This unique flatcar had tanks added to transport milk and cream from the Van Camp Condensory in Casco, Wis. to the Van Camp plant in Sturgeon Bay.
Green Bay & Western flatcar #141 was dedicated to intraline shipment on
the railroad's Sturgeon Bay division between two Van Camp milk
plants. The car is shown on track 2 at the Van Camp (later Evangeline Milk) plant in Sawyer.
Before the mid-1940s, the Van Camp plant in Casco was simply a milk
receiving station. The milk was gathered from local farmers, and then
loaded onto those uncovered milk flat cars for the trip up to the Van Camp milk
condensary in Sawyer -- this was in the days before Van Camp had a large fleet
of trucks for making milk pick-ups throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties. Rail
was the fastest way to ship that much milk between Casco and Sturgeon Bay,
especially in winter when snowy weather made the roads impassable.
After the trucks were introduced (and Evangeline took over both plants in
1937), the Casco plant went from milk receiving to cheese production, but really
didn't start producing in great quantities until a major plant expansion in
1949. By the time the 1940s came around there was a truck line, operating
between Casco and Sawyer for Evangeline/Casco Cheese, transporting milk between
the two plants. It seems that Casco used more milk than their farmers could
provide and the raw material was trucked down from the Sawyer plant.