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Markerville, Alberta, T0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1978/09/15

Markerville Creamery (July 2003); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2003
South and west elevations
Markerville Creamery (April 2006); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2006
South and west elevations
The Markerville Creamery (date unknown); Provincial Archives of Alberta, A.6044
South and west elevations

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1902/01/01 to 1902/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/01/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Markerville Creamery site features a 1902 creamery and a 1940 ice house. The creamery is a one and one half-storey wood frame building featuring a cedar-shingled gable roof with cross gable, two small ventilation cupolas, a prominent corbelled chimney, horizontal wood siding, and a covered verandah wrapping around two elevations. The ice house is a simple, one-storey building with a cedar-shingled gable roof and exposed rafter ends. The buildings are situated on a large single lot in the Hamlet of Markerville.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Markerville Creamery site lies in its association with the establishment and growth of the dairy industry in Alberta and in its excellent and rare example of early industrial architecture in Alberta.

In 1897, the Dominion government initiated a program to develop creameries throughout the North-West Territories. In response to the federal government's initiative, several settlers in the area west of Innisfail banded together in 1899 to form the Tindastoll Butter and Cheese Manufacturer's Association. This new co-operative association established one of the first creameries under the N.W.T. Dairy Board at Markerville, an Icelandic settlement named after C. P. Marker, dairy commissioner for both the North-West Territories and, later, the Province of Alberta. Marker appointed Danish immigrant and skilled cheesemaker Dan Morkeberg to oversee the new enterprise at Markerville. From 1899 until 1924, Morkeberg expertly managed the creamery to the great benefit of the community. Though bereft of a railway connection, Markerville prospered with the success of the creamery and was able to grow beyond its original potential and become both the focus of the provincial dairy industry and a supply centre for the area west of the Red Deer River. The creamery operated for more than seven decades before its closure in 1972.

The Markerville Creamery site includes the 1902 creamery building and an ice house constructed in 1940. The extant creamery was built to replace the original, smaller building erected in 1899. It is one of the few pre-First World War industrial structures still extant in Alberta. The building has been extensively restored to its 1932 appearance and features a cedar-shingled gable roof, two roof ridge ventilation cupolas and a prominent corbelled chimney, horizontal wood siding painted grey with red trim, and a veranda wrapping around two elevations. Some of the historic fabric of the interior has been maintained, as have machinery and artifacts from the creamery's years of operation. The ice house is a simple, rectangular construction featuring a cedar-shingled gable roof and exposed rafter ends.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 119)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Markerville Creamery include such features as:

- spatial relations between the creamery proper and ice house.

Creamery building:
- modest scale and simple form;
- cedar-shingled gable roof with cross gable;
- roof ridge ventilation cupolas with cedar-shingled pyramidal roofs topped with finials;
- two corbelled chimneys;
- grey painted exterior with red trim;
- covered wrap-around verandah with square columns on the south and west elevations;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- pattern and style of doors, including loading doors;
- original interior elements, including wood flooring, walls, and ceiling, mouldings, and grey and white paint scheme;
- original machinery, including pasteurizer and boiler (and brick housing);
- original artifacts, including tools.

Ice house:
- mass, form, and scale;
- cedar-shingled gable roof;
- exposed rafter ends;
- horizontal wood siding;
- grey exterior with white trim;
- interior board sheathing with sawdust insulation in wall cavity.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1940/01/01 to 1940/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 119)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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