The Peters group of companies was founded by American born Frederick Peters who, in 1907, saw an opening in the Australian market for ice-cream, which was not then commonly available. The company flourished and expanded into the production of other dairy products.1
In 1938 the directors of Peters Creameries Pty Ltd determined to build a factory in Taree and land was purchased from Christen Christensen.2 The building contract was let to Mr D Gallagher who had extensive experience in the construction of dairy factories.3
On Saturday 4 November 1939 the innovative, steam driven, factory was opened with much fanfare.4 It was located adjacent to an existing spur line off the main rail line and utilised a wharf on the bank of the Manning River.
The purchase of additional land enabled extensive expansion of the factory premises to take place in the 1940s and 1950s, with Mr A J Hayter being the contractor for much of the work.5 Attractive gardens were laid out and a swimming pool installed.6
Changing times and economic rationalisation policies led to the eventual closure of the factory in the late 1990s and to the break-up of the Peters companies.7
The factory premises now stand vandalised and for the most part empty, awaiting a rebirth.
Author: Penny Teerman
For contemporary photographs see www.lostcollective.com – Peters’ Ice Cream Factory
1 The Australian Handbook of 1887 (reproduced in The Jones Island Story compiled by Dallas Gill 1998)
2 Manning River Times Saturday 31 December 1904 Pg 4
3 The Northern Champion Wednesday 26 March 1924 Pg 4
4 The Northern Champion Wednesday 12 December 1923 Pg 2
5 The Jones Island Story compiled by Dallas Gill 1998