Putnam County - Eventful Magazine


Putnam County - Eventful Magazine

Putnam County


Milk Production in Putnam County – ca. 1860

More than 150 years ago,

Gail Borden, Jr. invented a

unique process for preserving

milk. Although his system

differed only slightly

from previous methods, it

earned him the patent that

would become the foundation

of a dairy empire. His

finances had been sparse

after a few failed attempts

to establish efficient production

of a uniform product at

other New York and Connecticut

sites, but after joining

forces with financier Jeremiah Milbank, he built a new factory on

the banks of the East Branch River in the Village of Brewster, Putnam

County, New York.

In 1863, the Brewster plant was the largest and most advanced milk

factory in the world ---mass producing, canning and shipping condensed

milk. More than 200 dairy farmers supplied 20,000 gallons of

milk per day to the Brewster plant as demand was driven by the Civil

War. Thanks largely to government orders and to manufacturing and

marketing techniques developed during his lifetime, the Borden companies

grew to become the largest dairy in the U.S.

Soldiers returning home from the Civil War soon spread the word

and by the late 1860s, condensed milk was a major household product.

By 1929, Borden became the largest food company in the United States.

The company formed by Gail Borden and Jeremiah Milbank in 1858 as the New York Condensed Milk

Company was renamed The Borden Condensed Milk Company in 1899. That business, with deep roots in

Brewster, had grown by the mid-20th century to sell six hundred million dollars’ worth of goods, employ

thirty thousand persons and pay dividends to fifty thousand stockholders.

Borden’s first 75 years were part of the fabric of Brewster village. In the 75 years since, the Borden companies

flourished and expanded into a variety of non-dairy related businesses – think Elmer’s Glue - and with

each of those changes distanced themselves further from the history of Brewster, New York.

Brewster’s Borden factory was shut down in the 1920s due to changes in the dairy industry, ending a significant

chapter in the history of the Village of Brewster and the Town of Southeast. The factory buildings were

lost to fire in 1935 leaving only a few of the original buildings remaining on Route 22 at the juncture of Route

6 --- Brewster’s Main Street.

Denis Castelli

Putnam County Historian

For more information, please contact Denis.Castelli@PutnamCountyNY.gov

or view our website at www.PutnamCountyNY.com/Historian

Bicentennial events

Saturday, March 10, 2012

America the Beautiful - Women and the Flag

5 PM to 7 PM at 63 Chestnut Street, Cold Spring, NY

10516. The Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry

School Museum is presenting a reprise of the popular exhibition

from the private collection of Richard Saunders,

dating from the Civil War era through World War II, including

newly acquired artworks. RSVP by March 7. (845)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Northern Westchester St. Patrick's Day Parade

Step-off is at 2:00 PM near the intersection of Route 6

and Croton Falls Road. This year's parade is honoring our

Armed Services Veterans and the "wearing of the green"

allows for olivedrab uniforms. There are plans to have a

Bicentennial Float in the lineup.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kent Historical Society Meeting

The first general meeting of the society will be held at

7:30 PM at the Carmel/Kent VFW Hall in Carmel.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Postcard History of Putnam County

Speaker Denis Castelli at the Hudson Valley Trust. Junction

of Routes 311 and 164 in Patterson.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Environmental Walk at Patriots Park

Starts at 9 AM at Patriots Park. The park is located behind

the Hudson Valley Trust building at the intersection of

Route 164 and Route 311. There will also be a Bicentennial

Tag Sale featuring items of historic interest.

Photos courtesy

of Denis Castelli

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bicentennial Square Dance at Thunder Ridge

6 PM at Thunder Ridge, Route 22, Patterson

Sunday, June 03, 2012 - Patterson Day Celebration

Starts at 10 AM at the Patterson Baptist Church with a

special service, food, games, Cannon and Musket Demonstrations.

The Church is located at 599 Route 311 in Patterson.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Firefighters' Parade with Bicentennial Tribute

This will be an extra special event to celebrate the 200th

Anniversary of Putnam County. An special award will be

given to the organization judged to have the best piece of

retired fire apparatus.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - THE BICENTENNIAL

This date is the actual 200th anniversary of the legislation

to create Putnam County from a portion of the lands of

Dutchess County, New York. The time capsule that was interred

50 years ago for the County's Sesquicentennial, will

be opened on this date. Mark your calendar and stay tuned

for further details.

Tuesday June 14, 2011 - Flag Day Ceremony

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Brewster Elks Club, Route 22 & Milltown


Saturday, June 16, 2012 - Historic Cemetery Tour

Starts at 9 AM at Patriots Park, located behind the Hudson

Valley Trust building at the intersection of Route 164

and Route 311. The tour ends with lunch at Thunder Ridge

with a cannon demonstration at the site of the Revolutionary

War encampment.

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