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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



david k petersen

Tribute to the Milkman History Column Dave Petersen Back in 1957 Margaret McKee wrote a letter to the Park Dairy about the service she had received as a delivery customer on the milk route, she was 90 years old at the time. "have sold my home and moved out and would like to pay tribute to the fine delivery service given me the past years. I do not know the driver's name nor did I ever have any conversation with him, but I do know he was always on the dot, prompt, efficient, accurate and courteous. Such qualities as these cannot fail to bring success to any line of work. "I have been in the business world for many years and know how rare it is to find employees to take an interest in the work they do. "I pass on this information to you that you may know what is going on behind you. I would greatly appreciate anything you could do for his advancement. This man is on the South Summit, Us 31 and Bass Lake Route. "I am nearly blind and 90 years old." The milkman she was referring to in this letter was Stanley "Earle" Taylor. I recall the days as a youngster here in Ludington as well when we had our milkbox out by the back door and we had our milk and eggs delivered, we would leave a note, and an envelope with the payment for milk out in the box and like magic the next morning there it was. We must have been an early stop on the route because I only recall seeing our milkman a couple times, but like clockwork we had our fresh milk in the box every other day. Earle Taylor returned to Ludington from service in WWII after building airstrips in the Philipines and Australia. In 1946 he married Elizabeth Mary Van Loon. He started his route for Miller's Park Dairy back in August of 1947 and believe it or not even at that late date the milk was delivered in a horse drawn wagon. He delivered milk for 31 years, having worked for the Park Dairy, then Farr View and McDonald's Dairy finally retiring from the route in 1978 just a short time before home deliveries were discontinued completely. His daughter Janice provided the photos used in today's column and she recalls those days as an 8 year old when she went on the route with her father. "When we made the deliveries I remember meeting all the older ladies, they would give me cookies and candy and come out and talk, it was a lot of fun." It certainly is a step back in time to remember home delivery of Milk, butter and eggs, the clip clop of the horses hooves on the pavement, the jingling of the bottles in those metal carry racks, popping off the top, for us it was peeling back the aluminum cover to get that cold fresh milk. Some of you may remember going down to Farr View Dairy and getting the left over rolls that the tops were cut out of. We took those, cut them apart and rolled them up to make colorful Christmas Ornaments. Dairy collectibles also have the potential to be valuable, locally one of the most valuable dairy bottle is the one with the carferry on the front, that particular bottle could bring several hundred dollars and more depending on size and color. If you have information, stories or pictures of local dairy's that you would like to share with our readers please feel free to call 757-3240 or email at davep@blackcreekpress.com Pic #1 a couple young boys eye Earle Taylor's wagon on 6th Street in Ludington's 4th Ward #2 Miller's Park Dairy circa 1955 with the Delivery Crew out front #3 Miller's Park Dairy Truck with Earle Taylor stepping out to make a delivery #4 Farr View Dairy Truck, the Dairy was located where the old bus garage was and our Marina is. #5 McDonald's Dairy Truck

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