In the late 1940s and the early 1950s horses and wagons were used to deliver milk in Kentville and the immediate area. Both of the dairies that started in Kentville in the 1930s – Jordans and Cornwallis – delivered milk using one-horse wagons that were designed especially to carry dairy products.
Whatever it’s a sign of, I don’t remember the horse and wagon the Cornwallis Dairy used. With Jordan’s Dairy it’s another story. Doll, a magnificent palomino mare, hauled the Jordan wagon for years and I recall many pleasant experiences associated with this horse.
For example, the driver of the wagon never objected when we hitched rides on the wagon. Occasionally he’d let us climb up on Doll’s back and ride the route.
One of our biggest thrills was the all-day trip to the blacksmith’s shop in Centreville. Every two or three weeks Doll would have to be shod and if that happened on a Saturday, the driver would let several of us kids accompany him. It was the highlight of the summer. The five-mile trip seemed to take forever and along the way we all took turns at driving the wagon.
I always wondered what became of Doll and the milk wagon driver after Jordans switched to truck delivery. Doll retired to a farm where she lived out her years. The driver, Eric Ackman, worked for Jordans and Cornwallis Dairy for about 40 years, retiring in 1984.
Jordan’s Dairy was founded by Joe Jordan in 1932 and at first it was a one-man operation with milk being delivered by bicycle. After Laurie joined him, Joe expanded the dairy and by its third year the operation had 16 cows. One of Laurie’s earliest tasks was herding the cows to and from the pasture with a Sable Island pony.
In 1937 the Jordans built a pasteurizing plant on west Main Street and the dairy became known as Parkview. The name was changed in 1940 and the dairy continued in operation until 1966 when it was sold to Acadia Dairy of Wolfville. When it changed hands the dairy was the largest in the Annapolis Valley, operating with 10 trucks that serviced an area from Hantsport to Middleton. Jordans is believed to have been the last family owned and operated dairy in Nova Scotia.