Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dairymens New Plant on Abbe Road Opens – Sept. 29, 1956

Here's an ad for an Open House at the brand new Dairymens facility that was located on Abbe Road near the railroad tracks between E. Lake Road and Colorado Avenue. The ad appeared in the Lorain Journal on September 29, 1956 – 58 years ago today.

I wonder what the refreshments were at that 1956 Open House? I have a hunch that it wasn't punch – and that chilled glasses of delicious, farm-fresh milk were served instead.

I've written about Dairymens on this blog before, including here.

What I didn't know until recently was that Dairymens had bought out Mackert's Dairy on Abbe Road in Sheffield Village in 1954. Dairymens operated it as a substation, and eventually constructed the new, modern plant (mentioned in the grand opening ad) just north of the Mackert's Dairy cow barn.

You can download a terrific 2009 article from The Village Pioneer that provides the entire history of Sheffield's Dairy Industry by clicking here.  (Actually it's the whole issue.) As with all of his research topics, Sheffield Village Historical Society Director Charles "Eddie" Herdendorf has done the incredible work of digging up the complete story, and then compiling a fascinating narrative, complete with vintage photos and interviews with the people involved.

Whatever happened to the Dairymens plant? According to the Village Pioneer article, Dairymens closed their Sheffield operations in 1969. And Sandy (my source for Sheffield Lake local history) reminded me that the abandoned dairy complex at 1181 Abbe Road later became the home of Patrick Electric and the storefront for Village Lighting.

You can see the Dairymens plant's "footprint" on this current Bing Maps aerial below. The facility was located just south of the railroad tracks on the east side of Abbe Road. Some of the former Mackert Dairy buildings can be seen immediately south of it.


JIM said...

I found this very interesting. Of all the time I spent in the area watching trains I never knew Dairymen's had an operation there. We had Dairymen's delivered to the house and I always thought their plant was in Elyria. It does seem odd to have closed the Sheffield plant after only 15 years of operation.

Rebecca Flaherty said...

I noticed a morning glory vine growing on a chain link fence this morning, and it made me nostalgic for the building I used to play around as a child. I googled "Abbe Road Dairy", and lo and behold, I found your blog! My dad was Tom Patrick, and he bought this building when I was about 2 years old. I grew up playing on the docks, and learned how to ride my bike in the parking lot. Unfortunately, the State of Ohio demolished the building in July 1994 to build the current overpass, so I have to turn to photos to help me remember. This newspaper ad is so cool! My mom always told me that the building used to be a dairy facility, and it's neat to see this bit of history.

Dan Brady said...

Hi Rebecca!
Thanks so much for posting your comment--I really appreciate it. It made my day! And thanks also for explaining as to why the building is no longer there!