Smithville Historical Society to Present Program on Milk Bottles

“Milk Bottles,” a lecture program created by Susan McFadden on the dairies of Wayne County, Ohio and farm-bottled milk industry, will be presented on May 1, 2017 at the meeting of the Smithville Community Historical Society at 7 PM in the historic Church of God on Milton Street. A business meeting will be held prior to the program with information on the upcoming Open House. Furthermore, a progress report on the Downey Pioneer Reception Center will be given.

During the early to mid-1900s there were well over 100 dairy farms in Wayne County and to keep the money generated from the dairy products, many farmers chose to bottle their own milk. These farmers would then take their bottled milk product to town and sell it on specified routes they had created. Many of these farms operated by this method until World War II broke out when sales and shipping methods changed due to the War.

These farm based milk producers designed labeled bottles depicting their farm and sometimes noting the breed of cattle that they milked. The program will feature the history of dairy farms and milk bottles produced in Green Township and the surrounding area. Some of the familiar farms in the township were; Charles Hartzler Dairy, Myrtle Dairy Farm (W.J. Ramseyer), Andualusia Dairy and A. C. Ramseyer Dairy. We are fortunate to have one of the remaining family owned “cow to customer” milk producing families, the Hartzler Family, in our area. Many of the local milk bottles have become treasured collectibles for many local people and now bring several hundreds of dollars at auctions. Please come and learn more of the story behind our local “Milk Bottles.”

The program Hostesses for the evening will be Barb Mast and Ruth Chambers.

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