The Milk Business In Gaylordsville

by Alan Dodd

A few years ago dairy farming was the main industry in Gaylordsville. Now there are no farms left. Before the Creamery was built, most farms made butter and sold it. There was an engineer on the railroad who doubled as a butter salesman. Farmers would bring their butter to the station and he would take it on the locomotive to Danbury where he sold it.

For a short time before the Creamery, the forty-quart cans of milk were put on a freight car and taken to the cities. The cans were taken from the cars in wagons and the milk delivered to the customers. The milk was dipped from the cans into the customers' pails. There were no sanitation laws.

At one time Sanford, one of the flynn sons, moved to Brooklyn, where he would take Flynn milk off off the train and sell it around the neighborhood. When the Creamery was built in 1890, the milk business boomed. Every farm, large or small, sold milk to the Creamery. The milk was delivered in 40-quart milk cans of the type that people now use for ornaments. Production would run from one can per farm to twelve for the bigger farms. Our farm sent five to six cans.

We were three miles from the Creamery and as a small boy I would often ride the milk wagon as an outing. At times there would be a line of wagons waiting their turn to unload. The milk was pasteurized and put in milk cans ready to ship. Every town along the railroad had a Creamery with a siding.

In the afternoon the "can" train came through, backed into the sidings and left carloads of empty cans. The next morning the "milk" train came through and picked up the full cans, taking milk to the city where it was bottled and delivered the next morning.

With the rather poor handling of time, milk had to be delivered every day as it would not keep long.

With today's modern cooling and handling, most milk is sold in stores and keeps a long time...a better product, but not as interesting as the old way.


©1998 Alan Dodd