COBWEB CORNERS: The Midland Creamery
By Mel McFarland
Years ago I heard that the Colorado Midland (or the Midland Terminal) had its own creamery, but I just did not believe it. I have seen milk bottles that said “Midland Creamery,” but in my research about the railroad I found no mention of any creamery. Recently I learned how the business got founded.
A. J. Smith, a resident since 1886, had a grocery wagon in the area. One of his popular items was milk and butter. Rather than continue selling door to door he started to think about his own store. He bought a building on South Cascade, about where the Pikes Peak Center sits. He and George Allebrand started the Hollywood Creamery. He had established connections for getting milk from outlying farmers. The business did well and they even moved into the wholesale market, selling to little neighborhood grocery stores all over the region. He later sold out to Allebrand to start on his own.
In 1920 the Midland Creamery was started, with Smith and H.R. Stealy as owners. They bought a building, just about where the old county jail building now sits. The office was at 15 E. Cucharras. They sold milk under the Midland Creamery name, but mostly they made butter, which sold as the Gold Band, Blue Hill and Best Foods brands.
Hollywood Creamery had moved around the corner to a spot at 110 W. Vermijo and continued in business after Smith started the rival company. During the Depression, the two rejoined at the Vermijo address. The old Midland Creamery became a Salvation Army center. For years the SA had been next door to the creamery. The companies continued producing their old brands, but the Midland name was dropped completely in the 1950s. The Hollywood Creamery name died out in the early 1960s. There was a neighboring creamery, IXL, that had an office at Vermijo and Cascade, I do not know if there was any connection with Hollywood, but it too only lasted a few years into the 1960s.
I fondly remember as a kid getting ice cream from the various creameries in the area, mainly Mowrey up on Cascade, across from Colorado College. Later I would learn that Art Van Lopic of Mowrey had a hobby where he took pictures of the area from an airplane as early as the 1920s. Unfortunately, most were destroyed when the old building was torn down!