Snowmass history: Bringing in butter from Brush Creek |

Snowmass history: Bringing in butter from Brush Creek

Marie Hoaglund and her daughter, Rose Hoaglund, at the Hoaglund Ranch on Brush Creek circa 1915.
Aspen Historical Society

The following excerpt by Anne M. Gilbert, “Rural people with connections; Farm and Ranch families in the Roaring Fork Valley,” was published in 1992.

“Ranch women spent most of their days growing, raising, storing, and cooking food; usually taking charge of dairying, caring for large gardens during the summer months, and often raising chickens for eggs as well as baby chicks for meals. Roaring Fork Valley women became economic players in markets that stretched beyond Woody Creek, Snowmass, or Aspen; their markets included Glenwood Springs and even Denver. These larger markets operated on a cash basis rather than barter, so their farm raised produce could also bring in a steady trickle of cash. Hildur Anderson’s mother, Marie Hoaglund, sold butter and eggs to regular customers in Aspen, bringing between 40 and 50 pounds of butter to town from Brush Creek every Saturday. Her customers paid in cash either weekly or by the month, 35 cents to 70 cents per pound. Mrs. Hoaglund operated her business — with the help of her children — in addition to her regular housekeeping jobs on the farm. The scale and cash basis of her enterprise made Mrs. Hoaglund different from other local farm wives. While she entered the Aspen cash economy by making butter, most other farm wives in the Roaring Fork Valley kept the butter they made and sold their cream to businesses in Glenwood Springs and beyond. In 1925 Pitkin County women produced 45,564 pounds of cream and butterfat for sale; their dairy production peaked in 1930, selling 69,649 pounds.”

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