Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, July 21, 2013, pg. 12

I hope everyone is having a great summer. If your Albion High School class is having a reunion, how about having copies of my books "Growing Up in Albion" and "Albion in Review" available? There are lots of nostalgic memories in them which I'm sure your out-of-town classmates especially would enjoy. Please contact me at 517-629-5402 to make arrangements.

In our August 5, 2012 edition of this column we featured the 1935 visit of J. C. Penney to Albion, and his interest in the Haven Hills Dairy. The Haven Hills Dairy was begun in 1925 by George E. Dean upon the old William Hartung farmland he had purchased in November, 1924, and was expanded to 450 acres. It was located across from Victory Park. George, of course, was the president of Union Steel Products, but died in 1932. His wife Belle continued the dairy business following his death.

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, several barns and structures were erected to accommodate the expanding business. In May, 1935 a Dairy 10th anniversary "barn warming" was held in the new barn, in which 450 guests attended. It was the social event of the year. Manager of the Dairy during the Depression years was Glenn Fox, who arrived in 1929. During World War II, employee herdsman Wallace Anderson took over the management of the operations in 1944, and ran it until the Dairy closed at the end of 1961.

Haven Hills was known for its Guernsey cows, and unpasteurized Guernsey milk was produced, bottled, and delivered locally. The Dairy won numerous awards for their herd, which consisted of around 175 cattle. One champion cow named Garcia was shown at the New York World's Fair for six months in 1939, and was first place in milk production there among 150 other cows.

Many Albion residents still have milk bottles which state "Haven Hills Farm, Mrs. Geo. E. Dean, Pure Guernsey Milk" on them. There were around 400 customers on the milk route. The Dairy also produced butter, cream, and some specialty milks. Health regulations required pasteurization of milk. Operations were eventually switched to Holstein cattle, and the milk was sold to other dairies.

With the death of Belle Dean in 1961, Haven Hills Dairy was closed the same year. The retail milk delivery routes of the Haven Hills Dairy were purchased in July 1961 by Joseph Leik, who operated the local Sealtest milk franchise. The dairy herd was subsequently sold at auction. During the remainder of the 1960s, the farm raised cattle for sale to other dairies, under the management of Wallace Anderson.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph courtesy of Chris Chopper, showing cows on the Dairy farm. How many of our readers remember Haven Hills Dairy?

Two Haven Hills Dairy Cows


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