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Millinocket Dairies, Part 2

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

Millinocket Dairies Part 2:

Boddy’s Dairy on Lincoln Street was owned by William and Mary Boddy. William traded his job as an electrician in the mill with Joe Nichols for the dairy in 1916. William Boddy died in 1922 and his wife Mary (a widow with six young children) continued with the dairy until 1957 when the local dairies merged to become Sno-Land Dairy. At first, Boddy’s Dairy had some dairy cattle to produce the milk and cream they delivered to customer’s homes. Later, Boddy’s supply, as with the other local dairies, came in from Aroostook County by train. The large, heavy cans were taken from the train cars and loaded onto wagons and hauled to the dairy to be bottled and then delivered to customers. Photos show Boddy’s summer delivery wagon was pulled by one white horse. The side of the wagon says W. J. Boddy, Milk and Cream. The winter delivery method was an open large sled pulled by a black horse. Photos are dated as 1920’s.

The Laverty book mentions milk routes under the names Clowes, Gauvin, Jones, Reed, Keeley, Boddy, Mulroney and Rush. She writes: “Gerald Rush acquired the Bert Rush farm business and persuaded Jerry Mulroney to join him in buying out the Jones and Boddy businesses to form Sno-land Dairy” in the 1950’s. As time passed, all local farms disappeared and milk routes became a thing of the past.

The museum has quart glass milk bottles from B. F. Rush, Keeley, Boddy, Mulroney and Sno-land as well as pint, ½ pint and gill bottles from some of them. Three of the paper bottle caps survive… one from Rush with wording B. F. Rush MILK Phone 257 Tuberculin Tested Herd, one W. J. Boddy Pure Milk & Cream and one from Jones stating Jones Special Baby Milk TB Tested. In later years, bottles started to include the words pasteurized and homogenized.

Two bottles displayed at the museum rest in a two-quart wire milk carrier. Two paper ½ pint milk cartons survive from Mulroney’s Dairy. Also from Mulroney’s is quart bottle with a metal flip-top cap. These were sometimes used when milk was delivered when winter temperatures were below freezing. The milk, left on the doorstep would freeze and a bit would expand and push up out of the bottle. When taken into the house, the milk would thaw and be used! A large thermometer advertising Sno-Land Dairy is on display and two wooden milk bottle crates were recently donated.

The museum has a delivery list from B. F. Rush dairy in the 1930’s. By street, beginning at Bates St. (closest to the dairy), it takes you on a trip around town in the order the milk was delivered.

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