Topic: Mokau Co-operative Dairy Factory

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Mokau Co-op Dairy Factory

Mokau Co-op Dairy Factory - 1921

Builder: J. T. Julian & Son,  New Plymouth (Fred W. Whitaker)


At the conclusion of the 1914-18 war, the land up the Mokau river was opened up for returned servicemen to farm, making a dairy factory necessary.  A site was found next to the Mokau wharf, land acquired and [the factory] was built by J. T. Julian & Sons. The engine and fittings were installed by Mr Swanson from J B McEwan & Co of New Plymouth. [They] were brought in by the steamers SS Mahoe and SS Turanga in 1920-21. The first cans of cream arrived at the factory on September 1 1921 at 11 am on the launch Mokau skippered by Captain Wilson.

Eric Lewes  won the cream contract and his first boat was the launch Sefton. Years later Mr Lewes purchased the launch Cygnet from Mr Sjolund , in 1931.

The SS Mahoe shipped the first 91 boxes of butter to Mr Newton King in New Plymouth on October 8 1921 at 2/6 (35 cents) a ton. In 1922 the Mokau Harbour Board gave permission for the dairy factory to run a tram line from the factory to the factory's finger wharf. This tram line was built by Mr S Wright. By the end of 1922 up to 3000lbs of cream was delivered  every second day from up the Mokau River to the factory. In 1956 the factory closed because [dairy] farming had changed to dry stock.

The finger wharf remained for many years; it was used by locals for fishing and boarding their boats.

Info from: Big Blue Boat, North Taranaki Midweek, 3 April 2013

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Mokau Co-operative Dairy Factory

Mokau Co-operative Dairy Factory by Ron is Copyright Act 1994