Progressive Era to New Era Cheese industry

Cheese industry

Until Interstate 95 permanently altered the socio-economic make-up of Stafford, many residents lived on small family farms where they grew their own fruits and vegetables, kept hogs, chickens, geese, and a milk cow or two. A few folks, like Dr. John Churchill Gordon (1871-1949), operated small dairies that provided milk and cream to locals who didn’t keep their own cows. In 1922 Dr. Gordon and a few friends set upon the idea of expanding the dairy business. A notice in the Richmond Times-Dispatch of Apr. 5, 1922 reads:

“A meeting was held at Stafford Courthouse to make plans for the organization of a cheese factory association and the erection of a factory near Stafford or Garrisonville. A temporary organization was effected with W. G. Sneed, president; Milton Mountjoy, vice-president, and Churchill Gordon, secretary and treasurer… A cheese specialist from Blacksburg was present and outlined the procedure in starting and operating a factory. He informed the farmers that one cheese factory in Prince William County had been in successful operation for the past year, and that this year they were putting up another factory in another locality and enlarging the one started last year. He also gave as his opinion that a cheese factory in Stafford should be an unqualified success.”

For whatever reason, the enthusiasm for making cheese in Stafford was short-lived and the factory never materialized.