In the early 1900's there were dairies all over Northampton, almost the way there were gas stations all over town in the 1960's. Our father, Russ Cooper, worked for Bridgman's Dairy in Florence while he attended Northampton High School in the 1930's. When he was 18, Dad recognized that combining these small neighborhood dairies would make running the businesses more efficient. With a loan from Smith Charities, he bought Bridgman's and began processing milk at the dairy at 126 North Main St. in Florence. He soon bought other small neighborhood dairies, which he consolidated into a modern facility on the corner of Main and Chestnut streets in Florence.
Dad picked up milk from Hampshire and Franklin county farms and pasteurized, homogenized, and bottled it at Cooper's Dairy. He then delivered it to homes, stores, schools, and other institutions throughout the two counties.
My mother recalls the dairy days of the early 1950's, when there was no market for low fat milk, so after the cream was skimmed from Read more »