Once upon a time, mostly before 1920, nearly every village and town in Pierce County had a creamery. Farmers would haul their milk to the nearby creameries, many of which were not shown on the town's official map.

The Pierce County Historical Association seeks to document the former creameries as best they can from local history, old photos and hearsay. The Association asks all residents of the counties to check their attics, their basements, their old photo albums for (especially) photos and any kind of document giving information about a former creamery.

It needs either to borrow the original photo or have a good-quality copy of it.

PCHA also encourages people to provide photos or names of former milk-truck drivers, who started hauling milk on set routes around 1940.

Though "in the day" nearly every family had a cow or easy access to milk, many children now have no idea how to milk a cow by hand or even where milk comes from. That is part of PCHA's motivation to document the county's creamery era.

Last year, the Lawton family donated a Lawton Creamery ledger book covering July 1927 to January 1935, as well as a large 1910 photo of the creamery. The Association says the family found both items in their home's attic.

It says old records such as the ledger book and photo offer a great look into the fast-disappearing documentation of the area's past.

For people with photos, records or documentation to share: Bring them to the PCHA office (lower level of the Ellsworth Village Hall), which is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 1-4 p.m. or mail them to the office address: PCHA, P. O. Box 148, Ellsworth, WI 54011. Please give name and address so materials may be properly acknowledged and processed.