Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Member Memories - John Maki

John Maki
Buttermaker:  Skamokawa Creamery
(Submitted by Leroy Maki)

My father, John I. Maki (Jim) was a buttermaker for the Skamokawa Creamery for a number of years and won awards for the butter he made. In 1928, he received a gold medal (first place for the best butter of the show) in the Pacific Slope Dairy Show. He was competing with buttermakers representing 14 Western States which included Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Idaho, etc. He got a silver medal in 1928, 1929, and 1931 for the best butter in the State of Washington. He developed health problems and quit the butter making business in 1937 and bought a dairy farm in Middle Valley from the Frank Koblitz family. I have written a family history of my family, mostly my biography, and in it I have included a biography that was dictated to my brother, Leonard. In it, Dad tells of his experiences in butter making. Right after he was married in 1924, he worked first for a dairy farm and later began working in the creamery at Grays River. When the buttermaker in Grays River quit, Dad applied for the position of buttermaker in the creamery in Grays River but was turned down. Here is what he wrote:

“The local creamery [in Grays River] merged with the Co-Op in Astoria.  The creamery put in a cold storage plant and a generator and furnished electricity for the town.  Now that I was married, I needed more money, and I asked for a raise.  The Manager of the Association turned me down, and said if I wanted more money that I had to get a buttermaker's job.  So, I quit, and we moved in with Dad and Mother.  We fixed up a small house in which to live.
            I heard that there was a vacancy for a buttermaker in Skamokawa, so I went over to interview for the job.  They took me on trial, and if I made good, I would receive $200 a month, which was good pay in those times.  I left the family at Grays River and boarded with some people in Skamokawa.  That fall [1928] I won a gold medal and two silver medals at the Pacific Dairy Exposition.  My job was secure. After the Christmas and New Year's holidays, I moved the family to Skamokawa and rented a furnished cottage.”

Dad worked for the Skamokawa creamery for nine years, from 1928 until he purchased the Koblitz farm in 1937.

No comments:

Post a Comment