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Kensington Dairy Association | P.E.I. Grain Elevator | Canada Packers

Champion Butter FactoryThe Kensington Dairy Association was formed in 1893, when farmers decided that they needed a place to market their increasing milk supply. The founding members pooled their resources and, with the funds, started up a butter factory. The factory was made into a cooperative in 1945, and bought the other dairy establishment in town-- the Champion Butter Factory-- later that year. It continued in operation until 1953, when it joined with Amalgamated Dairies Limited in Summerside, P. E. I. The old building was moved Kensington Co-Opand converted into a feed mill, and the Margate school was purchased to place an extension on it. The Co-op opened a hardware store in 1960 and a grocery store in 1965. Although the grocery store has since closed, the feed mill is still in operation and sells commercial feeds as well as hardware items to its many customers.

Kensington Grain Elevator (Boily Photo)In the late 1960s, the Department of Public Works called for the construction of a grain elevator one and a half miles outside of Kensington. As no grain elevator has ever been constructed on the Island, much less in Kensington, three Winnipeg men had to be brought in to oversee the building of the elevator. It took over 700,000 feet of lumber to construct, and these boards were fixed in place with one and a half carloads of nails. At its highest point, the building reaches 103 feet and can hold up to 235,000 bushels of grain. The elevator opened on December 6, 1971, and at that time could boast that it was the only country grain elevator east of Manitoba. The new building had the most modern grading equipment in the grain industry. With its continuous blow dryer, it could dry up to 2500 bushels of hay or 500 bushels of barley per hour. It could unload box cars off the rails at a rate of one every three hours, and load one up every thirty minutes. It was soon full to capacity, and bustling with shipping activity.

Canada PackersCanada Packers opened a branch in Kensington primarily to provide a Shur-Gain feed service. Their business was located in a small section of the Kensington Cold Storage building, owned by Russell Champion and Sons. In 1940, Canada Packers added a poultry processing plant and egg-grading section, as well as an electrically- powered feed mixer. A year later, they expanded into a bigger section of the Champion building-- which had been vacated by the MacKenzie and Company store-- and began a full-scale poultry production. In 1946, the Maritime head office decided that the branch would be best converted into a strictly feed-mixing operation. The feed service business operated until 1958, when Shur-Gain was moved to Kinkora.

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