Former resident recalls working for Louis Peterson

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The article on Louis Peterson [365 Facts about MM] brought back many interesting memories of my relationship with Louis and the people who worked for him.

Jack, Donny, Thorpe Kelly, Harry Walker, Archie Julian, Stan Rodgers,* I cannot remember the woman who ran the office.

I worked for Peterson’s through my high school years in the fifties after school and summers along with five or more students.

My brother Bob Hudson, Maggie Guthrie, Isabelle Guthrie, Joan and Theresa Hurley, and others. In those days we made Popsicles, ice cream bars, drumsticks, ice cream bricks, and ice cream in two and a half and five gallon containers. All the packaging was done by hand.

We made five flavours, vanilla, chocolate, cherry, Neapolitan and strawberry. Archie was the ice cream maker and I was his helper with the nickname of “Speed”.

In those days all the customers’ ice cream freezers were supplied by Peterson’s. Later many customers bought their own. It was quite a feat of strength to move these freezers spring and fall in and out of these locations.

We had two trucks on the road six days a week. There were customers throughout the Valley and Ottawa-Hull. There were three regional-type customers in Tweed, Fisk’s Bakery in Eganville, and Brockville Dairy. We had two Fargo panel trucks for collecting milk and cream from the local farmers, and sugar from Ottawa, and also making short-trip deliveries.

Peterson trucks circa 1930

The building had two freezer rooms with anterooms and three ice cream makers, and upstairs there were two ice cream mix vats. The bags of sugar were all moved manually upstairs to the vats. The work was hard and physical and it was a fun place to be. I was paid fifty cents per hour.

Louis was one of a kind, a man with a strong sense of service to community. He had a positive impact on my life, he was hard to work for but always fair.

We left Almonte in 1968. It has been great to connect with Almonte through the Millstone.

John Hudson
Cornwall, ON.


* EDITOR’S NOTE: A reader sends us this update:

I remember the staff listed, and believe Stan Rodgers, who John referred to, was actually my father George Rodger.

 As a very young child as a special treat, and maybe to give my Mom a free day, I would accompany my dad on his ice cream delivery route, I can recall how very welcome the customers made me feel at each stop.

My friends on Farm Street, would somehow be nearby when Dad dropped me off at the end of the day. 

They somehow knew there would be an ice cream bar or popsicle for everyone. A terrific childhood memory. 

Janet Deimel (Rodger)