Milk House on the Move in Oakland Township

Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District to receive a Milk House

The new location had a milk house that burned in 1984. The Historic District Commission (HDC) intended to return a township milk house to the farmstead so people could learn more about our local agricultural history of dairy operations. In the early 1900s, local milk houses were used to store cans of milk sitting in cool water troughs. As people began to have their own kitchen refrigerators and grocery stores made it convenient for one stop shopping with large refrigeration, the need for local milk houses became obsolete.

Location on East Buell Road

The milk house was located on East Buell Road and was part of the Long Lane Stock Farm. Elmer L. Beardsley raised Angus Cattle here and built the milk house in 1927. Charles, Loyal, and William Eldridge helped to preserve the milk house over the years, and donated $5,000 to the move to save the milk house for future generations to enjoy at Cranberry Lake Farm.

“It weighed more than we thought, we guessed under 20,000 pounds but the 10’x10’ building came in at 38,400 pounds. Our contractor Bob Bloomingdale had to double up the cranes lifting capacity,” said David Phillips, HDC Chairman.

Bob Bloomingdale helps guide the Milk House to its new location

“On Friday, May 21, we finally were able to get the last full milk house in Oakland Township moved to Cranberry Lake Farm,” said John Sanderson, Oakland Township Commissioner. “The folks at Rochester Salvage and the crane company, did an amazing job. They made it look like this is done all of the time. It only took 6 hours, including the 5 mph trip to the farm.”

“Currently, we have a local Boy Scout who is working on his Eagle Award to restore the milk house with historic windows,” said Col. Mark Gerhard.

Milk House settled in to its new home at Cranberry Lake Farm

Commissioners John Sanderson and Col. Mark Gerhard participated in the move day, capturing video coverage and photos. The Historic District Commission hopes to have the building open by next Spring said Barb Barber, Preservation Planner for Oakland Township.  

Cranberry Lake Farm, a 16-acre farm listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is funded by the resident supported Historic District Operating Millage.

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  1. daniel patrick downing says

    Our History is extremely important. Money well spent !

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