City in a jam over missing information


Employees of the McKim's Jam Factory in the 1950s.
Picture: City of Gosnells Museum collection
Employees of the McKim's Jam Factory in the 1950s. Picture: City of Gosnells Museum collection

The factory opened in the early 1920s but closed in 1958 due to the increase in competition.

An important manufacturing business in local history, the City of Gosnells is seeking information from the community to add to the history it has on McKim’s Citrus Peel and Jam Factory.

Mayor Olwen Searle said the City was hoping to speak to descendants of George McKim, past employees and customers who could share their stories about the factory.

In the early 1920s, McKim’s Citrus Peel and Jam Factory was started by Scottish settler George McKim.

The backyard business manufactured candied lemon peel out of a tin shed on Mr McKim’s orchard property in Lissiman Street. With many citrus orchards in the surrounding area, the location of his business was ideal.

Business thrived in the 1930s and McKim’s expanded into jams, providing a valuable market for orchardists in a difficult time to sell fruit.

As the output increased, McKim’s became a source of employment for many locals and by 1930 employed 20 full-time workers as well as seasonal part-time employees.

To cater for the expansion, a new warehouse was built on the property with extensive canning equipment.

McKim’s products were sold both locally and exported to England under the Orchard brand, but despite high demand in the post-World War II years, the early 1950s saw increasing competition from cheaper products being produced in the eastern states.

Cr Searle said even the smallest piece of information would still be important for the City’s Heritage services.

“Our city is rich in history and there must be residents who are in possession of photos, bottle labels and advertising material – amongst other things – that would add to piecing together the history of McKim’s Factory and the McKim family in Gosnells,” Cr Searle said.

For those who have any information about McKim’s Citrus Peel and Jam Factory or the McKim family, the city can be contacted by calling 9490 1575.