Adapted from F. Ross Peterson, A History of Cache Valley. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1997; “Spotlight: Amalga, Utah,” Joel E. Ricks, “The Settlement of Cache Valley” (1956). Joel Ricks Collection. Paper 1.
Amalga, in the northern part of Utah’s stretch of Cache Valley, was settled later than much of Cache Valley. It is in the stretch of Cache Valley that was known as the “Big Range.” The area was grassy, and contained several springs, which made it ideal for raising cattle, but a difficult place to settle. Although there were some squatters in the area in the late 1860s, settlement in the area did not really begin until the 1880s.
At the turn of the century, sugar beets began to become the cash crop of Cache Valley, and Amalga, like several other Cache Valley towns, boasted a sugar beet refinery. In fact, Amalga gets its name from the company that monopolized sugar beet processing at the time, the Amalgamated Sugar Company. The beet boom was short-lived, and Amalga’s refinery was closed by 1919.
With the increase of milk prices during World War II, the Cache Valley Dairy Association repurposed the Amalga refinery as a cheese processing plant, under the management of Edwin C. Gossner, an immigrant from Switzerland with some cheese making know-how. Gossner’s swiss cheese made Cache Valley’s dairy production famous. Gossner started a competing plant in Logan, having had a falling out with the cooperative board of the Amalga plant.
Today, most of Amalga’s homes lay along 2400 West. It still hosts Schreiber’s Cheese plant, and hosts a population of about 500.