Most readers are familiar with the Riverside Dairy but probably not so familiar with Alice Van Sickle. Alice was a popular and well known writer for the county news papers in the 1920’s. She earned state wide respect for her writing.

I found this piece she wrote in 1921 describing a visit she made to the Riverside Dairy here in Cardington I found it informative and written in such a way that I could envision the dairy barn and its milk producing cows.

Quoting Alice: “We who patronize and drink milk and cream from the Riverside Dairy at Cardington, often wonder how it is all done, what is going on at the busy place.This writer spent a pleasant hour there last week and found many pleasant surprises. Ushered into an immense barn where there were stanchions for 38 cows and such splendid dairy stock well cared for and happy, if you can use that expression in speaking of a good natured cow. It was clean and ventilated, lighted by electricity and leading out of it was what we might term a covered barnyard all bedded down with windows for light and air.”

“It is larger than some barn yards we have seen. They milk by electric machinery and if you want to feel the wonderful suction power, thrust your hands into the entrance of a tube and find out how that milk comes down into the big can. Contentment reigns here with some of the finest stock we have ever looked at. Then came the cooling of the milk and bottling. The milk is cooled and bottled and placed in an immense refrigerator. When the milk is in the refrigerator is where the interesting part comes in for here is where we get our whipping and coffee cream the latter of high grade.”

“The left over milk in the separator goes to the hogs, the dairy possessing a big drove to Jersey Reds. The blue label is for night’s milk and the red for morning’s milk. There will be no mud there no matter how it rains for you find cement everywhere. The big feed barn is surely filled with alfalfa, clover and other feeds the cows relish. When you recall that they 250 acres of land to till, a 200 barrel cistern connected with the washing and bottling room and that the big barn is scrubbed scrupulously clean that carriers for refuse are in perfect operation you are assured that Riverside is all you would wish it to be. Paul and Donald Maxwell and Mrs. Paul Maxwell do the most of the work believing that with electricity to assist them that fewer handles ensure more perfect cleanliness.”

News from the past: 70 years ago, November, 1952 In the first basketball game played in the Cardington High School’s new gym Marengo beat Cardington 36-35.


By Evelyn Long