Before refrigeration and modern transportation, dairy farmers made butter from their milk and hauled the butter to San Diego. John B. Judson built the first creamery in San Pasqual Valley in 1894. When Ray Trussell first settled in the Valley in 1891, apricots were still common along with all sorts of mixed farming. He himself tried melons, wheat, hogs, and potatoes, but it wasn't long before dairying was clearly established as the cash crop, the Trussell Ranch included. In 1900 San Pasqual Valley boasted eighteen dairies and two of the five creameries in San Diego County, the first being the Judson Creamery which served the east end of the Valley and the second, a creamery on the west end started by the Woods and Olds families. These original creameries would both separate the cream from the milk and, also, churn the cream to make rolls of butter. By 1905 most farmers had taken to separating their own milk and sending only the cream to the creamery. This practice cut down labor requirements, so the owners of the two San Pasqual creameries combined their operations and built a new plant in the middle of the Valley on the north side of the old San Pasqual road just west of the Old Battlefield Monument. They called it, "The San Pasqual Creamery." According to the Bud Judson History this may have been the first co-operative in California. The photo above shows the receipt obtained by Ray Trussell when he purchased his shares in the new creamery. Note Fred Roberts was the part-time manager and V. F. Wills was the secretary and the full-time employee, running day-to-day operations. A couple of interesting things to note: Ray is able to buy a 10% interest in the creamery for $200 and the phone number at the creamery is "red 591."
The Escondido Creamery and Webb's Mack Truck
In 1916, only six years after Ray made his investment in the San Pasqual Creamery, the Webb family bought a Mack Truck and began a service hauling milk from the Valley to San Diego to meet the expanding needs of the U.S. Military training camps there. They hauled the milk in ten gallon cans. Before long all the milk in the valley was hauled that way. Because most of the dairymen were now shipping their milk directly to San Diego, the San Pasqual Creamery moved to Escondido in 1920. A man named Norseman was the first manager there. Soon the farmers had local refrigeration systems to cool the milk so that it would keep better and in the 1940's Henry Fenton and Charley Judson began hauling their milk directly to San Diego in a refrigerated tanker. All milk is hauled that way today.
Photos: The photo on the top shows the Escondido Creamery around 1915 and the photo on the left shows Ray Webb and Ruth Kruse, standing on the front of the Mack Truck (note the right-hand drive). Ruth was the teacher at the San Pasqual Adobe Schoolhouse in the 1911/1912 school year (pg. 7-48)