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BOOK - Cheese Stakes, Lanark County's Mammoth Cheese and its Place in Cheesemaking History   (Lanark County, Ontario)
By Ron W. Shaw
Published by Global Heritage Press, Carleton Place, 2017

Softcover...24.95 (C$)
pdf download.....12.95 (C$)
Link emailed within 1 business day
Licensed for personal use only

Cheese Stakes explores the nineteenth century story of the Lanark County Mammoth Cheese in the context of its place in a long tradition of oversized cheeses, and examines the remarkable, never to be repeated, achievement it represented in the annals of the cheesemakers' art.

On April 25, 1893, the largest cheddar cheese ever manufactured anywhere in the world arrived on the grounds of the World's Columbian Exhibition at Jackson Park, Chicago, Illinois. Pressed seven months earlier in a Canadian Pacific Railway Company freight shed at Perth, Ontario, as it travelled the 720 miles (1,150 kilometers) to Chicago its massive 22,000 pounds (10,000 kilograms) weight snapped the railway car truss rods four times, its casing attracted a mass of graffiti and, as it was dragged into its exhibit space, the 'Canadian Mite' crashed through the floor of the Dairy Pavilion.

Lanark County's 'Mammoth Cheese' survived not only flat car mishaps and broken floor joists, but went on to stand, proud and unspoiled, through six months of unrefrigerated display under a glass roof, in temperatures reaching 95 degree Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), as well as assaults by penknife wielding "mischievous lads" seeking a taste. When the World's Fair ended, the giant cheese took to the rails again, travelling 855 miles (1,375 kilometers) to Montreal, Quebec, where it was loaded aboard ship and sailed another 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) to England. Still "sound and tasty", it was sold to one of Britain's most prominent cheesemongers, paraded through the streets of London, cut with a garden spade, and eaten by English consumers.

Cheese Stakes is an essential read for those with an interest in the agricultural roots of Ontario, cheesemaking history, and/or in the individuals who were amoung the cast of characters who played a role in the great adventure of the Lanark County Mammoth Cheese.

Contents include:
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Luni Cheese
  • Lafayette’s Cheese
  • King George’s Cheese
  • Massachusetts Cheese
  • Sandy Creek Cheese
  • Pennard Cheese
  • Ranney Cheeses
  • Douglas Cheese
  • Norwich Cheese
  • Ingersoll Cheese
  • The Great Gruyere
  • Jumbo Cheeses
  • Lanark County Cheese
  • Triumph in the Rail Shed
  • Pennsylvania Cheese
  • Golden Giant
  • Belle of Wisconsin O
  • regon Ghost Cheese
  • Le plus gros Fromage au Monde
  • Cheesy Poetry, Prose & Drama
  • Luni Cheese
  • An Epico-Lyrico Ballad
  • Ode to the Mammoth Cheese
  • Ode on the Mammoth Cheese
  • King of Cheese
  • Ode to the Cheese
  • Selected Sources
  • Illustrations
126 Pages
6 X 9"
Softcover or digital format (searchable pdf)
Published by Global Heritage Press, Carleton Place, 2017
978-1-77240-073-1 (pbk)

Local booksellers who stock this book (beginning May 2017):
  • Appleton/Almonte Ontario:
    • North Lanark Regional Museum (museum gift shop), 647 River Rd, Almonte [Appleton], ON. Phone:(613) 257-8503

  • Perth, Ontario
    • Book Nook (book store), 56 Gore St East, Perth, ON. Phone: (613) 267-2350
    • Inge-Va Museum (museum gift shop), 66 Craig St, Perth, ON. Phone:(613) 498-3003
    • Perth Museum/Matheson House (museum gift shop), 11 Gore St. East, Perth, ON. Phone: (613) 267-1947





About the author: Ron W. Shaw

A native of Perth, Ontario, Ron W. Shaw studied journalism at Algonquin College and worked for newspapers, radio and television in northern and western Ontario for a decade before a 35 year career with non-governmental relief and development organizations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Click for a list of Ron W. Shaw's books





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