To the Editor:
Regarding the article on Raven Foods I think the time mentioned is off. Raven was around from the late 1940's and just the age of the cars in the photo confirms that. The La Grande Observer on 22 Sept. 1956 noted the closing of Raven.
My parents (Ray and Azalee Hockett) milked about 15 head of Jersey cows on Prairie Creek and I distinctly remember a huge Swede driving the creamery truck around and picking up our milk cans mid-morning each day and I was about 6-8 years old so that would have been 1950-56 period. The big Swede was a jolly fellow who could lift 2 each 5 gallon cans up on the truck at the same time. As kids we would laughingly tease him and one time he picked up a 2 x 4 and smashed it to pieces on the barn ramp, then heartily laughed at our stunned faces. The Raven Creamery was run by a friendly fellow by the name of Bill Fletcher and it was fun to tour the plant and watch the whirling curds in the stainless steel tanks. Milking cows was standard in the pre-war period to make extra money and also it meant the County had dairy products available locally. No Safeway's back then. By the mid Fifties prosperity was back and farms sold their milk cows, which meant the creamery had a hard time sourcing milk and cream. I always think of the 50's as a golden era in the County.