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We received great response to our January feature, a large milk carton-shaped block structure on Highways 231/21 between Sylacauga and Rockford. (Some refer to the community as Stewartville.) Many of you told us that it marks the location of Dark’s Dairy, opened around 1946 by Lillian and Ruben Dark.
“The site of our service was once a small dairy farm,” reader Jerry Adair of Coosa Valley EC says. “The milk from the farm was sold to Dark’s Dairy,” and he included a photo of a milk receipt ticket from 1959 (see below).
Diane Patton of Central Alabama EC and Sharon Dunlap of Baldwin EMC say their fathers worked at the dairy, and Clint Collins of Baldwin EMC says his family was Dark’s largest milk producer. Arco Farms sold to the dairy from 1953 until the dairy closed. And E.J. Bentley of Central Alabama EC says he delivered milk and butter on a route in Sylacauga that was run by Mr. Dark.
Jo Ann Clark of Sylacauga says, “We had a table at our door where we left the empty bottles, which were picked up by the ‘milkman’ when he left our order. The milkmen were like family and always had a minute to chat if the occasion presented itself.”
Several readers told us Dark’s Dairy operated until the 1980s.
Several readers commented that they hated to see that the structure seems to be fading away. Mary Alyce Bennett of Central Alabama EC says there is a committee in place to attempt to restore the structure to its original state.
The photo was taken by Mark Stephenson of Alabama Living. The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Mardre Williams of Central Alabama EC.