Friday, 3 February 2017

Bellows Falls Co-Operative Creamery

An overhead view of the Co-Operative creamery. Not sure of the date, but it looks like the Brookside sign is still there. This was a really large complex at one point. Don't seem to see any tracks.
The Bellows Falls Co-operative Creamery was a big operation shipping 5-10 cars a day. Records indicate 1498 cars shipped in 1956. Milk was processed and bottled in Bellows Falls before shipping in racked, wooden and metal cases. The milk was shipped Monday to Friday to First National Stores in Somerville, Mass. There was more than 200 farmers involved with supplying milk to Bellows Falls. In the late 1950's the milk containers changed from glass to paper waxed cartons creating considerable problems with leaks. The last full year of operations (1963) the creamery shipped 1,593,336 cases of milk in 1857 milk cars. The Finast contract was awarded to Whiting in July 1964 ending production at the plant by 1965. The Whiting shipments went to truck at that time.

The creamery beginning was a two-story wood structure built by the Boston Dairy Company c. 1906. Another portion of the creamery complex was built around 1918 by the Liberty Paper Company. These two structures were acquired by the Bellows Falls Co-operative Creamery in 1921. In 1932 the creamery got a rebuild which included replacing the  original 1906 building. The larger modern structure we see today is only a portion of what it once was.

I have not seen many photos of the creamery in use from my era the 1950's. These are a few views that I have found of what once was...George Dutka

This photo shows the co-operative in the 1952 Manning's Bellows Falls Directory. This photo shows a huge stack which I have not seen in any other photos of Bellows Falls. The Rutland Ry. yard would be in behind the building.
A Brookside truck is at the milk loading platform in Woodstock, Vermont on a winters day. Not sure what colour these trucks were..anyone know?
Here we have a early era view when the structure was small. If you have seen the ex-creamery now you will remember this wooded braced section. At one time it held up two more stories of blocks. The loading platform was located underneath. Today the platform is filled in and the top stories are gone...wonder if the wooden beams did not hold it up well.

How the area of the structure seen above looks today.
Signs on the structure at that time.

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