Here is a fun collection of milk bottles and other artifacts from the heyday of independent farms and dairies in the Hopewell Valley in the mid 1900s.
These are from the collection of Robert Warznak, including some items from his grandparent’s dairy, Hillcrest Farm (or Hillcrest Dairy), on Pennington-Titusville Road.
They include bottles from the Hillcrest Dairy, Carkhuff Dairy, and E. F. Sheppard’s Dairy in Pennington; Hillside Farm Dairy in Hopewell; and Cromwell’s Dairy in Titusville.
This exhibit is sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, and is on display at the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library, 245 Pennington-Titusville Road in Pennington. (Look on the right side of the back open tables facing the High School athletic fields.)
Kenwood and Hillcrest Dairies, Pennington
This milk bottle and the bottle caps are from Pennington dairies in the early 1940s.
The bottles are pyroglazed (painted) bottles with “Kenwood Dairy / Pennington, N.J.” in the front, and with a scene of a family drinking milk at the dining table on the back (“Milk for All The Family”).
The bottle caps are for the Hillcrest Dairy (“Phone 98 J 3”), and were bottled by the Kenwood Dairy. Farmers from other local dairies would bring large milk cans to Kenwood to bottle the milk. The caps also are labeled by the day of the week.
The bottle is around 5 1/4 inches tall, and is a small 1/2 pint milk bottle, presumably mainly used in schools. Cream bottles were typically one pint and had a much wider opening.
Holcombe Milk Bottle caps – Early 1900s
These early 1900s milk bottle caps are from G. Newell Holcombe in Hopewell. The milk is identified as “Raw Milk / Produced by Tuberculin Tested Cows.” The caps are labeled by the day of the week.
Holcombe operated from what is now the Runyon property on West Broad Street near Greenwood Avenue, and also had a plumbing business these by the 1920s.
These caps are provided courtesy of Carol Kehoe of Hopewell Antiques.
In addition to these and other local bottling operations, the Hopewell Creamery (see earlier post) operated on Model Ave. in Hopewell Borough from c. 1887 to 1925, processing milk from local farmers for shipment to Philadelphia.
The Creamery originally used ice from the adjacent pond for cooling, but was upgraded with a cold storage and artificial refrigerating system around 1910, and then installed a pasteurizing plant in 1914.
Also locally, a creamery was opened in Wertsville in 1898, and a creamery operated in Pennington from 1898 through 1911.
- See also Hopewell Bottling Company / Michael Staiger (late 1800s)
There’s lots more to discover about Hopewell Valley dairies, so we welcome additional information and materials to share.