York Town Square

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The York/Adams milkman returns: ‘We’re the only one doing it in a huge area’

This 1998 photo from the York Daily Record/Sunday News files shows Albert Garber’s dairy farm, lower left, next to Eddie Steider’s farm, in West Manchester Township. At right, homes and businesses occupy what were once cornfields. That’s Taxville Road cutting through both areas. York/Adams’ dairy industries have changed greatly over the years. But now one part of them is changing back – home milk deliveries. Background posts: Baltimore screamed for York County ice cream and Pinch Gut or Arbor or Adamsville is in Red Lion or Dallastown or, uh, actually York Township and Perrydale’s bovine: ‘She’s a wonderful, laid-back cow’.

York County’s last milkman may have made his final delivery in 1994. That is believed to have been John Schwartz, who retired from Rutter’s Dairy.
Now comes a Hanover Evening Sun (4/15/09) story that tells of the East Berlin-based Apple Valley Creamery’s venture into delivering to homes in parts of Adams, York and Cumberland counties.
Apple Valley’s owners looked at the home delivery business from a historical perspective.
According to the Evening Sun:

One of York County’s best-known dairy operators, Red Lion’s Earl Warner, is shown at a water pump as a boy. Warner, who would have been 100 in 2006, died six years earlier. Background posts: Milkman’s relics humming around today and Forry Laucks, Lauxmont sparked debates.

First, they realized, the cultural change that put both parents in the workplace meant that often no one was home to receive the milk deliveries. Apple Valley Creamery’s solution: Refrigerated trucks and ice packs that will keep the milk cold until someone comes home.
Second, the rise of convenience and grocery stores made it nearly impossible for the old business model of home delivery to work. Their solution: Make home-delivered milk of such a high quality that customers won’t want to go back to the grocery store.
And finally, operate in an area where no one else is trying to rejuvenate the milk man.
“We’re the only one doing it in a huge area,” (Don) Everett said.

Their business delivers milk and other food staples to 100 private customers and about 15 commercial customers.
It’s a clear case of using history to inform a present-day decision. And then the milkman’s return meant history repeated itself.
More information:
What: Apple Valley Creamery.
When: Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Where: 541 Germany Road, East Berlin
Online: www.applevalleycreamery.com
For another view of the changing countryside in the region, click here.

Other York County views from on the air:
Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging photograph
Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging Sears photograph, Part II
Just try to resist this memory-tugging photo of North York’s White Oak Park
Just try to resist this memory-tugging aerial photograph of York Whitehull Airport and York Valley Inn and Playland and …
So, can you find long-gone Springwood Park in this aerial photograph?
Camp Security area of Springettsbury Township from the air
Columbia-Wrightsville Susquehanna River bridges from the air.
Just try to resist this memory-tugging photograph of northwest York, Pa.
Just try to resist this memory-tugging aerial photograph of York’s Roosevelt Avenue Airport.
Memorial Stadium, now Bob Hoffman Stadium, built to keep professional baseball in York.