James McIntyre (1827-1906), an emigrant from Scotland, settled in Ontario in 1841. He founded a furniture factory and store in Ingersoll, Ontario, and used his skills at versifying to advertise his wares and to promote local agriculture, including cheese-making. He published two books of verse:
- Musings on the banks of Canadian Thames, including poems on local, Canadian and British subjects, and lines on the great poets of England, Ireland, Scotland and America, with a glance at the wars in Victoria's reign (Ingersoll: H. Rowland, at the Tribune Printing House, 1884). B-11 1857 Fisher Rare Book Library.
- Poems of James McIntyre (Ingersoll: Office of the Chronicle, 1889-91). D-10 4357 Fisher Rare Book Library
William Arthur Deacon raised Canadian consciousness on the very existence of McIntyre's pioneering work in his anthology, The Four Jameses (Ottawa, 1927; PS 8081 D4 Robarts Library). That Carole Gerson's anthology, Canadian Poetry From the Beginnings Through the First World War (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1994), includes McIntyre's "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese" suggests that the academic community has now accepted his work in the generous spirit in which it was intended by its eccentric author.
See also Oh! Queen of cheese: selections from James McIntyre, the cheese poet: with additional cheese pieces by Roy A. Abrahamson (Toronto: Cherry Tree Press, 1979); PURDY/M/70 University College.