In 1882 the first cream separators were imported into Australia and by the late 1880s many milk factories and creameries were operating, particularly on the south coast of NSW. Farmers brought their milk to the creamery in cans to be separated into cream and skim milk. They sold the cream to the factory and brought skim milk home to feed to pigs.
Eagleton is a locality on the Williams River about six kilometres north of Raymond Terrace. I believe the creamery was located at what is now 4 Killaloe Lane, off Newline Road. Killaloe Lane originally terminated at the creamery, and iron tracks ran from the creamery to Killaloe wharf so that milk and cream cans could be taken to and fro by pushing a handcart along the rails. There is a concrete pad at the spot marked in the photo below that could be the remains of the foundations of the creamery. This needs to be confirmed/verified.
Above: the possible location of Eagleton creamery, at 4 Killaloe Lane, Eagleton. In the photo the Williams River is at far left with Newline Road running alongside it. If you can confirm the location of this creamery please contact the webmaster.
An abandoned creamery, possibly at Eagleton judging by the background. Please contact the webmaster if you know where this was (photo: Cultural Collections, Newcastle University).
The sale of the Eagleton creamery's machinery advertised in the Singleton Argus 27 October 1900.
Eagleton's machinery was given a trial run in early September 1892 and a 'quadrille party' later that month marked its official opening. The creamery traded as the Eagleton Co-operative Creamery Co. It delivered cream daily to Ireland's Creamery and Refrigerating Works at Newcastle to be made into butter (Maitland Mercury 13 Sept, 1 Oct and 12 Nov 1892).
For a description of how creameries operated, see the page for Osterley creamery.
Like most unrefrigerated district creameries, the Eagleton creamery was short-lived. Faced with many farmers now separating milk on-farm and delivering to larger refrigerated butter factories, on 1 July 1897 a meeting of Eagleton's shareholders agreed to put the Company into voluntary liquidation and to cease operation (Maitland Mercury 2 July 1897. Its plant and machinery was advertised for sale a few years later (Singleton Argus 27 October 1900, see advertisment at left).
History of dairying in the Williams River valley on-line.
Maitland Mercury, Singleton Argus, various issues.
Todd, Jan. Milk for the Metropolis - a Century of Co-operative Milk Supply in New South Wales. Sydney, 1994.