First Butter Factory in USA

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2799 New York Rt. 207
Campbell Hall, New York
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rock butter

Inscription

Marker text:

Butter factory
First in U.S. – 1856
200 feet ———>
H.W. Woodhull, owner
George Gouge, buttermaker

Plaque text:

This spring, with an abundance of cool water, determined the site of the first butter factory in the United States
1856
R.W. Woodhull, owner
George Gouge, buttermaker
This monument was placed here courtesy of the: town of Hamptonburgh, Orange County
Hamptonburgh Grange no. 950
Cornell Dairy Science Association
1956

Erected

By the State Education Department — 1956

What was there

Certainly butter was made prior to 1856 in cheese factories, but this was the first factory built specifically to produce butter. Farmers brought their milk to the receiving station here, and sold it to be made into butter. A spring, that was probably used to cool the finished product (allowing it to harden), and  to wash the butter, making it last longer, was an important factor in choosing this location.

george gouge buttermaker

What is there now

The marker stands in the front yard of a private residence on Rt. 207.  The actual site of the factory is on Maybrook Rd. almost directly across the street from the Campbell Hall, NY post office. If you want to take a look at both the marker and the site, you can simply park on the side of the road or at one of the small businesses and walk to both the marker and the site. There is a large rock with a plaque and a small fenced off spring at the location where the factory once stood.  No remnants of the structure exist.

More information

  • Go ahead – make your own butter.  It’s easy.
  • The Book of Butter, published in 1918
  • Scientific Butter Making, published 1883
  • In these pre-refrigeration days. building the factory at the site of the spring was important because its water aided in the cooling and preserving of the butter.
  • Butter in “sticks” did not appear until around 1907. Until that time, wood presses in various styles were used to shape the butter.

Submitted by

We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry:
Kelly Lucero



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Posted: September 23, 2013

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Category: Hudson Valley, Locations, Orange County

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