This is one of my favorite photos to add on this site because Dressel's Dairy Farm was a great place for people of all ages to visit with a great dairy bar open to the public, serving excellent ice cream in cones or sundaes along with great milk shakes and malts. They had tables and stools to sit on outside, a petting zoo with barnyard animals for the kids to pet and ponies to ride and kiddie rides including a train. I have very fond memories of going there numerous times on weekends with a special girl from Hialeah High throughout most of 1965 who I've never gotten over, and I'm sure others my age also have fond memories of going there with their dates.
The photo was taken over Miami International Airport and is looking west with the airport property at the bottom. On April 10, 2012, I added 5 ground-level photos of Dressel's Dairy to the Attractions gallery in the 1964 time frame that Nancy Joan Booth contributed. The gallery is located at http://www.pbase.com/donboyd/memories_attractions - scroll down to the 1964 time frame.
And the below recollections are from the Golden Thoroughbreds Yahoo Group where Dee Dee Dressel Martin (Hialeah High Class of 1959) posted them in November 2006 in response to someone's question of
"What happened to the dairy?"
"Back in the late 50's the Miami Port Authority was looking to expand Miami International Airport. The original plan called for an expansion directly to the west between NW 25th Street and 36th Street up to the Palmetto Expressway. Basically the entire dairy site. It was going to be taken under eminent domain at minimum land values. Dad had a chance to sell at a better price to Embry Riddle. That deal allowed us to keep the existing business (with buildings) in operation with Riddle holding an option on that land until the Port Authority made a decision. As it turned out, the PA decided to expand to the south (where the current terminal and main landing strips are).
All the cows were moved to new land (and milking parlor) in Avon Park in the summer of 1958. This was a logistical nightmare since cows have to be milked twice a day. Every day about 50 cows would be milked in the evening, loaded up on trucks and taken to Avon Park where they were milked again the next morning. The new milking parlor was "state of the art", but of a completely new design with the workers standing in a "pit" between two rows of 8 or so cows which positioned the "business end" of the cow at a comfortable working height. It's now the common architecture for milking barns, but was a totally new concept then. Cows, being creatures of habit, had to adjust to the new way so the "new" cows were mixed in with cows that had become accustomed to the "new way" and followed the herd with minimum turmoil.
Funny story here... The Grahams were also building and moving their farm operation to Venus (Just down the road from Lake Placid) and were in friendly competition with Dad over who would get their new style barns built first and who would run the first "trial" batch of cows through their barn. Our barn was finished, but there was a problem with the water pumps. Didn't stop Dad. He ran cows through the barn and milked them, but the cows were nervous and dropping sh*t all over the place. No water to wash it all down so "us kids" spent the day scraping cow manure off all the lovely white tiles and shoveling it out the back! Oh yes, I remember it well!!! :-)
Anyway, the cows all got moved to Avon Park and the milk was shipped by truck back to the plant in Miami for processing and home delivery. When the final land deal closed with Embry Riddle, the milk was then shipped to the Dairy Co-Op in Broward County and thrown into the milk pool there and Dressel's Dairy's production ceased. Riddle went on to resell the land to developers and now it's all warehouses.
The farm operation continued as Dressel Brothers in Avon Park and was run by my brothers Ricky and Gary after Dad's death in '72. Ricky (HHS'58) was diagnosed with spinal cancer in '97 and could no longer work the business so it was sold shortly before he died in '99. It's still an operating dairy.
I find it ironic that Milam Dairy Road was never renamed "Dressel Dairy Road". (They did name the canal at 72nd Ave & 36th St. "Dressel Canal" and I occasionally read or hear on the news that "a body was discovered in Dressel Canal" so I guess that's some kind of infamy.) The Milams only owned the farm land for three years before Dad bought it and nobody remembers Milam Dairy.
It was such a great "tradition" in Miami. Sunday free pony rides and ice cream at Dressel's Dairy. I've traveled and moved to many locations and run into people who grew up in Miami with those
memories. I think every kid that grew up in Miami during the 50's had a field trip to the dairy at some point in elementary school. "Best ice cream I EVER had," is still the mantra of those who remember.
I feel privileged to have been a part of it. Working summers in the plant making and packaging ice cream and working weekends in either the pony ring or behind the dairy bar. I never did master filling those 5¢ cups of ice cream you used to get at school. Getting stuck in the freezer for 15 or 20 minutes wearing only shorts, tank top and sandals. Falling head first into the freezers in the dairy bar (when dipping up cones) at the end of a busy Sunday when the spillage on the floor was so slippery. "Buggering Cows" (getting them in from the pasture to the feeding lot) before cleaning up and catching the school bus at 6:00 AM. Being the first girl to raise a calf as a 4-H project
(only boys were allowed to have animal projects at the time, but Dad was our club sponsor and listed me on the entry forms by first initials so the powers that be wouldn't know it was a "girl" - my Dad was so ahead of his time!). Taking my cow down to a Rotary meeting at the Top of the Columbus (Hotel) restaurant for June is Dairy Month. (I remember the stares and when we got Rosebud into the elevator, Dad pushed all the buttons and we stopped on every floor. Gasps from the hotel guests and maids!!). Then Dad held a milking contest between the mayor of Miami and the County Sheriff. They had a hard time filling up one of those 1/2 pint glass bottles that were used in school cafeterias before the advent of waxed cartons. (Those little glass bottles made great b.b. gun targets when set up on a fence post.) Talk about some great memories!"
Dee Dee Dressel Martin