Acquisition No.: 2020-33
Title: Photograph; Re- Bonneauville Creamery, 1920.
Item History:

From the days of my childhood in the early 1950’s I had often heard that my great grandfather on my mother’s side, ran a creamery or milk depot at the intersection of the BonOx Road (Bonneauville and New Oxford road) and the Hanover Road, in Bonneauville. The Myers home and place of business were located directly across the street from St. Joseph’s Church in Bonneauville. The current address is 15E. Hanover Street. His name was L. Cletus “Cleetie” Myers.

Although I have searched thousands of pieces of paper ephemera related to the town, and interviewed dozens of the town’s elderly citizenry, I have never been able to learn more about the business of, nor the person; L. Cletus Myers.

On October 13, 2020 the Gettysburg Times arrived early in the morning. In the “Hundred Years Ago” section of the paper was an article first printed on Oct. 13, 1920. What a quite interesting surprise. The article in its entirety follows:

“Although his body was squeezed into an incredibly small space during an automobile accident, L. C. Myers, one of the most prominent citizens of Bonneauville, is still living and expected to recover from his injuries. Myers, a man of heavy stature, is exceptionally well known throughout this section of the state as he is an extensive farm owner and manager of the Hanover Creamery plant at Bonneauville. During the recent unsuccessful campaign for the passage of a good road bond issue, Myers represented the Bonneauville section and was a consistent attendant at all meetings in Gettysburg and other parts of the country. Myers gave his steering wheel a sharp turn after exiting a gas station. His steering gear evidently locked because the Ford whirled around to the right and tore through a rail fence. The top rail of the fence pinned Myers against the seat with such tremendous force that the front wheels of the machine were lifted clear off the ground and continued to spin until Fabian Staub, Leo Golden and John Weaver, who were working on a building across the street, ran to the assistance of the helpless man.“

The Hanover Creamery Plant site in Bonneauville appeared quite different then, than it does today. The large house with wrap-round porch remains visually quite similar to what it did in the mid-20th Century. Albeit the structure has since been divided into apartments.

When the creamery was in business a well-used, unpaved public alleyway ran behind the house and exited onto the Gettysburg road at Noel’s (now Weaver’s) store. Another unpaved road way bisected the property near the east end. Both were used to collect and have delivered, milk from surrounding farms.

Several structures would have existed to keep the milk cool enough to prevent spoilage. At the time a large below-ground concrete cistern of about fifteen by thirty feet collected roof runoff rain water from surrounding structures. The below ground fifty to sixty degree water temperatures helped to prevent both spoilage and freezing year-round, until the end product could be delivered to Hanover.

Hanover Creamery Plant at Bonneauville was affiliated with Mr. Myers’s business. Coincidentally, available on E-bay the same day that the above newspaper article was reprinted, was an original photograph. The photograph was a product of “Swords Brothers” of Hanover, PA. A photograph of the parent company of Mr. Myers’ enterprise complete with large smoke stack and water tower. In the foreground is an abundance of employees, drivers and their vehicles that kept the huge business ticking. Purportedly the photo was multiple copied by Swords Brothers and ultimately handed out to managers, workers and others, in appreciation for good work.

“The Hanover Creamery was located between Poplar and Pine Streets in Hanover, to the rear of High Street, from 1881 to 1927. . . In March of 1882 a group of farmers. . . acquired the operation and incorporated. . . The company dissolved in 1927 after which it became the Fairfield Western Maryland Dairy.”

“The plant had a capacity of 1,000 pounds of butter a day.” In 1910 the plant “claimed to ship its product as far away as Buffalo, New York and Norfolk, Virginia. The company had an eleven ton ice machine and sold excess ice to the community.”

In 1915 Hanover Creamery Co. produced “butter, condensed and evaporated milk, cream and clarified and pasteurized milk.”

The above three paragraphs were taken from “Official Program of the Centennial of Incorporation of the Borough of Hanover…” and “Hanover Pictorial History.”

Photograph: Image