The Glensheen basement is divided into the working space (on the East side of the basement), and the social space (on the West side of the basement). The Milk Room is on the East side, and was where milk from the cows was brought into the mansion from the Carriage House. You can see all the milk jugs around the room, and the cream separator right in the middle:
We don’t know which of the things in this room are original, vs. which of them arrived as donations, but it was fun to see all the crocks and containers from regional dairies, which we don’t have much of anymore.
Kaukauna is over by Green Bay.
At one time, the Jean Du Luth Farm was over 4,000 acres, and had thousands of head of livestock including cattle, horses, goats, sheep, and pigs, lots of grain crops like oats, rye, barley, corn, in addition to several root crops. It was a serious operation!
To read more about the Jean Du Luth Farm, and about the homecrofting movement that helped inspire it, you should read this article at Zenith City Online: The Homecroft Movement in Duluth. Also, note the sign against the wall: Westhome Castle is the Yakima counterpart to Glensheen.
Here are just a few of the decorated milk bottles in the Milk Room.
I sure do appreciate those old decorated glass bottles.
Here are a couple gallons of cream separator oil, which would be used to lubricate the cream separator. As you can see, this was manufactured by the Marshall-Wells Oil Company. The Marshall-Wells Company begin in Duluth in the 1890s, and through hard work and shrewd dealings, it became an extremely successful company. Tracking down the end of the company has some twists and turns, but it was purchased in 1972 by the Canadian company Fields, which itself became a subsidiary of Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Company. HBC sold Marshall Wells in 1985, and I can’t find any good information after that.
This was a little amusing – there are several jars of pickles in the Milk Room, and as you can see – one of them has turned cloudy (there are a variety of reasons that this can happen, and usually the remedy is to toss ’em in the compost bin and start over):
Here is the cream separator, up close. I’ve never used one, and I didn’t exactly understand how it worked. After a bit of reading and some YouTube searching, I think I have it figured out. You pour the fresh, raw milk in the top, into the big reservoir. Then you start turning the hand crank, which rotates a drum. This rotation has the effect of pulling the heavier liquid (the cream) out to the edge, and the lighter liquid (the milk) stays in the center. The separator wouldn’t work if you weren’t turning the drum fast enough. As you can see printed on the hand crank, you need to turn it one full revolution every second. If you notice the bell on the handle, the bell would ding if you weren’t cranking fast enough!
As you can see by the years on the name plate, this separator would have been purchased after Chester’s death.
When you stop and think about how families used to get their milk, butter, cream and cheese, it’s good to remember that everything used to be done by hand!
In addition the more crockery, you can also see some signage about the Congdon family’s apple orchards out in Yakima, Washington:
And not just apples, but also pears!
I don’t know why, but I find it amusing that this box held 4/5 of a bushel of pears.
Next Room: Laundry Room (coming soon!)
Previous Room: The Attic