Cairn Hill Creamery (1897)
First Of Many Lowood Creameries
Between 1890 and the 1930s numerous creameries and butter factories operated around Lowood. The first was the Lowood Dairy Company established two miles north of the town in July 1890.
The Brisbane Courier reported, "One portion of the factory is to be used for butter making and the remainder for the manufacture of cheese. The factory has been started through the enterprise of Mr F.C. Emmett of Rosewood."
As the only dairy factory in the Lowood area, the company was able to dictate how much - or how little - it would pay farmers for their milk. Eventually this led to widespread discontent and farmers decided to take direct control.
Co-operatives Improve Farmers' Income
So, in 1897-98, three dairy co-operatives were formed in Lowood: The Co-operative Creamery Company, The Upper Brisbane River Co-operative Dairy and Bacon Factory and, in August 1897, Cairn Hill Farmers Co-operative Dairy Company, in the premises owned by Oscar Weyer and C. Rentel in Park Street (below).
Confidence & Tradition author Ruth Kerr explained: "This spate of companies rose because of the problem of creameries paying what they liked for milk, when farmers wanted to manage their own destiny."
Cairn Hill Prospers
In November 1898 The Brisbane Courier reported that Cairn Hill was receiving 250 gallons of milk a day, for which it paid 3 pence per gallon.
In January 1901 Cairn Hill's manager, Harry Kitzelmann, reported that in the previous year the co-op had processed 92,028 gallons (418,367 litres) of milk, sold 71,437lbs (32,400 kgs) of cream and made a profit of 1265 pounds.
About 1903 Harry Kitzelmann purchased the property as a fruitshop and general store, that became known as "Kitzelmann's Store". He also became the town's first undertaker.
In March 1913 Kitzelmann put the business up for sale by auction conducted in English and German. A sale did not eventuate and Kitzelmann continued to run his business for another 12 years.
In 1925 Harry Kitzelmann retired and his son-in-law, Albert Profke, took over the store, naming it "Profke's Store - The House of the People". In 1963 Albert Profke retired after 38 years in business.
This building dates from c1895-96 when it was built for Weyer and Rentel. It has housed several other businesses including an antiques centre, and is now a private residence.