train. The Dairy mailed cheques for payment. This cream can is from local farmer A. Wozniak who farmed near the hamlet of Codesa and used the station at Rahab on the Northern Alberta Railway line.

Last updated: 4/18/2016 9:49:09 AM