Crowley Plant In Binghamton Begins to be Sold Off
Another Binghamton Neighborhood is a changin!
Say goodbye to Crowley's.
Last week I was driving down Conklin Avenue and there were workman unbolting the big white milk tanks, so a massive crane could hoist them onto flatbed trucks headed for another milk plant in a town near Bakersfield, California.
Yes, I know that Crowley's was bought out by Hood dairy back in 2004, and that the south side plant has been idle since March of last year, when it was closed. But the visual image of seeing that big crane load those tanks onto those trucks made me a little sad. I had to stop and watch. More Binghamton history being dismantled.
In 1904, J.K. Crowley bought a small dairy in Poughkeepsie, NY and founded the Crowley Dairy Company. In 1915 he moved the company closer to the farms, to Conklin Ave in Binghamton, where it has operated for almost 100-years. Milk was processed at the plant that bottled milk, made cheese and the best sour cream and onion dip anywhere!
When I was a younger Wally, I spent a lot of time on Binghamton's south side. And most of my travels were in one way or another, interrupted or diverted because of a Crowley's milk truck. It angered me then, but makes me sort of smile now.
I remember, back in the day workers going into and out of the plant at all hours of the day. Milk trucks chugging across the bridge, that 'used' to be right next to the plant. Area diners, drive ins and dives were packed with hungry and thirsty Crowley Employees.
Remember Swat Sullivans Hotel? I used to eat there at least two days a week for lunch, during the summer months while doing lawn work. And there was always a large contingent of dairy workers filing through momma's kitchen, for the special of the day.
As I was watching those large white tanks being loaded onto those trucks, I reminisced about days done by, hangin out on Mill Hill, or heading over to 'The Stable.' Do you remember these places?
Grey hair and greyer memory prevents me from recollecting, what else from Binghamton's south side is no longer with us? Maybe you can help fill in the gaps?
While Crowley foods live on, it's Conklin Avenue plant begins a long death. But for my money, and no matter who eventually buys that plant, as long as that smokestack stands.... it will always be Crowley's, part of Our Neighborhoods.
Watch Crowleys in Action, Back in the Day!