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Report - Kongwak butter factory, Victoria, December 2012

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by virusman26, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. virusman26

    virusman26 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Right out in the sticks this one, proper one horse town. Looks to have had some work done to refurbish, but is now a storage shed for some old farming equipment and LOADS of pallets of cinder blocks.

    *History*

    The Kongwak Co-operative Butter & Cheese Factory was originally established on this site in October 1896 in a wooden building. Plant and equipment came from the Moyarra Butter Factory, which was closed in the previous year. This factory was progressively enlarged and extended before a new reinforced concrete factory was constructed in 1925, which was opened on 3 December of that year by Thomas Patterson MHR. The 1925 factory was constructed by Mr McClure.

    After the outbreak of World War Two, Butter Factories around the State were encouraged to change to cheese production for export to England. The 11 April 1942 edition of the Korumburra Times reported that: "Bigger cheese supplies were needed locally for the troops and Britain would take all the surplus offering." The Kongwak Co-operative accepted the tender of Melbourne architect, TC McCullough, to design and construct the new cheese factory, which was in operation by February 1942 - one of 12 such factories opened in Victoria during that year. Although other factories such as Leongatha and Korumburra switched to cheese production, this is believed to be the only purpose-built cheese factory constructed in the Shire. A new depot for the supply of milk to Melbourne was erected at the same time.

    The Co-operative continued to prosper in the immediate postwar period, and in 1955 an imposing new Co-operative Store was opened on the opposite side of the road.

    However, increasing competition led to a merger with the Korumburra Butter Factory in 1963. The factory was eventually closed a few years later.

    TC McCullough was a Melbourne based architect and builder who designed and constructed a number of commercial buildings in the Shire during the interwar and immediate postwar period including Bair's Otago Hotel (1939), Elizabeth House (1940) and extensions to the Mirboo North Butter Factory (1949).

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    #1 virusman26, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

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