The Cheese Factories in Waukesha County and America's Dairyland

By
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459

I have found memories of hanging out with my grandfather when I was young. Saturdays were a ritual; a trip to the dump so the guys could get together and chew the fat, a secret trip over to Dottie's bakery in Stonebank where my grandfather would pick up the donuts and then fly over to the Phillips 66 station in North Lake so he and his friends that had diabetes could eat their jelly donuts, and of course the cheese factory in Mapleton to get a half a brick of cheese. The Waukesha county cheese factoriesmay have diminished but those memories will last for ever for me. I was showing property a bit ago to someone and I made the comment that I thought it was a cheese factory previously. The folks that were relocating looked at me in bewilderment as I explained to them that the Waukesha County real estate market had cheese factories everywhere at one time. Wisconsin produces more than 35 percent of all cheese made in the United States. Much of it is made in small, family-owned and operated cheese factories that specialize in award-winning varieties. They welcome visitors. Please read about the history of Wisconsin vheese which is extremely interesting at History of Wisconsin Cheese . The move from producing cheese for family use to making cheese to sell was a short step. However, commercial production of cheese in Wisconsin began on a small scale.   By 1945 more than 1,500 cheese factories in Wisconsin produced about 515 million pounds of cheese a year. Today, approximately 15,000 dairy farms, with over 1.2 million cows producing an average of 18,850 pounds of milk each per year, continue the reputation for quality milk from Wisconsin. Wisconsinhas more skilled and licensed cheesemakers than any other state. These cheesemakers must complete rigorous studies in dairy science and cheesemaking before they can be licensed. They also may serve as an apprentice under a licensed cheesemaker. Wisconsinis the only state to offer a Master Cheesemaker program. These fine craftsmen produce over 2.4 billion pounds of cheese each year, over 25 percent of all domestic cheese.   Quality and variety of cheese from Wisconsin, America's Dairyland.  Cheese factory history, locations, Wisconsin attractionsLIST OF BUTTER AND CHEESE FACTORIESLIST OF CONDENSERIES , Cheese Factories & Tours , Wisconsin Attractions: Find Attractions by County , How Cheese Is Made   Recipes  Click here for a Map of Wisconsin Cheese Factories  History of Wisconsin Cheese

Wishing you a productive day, and see you at closing!

Tom Braatz 

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Ambassador
575,765
Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

I love yesterder-year stories...and your's is so special.  Life was so simple then wasn't it?   The pic's are great. Thanks for sharing.

Jun 27, 2009 06:07 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Kat

I love those yester year stories as well. Life was simple then. I sure hope they have lots of cows when I migrate soon. I called my friend in South America and I told him I was eating cheese curds as I was driving (Lars actually had his nose in the bag gobbling them like a locust). My friend goes "What's a cheese curd?" I have been in Wisconsin too long.

Jun 27, 2009 06:34 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,486,234
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Tom, I loved reading the story.  Ah, to go back when life was SO simple, I miss it lots of times myself.  But I didn't know a thing about cheese factories--thanks for the mini lesson.

Jun 27, 2009 07:08 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Carole

It was simple then, I miss times also. You would have loved the cheese factories, didn't you ever buy a bag of cheese curds when you went to the farm coop?

Jun 27, 2009 07:49 PM #4
Rainer
46,643
Nannette Hilliard
Century 21 Zwygart Green County Real Estate - Monroe, WI
CDPE, ABR, CRS

Hello Tom

Being a farmers daughter and very active in 4-H cheese factorys are a part of my history also. Yes good memories.

Jun 27, 2009 09:59 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Nannette

I didn't know you came from a farm family; Out in New Glarus? I will have to visit the cheese factories by you when I come out there again next week for a tenant.

Jun 27, 2009 10:12 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,361,679
Kristin Johnston, Waukesha Realtor 414-254-6647
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Waukesha County Realtor, RE/MAX Buyer Agent

Tom, more cheese please!  :-)  I now want to go to Mars Cheese Castle!  Great topic!

Jun 28, 2009 07:50 AM #7
Rainmaker
198,270
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI
Real Estate

All the little cheese maker shops are history here too, use to have some dot the country roads where you could stop and buy fresh cheese curds. I have a listing that is an old cheese factory, turned into a home.

Jun 28, 2009 08:23 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Kristin

You should take your hubby and go for a very pretty ride up Hwy 83 and just past north of Hartford you catch up with 51, Turn left and go through the countryside for a bit until you come to Theresa. Widmers cheese factory is there and it is phenomenal. I send people gift packages from here.

Jun 28, 2009 10:51 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Mary

Are there any left by you that are relatively close? Not too long ago they were almost everywhere and then they bacane big factories. Does that dog Lars of mine like curds. I like walking in homes that were old cheese factories.

Jun 28, 2009 10:53 AM #10
Rainmaker
589,104
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Hurt, VA

Hi Tom-What a wonderful story of years gone by. Those are the best kind. That sure is a lot of cheese in a year. Have a great Sunday<SMILE>

Jun 28, 2009 11:53 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Sharon

So nice to hear from you. Sharon it wasn't that long a go I was going to the cheese factory in Waukesha County; probably 8  or 9 years ago. Now I just drive a half an hour north to Theresa where they make great Brick, Colby, Swiss and more. Very cool place. You never saw something annihilate cheese curds as fats as Lars does; he really turns it on big time to get a bag of those.

Jun 28, 2009 05:08 PM #12
Rainer
120,167
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

Converted cheese factories make for some of the oddest homes.  Here in Green County, we have the largest concentration of cheese factories in the US.  While we still have a large number of operating cheese factories, the old ones that are now homes sure are interesting.

Jun 30, 2009 11:22 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,403,727
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Brenda

I agee, makes for some strange room sizes; Green County has a lot of great cheese factories and they should not be missed.

Jun 30, 2009 11:59 AM #14
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Rainmaker
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Tom Braatz

Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha
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