History of Scenic Valley Winery

The above picture is of the Lanesboro Creamery – the building that now houses Scenic Valley Winery. The earliest creamery in Lanesboro was located in the flat, near the north bridge exiting town, little is known of it. In 1922 a C. C. Mattson operated a creamery in the SW quadrant of the Parkway-Elmhurst intersection; making butter and ice cream.

In 1924 a group led by Jack Scanlan, Charles Horihan and Elmer Bakke organized a co-operative, and a building was constructed where the winery is now. The first annual meeting of the Lanesboro Co-operative Creamery was held January 29,1925 at the Lanesboro Theatre.

Local banks gave away a valuable “full blooded dairy bull”, the winner having to be present and own one or more cows. The meeting was well attended, and featured F. L. Farley, a prominent Spring Grove dairyman as speaker. At the 1927 annual meeting patrons reported receiving an improved price for butterfat, and the enterprise was judged a success. In 1927 356,722 lbs. of butter were sold at an average price of 43 1/2 cents/lb.

The average butterfat content of incoming cream was 27%. The position of butter maker was a professional job. The Lanesboro Co-operative Creamery was successful for many years and was an essential and very significant part of the community.

However, in the 1960’s and 1970’s a combination of changes including mandatory bulk milk coolers, altered diet preferences and economies of scale favoring larger and more concentrated dairy units resulted in declining business. In 1970 the Co-operative was sold to Land O’ Lakes. Ed Gatzlaff helped “phase out” until the creamery ceased to exist as such in 1973.