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Markerville Creamery

Markerville

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Markerville Creamery site features a 1902 creamery and a 1940 ice house. The creamery is a one and one half-storey wood frame building featuring a cedar-shingled gable roof with cross gable, two small ventilation cupolas, a prominent corbelled chimney, horizontal wood siding, and a covered verandah wrapping around two elevations. The ice house is a simple, one-storey building with a cedar-shingled gable roof and exposed rafter ends. The buildings are situated on a large single lot in the Hamlet of Markerville.



Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Markerville Creamery site lies in its association with the establishment and growth of the dairy industry in Alberta and in its excellent and rare example of early industrial architecture in Alberta.

In 1897, the Dominion government initiated a program to develop creameries throughout the North-West Territories. In response to the federal government's initiative, several settlers in the area west of Innisfail banded together in 1899 to form the Tindastoll Butter and Cheese Manufacturer's Association. This new co-operative association established one of the first creameries under the N.W.T. Dairy Board at Markerville, an Icelandic settlement named after C. P. Marker, dairy commissioner for both the North-West Territories and, later, the Province of Alberta. Marker appointed Danish immigrant and skilled cheesemaker Dan Morkeberg to oversee the new enterprise at Markerville. From 1899 until 1924, Morkeberg expertly managed the creamery to the great benefit of the community. Though bereft of a railway connection, Markerville prospered with the success of the creamery and was able to grow beyond its original potential and become both the focus of the provincial dairy industry and a supply centre for the area west of the Red Deer River. The creamery operated for more than seven decades before its closure in 1972.

The Markerville Creamery site includes the 1902 creamery building and an ice house constructed in 1940. The extant creamery was built to replace the original, smaller building erected in 1899. It is one of the few pre-First World War industrial structures still extant in Alberta. The building has been extensively restored to its 1932 appearance and features a cedar-shingled gable roof, two roof ridge ventilation cupolas and a prominent corbelled chimney, horizontal wood siding painted grey with red trim, and a veranda wrapping around two elevations. Some of the historic fabric of the interior has been maintained, as have machinery and artifacts from the creamery's years of operation. The ice house is a simple, rectangular construction featuring a cedar-shingled gable roof and exposed rafter ends.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 119)


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Markerville Creamery include such features as:

Site:
- spatial relations between the creamery proper and ice house.

Creamery building:
- modest scale and simple form;
- cedar-shingled gable roof with cross gable;
- roof ridge ventilation cupolas with cedar-shingled pyramidal roofs topped with finials;
- two corbelled chimneys;
- grey painted exterior with red trim;
- covered wrap-around verandah with square columns on the south and west elevations;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- pattern and style of doors, including loading doors;
- original interior elements, including wood flooring, walls, and ceiling, mouldings, and grey and white paint scheme;
- original machinery, including pasteurizer and boiler (and brick housing);
- original artifacts, including tools.

Ice house:
- mass, form, and scale;
- cedar-shingled gable roof;
- exposed rafter ends;
- horizontal wood siding;
- grey exterior with white trim;
- interior board sheathing with sawdust insulation in wall cavity.


Location



Street Address:
Community: Markerville
Boundaries: Lot 10, Block 2, Plan RN21
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 2

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
2
36
26
9 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
RN 21
2
10


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.123689 -114.171968 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1978/09/15

Historical Information

Built: 1902 to 1902
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Extraction and Production
Historic Function(s): Industry : Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility
Industry : Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility
Current Function(s): Leisure : Historic or Interpretive Site
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

The Markerville Creamery, constructed in 1902, is a one and a half storey frame building with wood siding and a tin-covered roof. The significance of this building derives from its association with the establishment and growth of the dairy industry in Alberta. It was one of the first creameries set up under the guidance of the N.W.T. Dairy Board which was under the control of C.F. Marker who was Dairy Commissioner in the N.W.T. and Alberta for 35 years. The Creamery was managed by the Morkeburg family for the seventy years of its operation. Dan Morkeburg was Innisfail M.L.A. for 1917 to 1921. In 1960 he was elected to the Agricultural Hall of Fame for his involvement in the organization and operation of various dairy related associations. This activity made Markerville a provincial focus for the dairy industry in Alberta.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0202
Designation File: DES 0119
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 21912
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 119)
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