Clemson Blue Cheese is almost as famous as the University itself. Beginning production in 1941, the Clemson Blue Cheese has always been hand-crafted by students and faculty alike. Originally, the cheese was made on campus and taken to Stumphouse Mountain for curing. There, it was stored for 120 days to create the great blue vein – a characteristic of Blue Cheese. At any given time, there were about 2500 pounds of cheese curing at Stumphouse. The curing of Blue Cheese in Stumphouse ended in 1956, with the construction of Newman Hall on campus. The end of the tunnel still contains the gates that were used to separate the cheese “curing” area, although they are now inaccessible. The hot temperatures of a Carolina summer were not ideal for the making of the cheese, which led to the halt of production each summer as the temperatures rose. This resulted in the college deciding to mimic the atmosphere of the tunnel by building temperature controlled curing rooms right on campus. Once completed, cheese production moved entirely into Newman Hall in 1956 and Stumphouse Mountain was left behind. Today, the students and faculty in Newman Hall continue to oversee the entire line of production, including preparing the cheese for sale and delivery. There are several places on campus to purchase the cheese, specifically inside of the Hendrix Student Center. The cheese can also be purchased via mail order through their website. While most wouldn’t think to cure cheese inside an old forgotten train tunnel, Clemson Blue Cheese would not be nearly as wonderful without it. Many things were learned from their time at the tunnel and that was in turn used to create the production facility on campus. Without this rich local history fueling production, Clemson Blue Cheese would not be what it is today.
Photos courtesy of Clemson Blue Cheese
720 McMillan Rd
Clemson, SC 29631
Phone: (864) 656-3663