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History

A.W. Ericson Collection, Courtesy of the Humboldt Room, Special Collections, Humboldt State University

Creamery Building — A.W. Ericson Collection, Courtesy of the Humboldt Room, Special Collections, Humboldt State University

A Short History of the Creamery Building in Arcata
– Excerpted from the 1979 Historic Resources Inventory by Susie Van Kirk

“At the time of its construction, the creamery was a significant piece of local industrial architecture, designed by prominent Eureka architect, Franklin Georgeson.  Also, the creamery represents an important local industry – dairying — which provided employment and livelihoods for many Arcata residents.  The creamery’s location was chosen because of the adjacent railroad and the nearby barrel factory, which provided a readily available source of fuel for the plant.

The original central tower was 40 feet square and 80 feet in height.  Composed of two stages and topped by an octagonal cupola, the tower was decorated with arched, multi-paned windows, balustrades, and corner pent-roofs over long windows.  Only the lower stage remains and another roof beside the tower has been made.

The plant was completed in the fall of 1918 and by January of the following year was producing 1,500 pounds per day of Golden State Swiss Cheese, which sold in places as far away as New York State.  Because of its long association with the Golden State trade name, California Central Creameries became the Golden State Milk Products Company in 1923.  In later years, it was purchased by Foremost Dairies, Inc., and the building continued as a creamery until the late 1950’s.  After that time, it was used for the Arcata Roller Rink for about 14 years.  In recent years, the building has housed various small businesses and is currently used for theatrical and musical productions.”