Rural Community Connections: Built to Last!
This sight welcomes you, as you walk into the Donalda Co-operative Creamery. Every detail is in the same place it was when operations ceased in 1987. Click on the office image above to hear the curator of the Donalda museum share her vision for the property.
Looking for a glimpse into yesterday? How about walking through a monument to the power of the rural spirit?
The Village of Donalda cradles the quiet hush of a well cared for home, ready and waiting for anticipated guests. The moment you turn in, there is an "other worldly" charm that beckons. Brightly coloured buildings wait to be explored. Flowers bloom in unexpected bursts of beauty. With every glance, evidence of a warmth once thought lost, reappears. One might attribute some of this centred presence to foundations laid in the earlier part of the last century.
Woodland Dairy first opened a creamery in Donalda, back in 1924, under the leadership of Mr. Greenbo and Paege. This decision lead to the installation of a power plant that supplied residents with power, for a full decade before Alberta Power came to the area in 1942. One of the original owners, Mr. Paege, approached a group of local farmers about creating a creamery co-operative in 1937. The Donalda Co-operative operated passionately as a locally run corporation, even in the face of pressure to amalgamate into the Central Alberta Dairy Pool. The small group of farmers opted out of the centralization movement, and ended up running one of the longest lasting independent creameries is in Alberta. "Donalda Maid" award winning butter, appeared across Canada. The co-operative was in full swing until April 30'th, 1987, when the doors closed, leaving everything exactly as it was. The Donalda Co-operative stands as monument to the determination and of a small group of farmers, proving that rural passions run deep!
Visit Donalda Alberta, today, just past the outskirts of Camrose County, 25 miles northeast of Stettler.
Click on the picture of milk bottles to hear more about the community spirit behind the town of Donalda.
Click on the picture of the wooden churn to the left, to hear more on the procedures and systems of trust that strengthened the fabric of a community. Below you will find pictures that document the changing era of industrialization.