by Diane Norek Harrison
WOODBRIDGE-Back in March of 2012, I received an email from someone who was looking for an old Maple Hill Dairy milk bottle. In May 2013, I got a reply. Here are some memories from George Housman with why the bottle was so special to him:
“Diane, Hi, I’m Gail’s boyfriend and I wanted to email you and tell you how much I appreciate you getting us together with Lori.
“When Gail contacted you about a year ago regarding your article about Maple Hill Dairy in Woodbridge she was researching information about the farm because of stories I had told her about the times I spent there as a youth.
“My father was a milkman for Maple Hill for 38 years. I spent many summers as a young boy getting up early in the morning, loading his milk truck with cases of several different kinds of milk, cream and cottage cheese. Always topping the cases with big blocks of ice, no refrigerated trucks back then. Then we would chisel down the blocks with ice picks.
“In the afternoons when we would return for the day. I would spend time visiting the cows — they had approximately 100 cows on site — and checking out all the machinery in the buildings. One being the bottle washer where the bottles would travel along a conveyor belt to be scrubbed and cleaned for the next day’s filling.
“It was a very sad time for my family when the farm was sold in 1969 in order for the property to be used to build what was then the first giant indoor shopping mall in NJ. It was a couple years after the mall opened before I could actually bring myself to go to the place that took my father’s livelihood and my own personal summer camp.”
More next week!
If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at email@example.com or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201
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