History of Brook Hill Farm,
a Dairy Farm
Genesee Depot, Wisconsin



The importance of the dairy industry is reflected in the design of the 2004 Wisconsin Quarter

A wealthy businessman named Col. Howard Greene found a prime piece of property in Waukesha County, Wisconsin in 1902 and purchased around 230 acres that eventually became the Brook Hill Farm, located near Genesee Depot.  Genesee Depot is located near the center of the county.  It was already an operating farm at the time Col. Greene bought it, complete with farmhouse, but he hired a prominent architect Andrew Eschweiler, of Milwaukee, to design a new one built with native stone.


Map provided courtesy of Wisconline® www.wisconline.com. Used by permission.

This map also allows you to see the three towns where Mr. Brink was later to carry mail for onward transmission
 by the Post Office; Oconomowoc, Wales and Waukesha.

 

According to the Genesee Depot Township website (a local government website, public domain) the area became a pioneer in "sanitary milk."  The new emphasis in the dairy industry at that time was on clean, sanitary milk, using modern conditions, such as concrete milking parlors and milking barns, rather than wooden barns.  What is commonplace today, such as milking machines, glass pipelines for milk and teat-dipping before milking, all was an innovation at the time. Milk was shipped to the Chicago and Milwaukee areas, after being tested for TB and undergoing other health tests.  There were many dairies in the county, and Col. Greene eventually added his farm to the dairies supplying specialty milk for those two large metro areas.  By 1917, one of Brook Hill's counterparts, the Pleasant Valley Farm, was the largest certified milk dairy in the United States.

This was when milk was delivered right to your front door, and dairies like Brook Hill could be found all over America.  Farms like Brook Hill shipped by rail.  The Genesee Depot area had connections with railroads dating back to 1851, when the Milwaukee and Mississippi railroad laid tracks. Once the area had rail service, commerce flourished and the Genesee Depot area boomed.  The milk was pasteurized and bottled, or made into other products such as ice cream and butter, and later- the whipped creams in aerosol cans that we are all familiar with.  (It was quite a novelty at the time!) The finished products were loaded aboard refrigerated rail cars and rushed to bigger cities for delivery the next morning.

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QSL/KGYH page created 03 August 2009, 0322Z