Keystone Dairy Co., Hoboken, N J

       

The Keystone Dairy Company, originally located at 211-215 Bloomfield Street in Hoboken, was also known as the Keystone Dairy and Ice Cream Company. It was in business from the late 1800’s to 1925 when it was purchased by the Consumers Dairy Co. Later, in 1928, as part of Consumers Dairy, it became a subsidiary of the National Dairy Products Corporation but continued to operate under the Keystone name. It’s not clear to me when the name was discontinued but apparently it lasted several decades.

The early history of the business is told in a special edition of Hoboken Illustrated, dated January, 1909 that I found on the Hoboken Historical Museum web site.

The business was founded in 1890, by Mr. F. Kroog and was made a corporation in 1906 with the following gentlemen as officers. F Kroog, president; F Kroog, Jr., vice-president; Wm M Kroog, treasurer; Chas Kroog, secretary; and under their skillful management a success has been achieved, a large patronage has been developed, and the trade now extends to all parts of Hoboken and vicinity. The Keystone Dairy Company receive their supplies direct from their own creameries and bottling stations which are located at New Milford Pa., Treble, N.Y., Vestal, N.Y., Tobacco, N.J., Chester, N.J., all of which is handled by the most modern methods. Pasteurized milk, cream and condensed milk a specialty. They have every facility for the expeditious prosecution of business and are prepared to supply hotels, restaurants and families with prompt daily regularity on the most favorable terms. The company have in course of construction at Seventh and Madison Streets , one of the most modern and up-to-date plants in the world, the cost of which will be about $50,000. It will cover a plot 100 x 100 feet, will be two stories high and built of concrete, brick and steel…They now supply over 5,000 families in Hudson County and when the new plant is ready for business (Which will be about December 1st) they will be able to easily double the output.

The story also contains a great picture of a Keystone Dairy milk wagon from that era.

I’ve not been able to confirm the company start date of 1890 with the local directories of Jersey City/Hoboken. The first listing for Keystone Dairy Company that I can find is in the 1899 directory. The year before, in 1898, Frederick Kroop is listed as a grocer.

The company apparently did move to their new building sometime in late 1909 as the story states. They changed their main address to 620-632 Madison in the 1909 directory, referring to the Bloomfield Street location as a Branch Office. A 1914 advertisement in the Hoboken Board of Trade Bulletin lists the Madison Street location and brags about their bottling department as “the largest and most sanitary in the State”

The company maintained a number of local brach offices in both Jersey City and Hoboken as well as facilities in rural areas of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition to those listed in the above story, they maintained one, The Hop Bottom Creamery, in Hop Bottom Pennsylvania. According to various Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture documents it was owned by Brooklyn’s High Ground Dairy from at least 1907 to 1913 and by the 1920’s it had changed hands to Keystone. This is verified by a Susquehanna Historical Society photograph.

According to the Susquehanna Historical Society the Creamery building still exists today. the Madison Street headquarters in Hoboken is now a Catholic School.

The bottle I found is a machine made quart. It probably dates to around the mid to late 1920’s, right around the time the business was transitioning ownership from the Kroog’s to Consumers Dairy to National Dairy Products.