Amherst Farms and Their Milk Bottles
John Bowe has a great interest in milk bottles. Digital Amherst invited him to share a little history of several Amherst dairy farms and pictures of the milk bottles used by these dairies.
Milk Bottles of Amherst
R. C. Adams farmed at 959 North Pleasant Street from about 1940 to1960. His herd consisted of Jersey cows. Because of the milk bottles, we know that Mr. Adams had a milk route, but little else is known about him. We do know that he had milk license number 1, as is shown on his bottle. More research about this farm is necessary.
Forest Farms Dairy, located off Harkness Road, was operated by Mr. Arnold C. Foote. The dairy operated from 1949 to 1959. It is interesting to note that ads in the street listings refer to Foote Dairy with no mention of Forest Farms Dairy. It is known that Mr. Foote summer pastured his heifers on Elwell Island just upstream from the Coolidge Bridge in Northampton. The access to the island was behind what is now Dostal’s Funeral Home on Damon Road.
G. D. Jones graduated from Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1903. In the street directories, he is listed as a farmer in 1932 and as a dealer in lumber in 1940. His wife, Sarah Cowls Jones, continued her interest in the herd of Ayrshires. The farm produced and sold milk in bulk into the early 1960s. There is an interesting note on the pasturing of the herd. The pasture existed on both sides of old Route 116, and a tunnel provided access to both sides of the highway.
J. Roland Hebert operated his farm from 1939 to 1972. The farm was located at 753 West Street (Route 116). Between 1957 and 1960, the farm name was changed to Hebert Dairy Service. Again, the bottles lead us to assume that a milk route existed but little is known about the route.
Kentfield’s farm was located at 80 Mt. Warner Road in Hadley. The farm was started in 1842 and ran a retail operation from 1932 to1960. In 1932, there were 26 milk dealers in Amherst. The Kentfield children contracted undulant fever in 1932, and it was this incident that brought about the move to pasteurization, bottling, and retail operations. James took over running the farm in 1941, because most of the help had gone off to war. Although the farm was in Hadley, the bottles say Amherst. The earlier embossed bottles are labeled "Kentfield Farm," but the later square pyro bottles say "Kentfield's."
Enos J. Montague, owner of Dreammont Farms, operated his farm at 865 North Pleasant Street. His farm was situated where Marks Meadow School is now located. The farm went out of business with a dispersal sale of the Guernsey herd on December 1, 1944. I am not sure of when Mr. Montague started the dairy, but the pyroglazed bottle tells us that it was the late 1930s. The Jones Library Special Collections has an excellent copy of the farm dispersal sale brochure.
"UMass" was chartered as a Land Grant college. The first name was Massachusetts Agricultural College (1892 -1931) then Massachusetts State College (1931-1947) and finally University of Massachusetts. The campus farm supplied all the milk, cream, butter and ice cream for the student body. All of this processing took place in the Flint Laboratory building and was a part of the agricultural curriculum. I am unsure as to when the University stopped this service.
The research on Wentworth Farms is incomplete at this time. Please, if you have any information about the farm do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.