Atlantic Dairy, Bedell Bros., Freeport, L.I.

Bedell is a long time Freeport area family name that dates back to some of the original settlers of the village and its surrounding area on the south shore of Long Island.

The Atlantic Dairy apparently had it’s roots in the Long Island farm of Charles Bedell and the Bedell Brothers named on the bottle were likely two of his three sons, Treadwell and Archer (sometimes referred to as Archie).

According to his obituary in the November 27, 1908 issue of the Nassau County Review, Charles Bedell was a lifetime resident and farmer on the south shore of Long Island. He was born in the neighboring village of Baldwin and moved to Freeport in the late 1880’s.

The funeral services of Charles Bedell, an old and well respected resident of this place, were held Monday afternoon at his late  home, where he died on Saturday from paralysis. He resided in Freeport twenty years, was a farmer by occupation, was born at Baldwin and lived at that place and Freeport all his life. He was eighty years of age. Deceased was survived by five children: Henry Bedell, of Merrick; Mrs. Thomas Baldwin, of Baldwin, Catherine, Treadwell and Archie Bedell, of this place.

As best I can tell, the Freeport farm, where he spent the last 20 years of his life was located along what is now Atlantic Avenue between Bayview Avenue to the east and Milburn Creek to the west.

Charles’s three sons, Henry, Treadwell, and Archer all worked on the farm at one time or another. The 1900 census records and the 1901-1902 Freeport directory listed the oldest, Henry, with the occupation milkman living on Bayview Avenue. The 1900 census listed both Treadwell and Archer as farm laborers, also living on Bayview Avenue. There’s no mention of Bedell Brothers or Atlantic Dairy in the 1901-1902 directory.

According to an article in the December 18, 1908 issue of the Long Island Farmer, when Charles died on November 21, 1908, his two younger sons, Treadwell and Archer, were allowed use of the estate, which I assume included the farm, for the next five years.

The will of Charles Henry Bedell, of Freeport, leaving an estate of $38,000 was offered for probate on Tuesday. Treadwell and Archer Bedell, sons, were given the use of the estate for five years. At the expiration of that time the estate is to be divided equally among five children.

The 1910 census records confirmed the above story. Both lived at the same location on Atlantic Avenue and both listed their occupation as milk dealers. Around this time, Bedell Brothers also appeared in the limited directory information I can find. The Freeport section of the 1913 Montauk Business Directory of Long Island listed Bedell Brothers as milk dealers located on Atlantic Avenue and the 1914-1915 Freeport Directory listed both Treadwell and Archie Bedell individually as dairymen. Their address was given as Atlantic Avenue near (Millburn) creek. By 1910, Henry had moved to Merrick and did not list milk or dairy as an occupation in the census records.

So it looks like the dairy farm was in operation beginning in the 1880’s and that sons, Treadwell and Archer became more involved in the early 1900’s, as Charles got older. It makes sense that the name Bedell Brothers started around this time.

The dairy probably lasted into the early 1920’s. Treadwell is still listed at the Atlantic Avenue location in 1920 census records along with Henry’s son, Edgar. Treadwell listed his occupation as a truck farmer while Edgar listed his as a milkman. By 1930 I can’t find any Bedell’s on Atlantic Avenue in Freeport.

The bottle I found is a machine-made quart. It exhibits some sun-purple coloring indicating the presence of manganese dioxide which was predominantly used as a decolorizing agent prior to 1920. This supports a manufacture date right around the mid-teens when Treadwell and Archer were both located on Atlantic Avenue following their father’s death.




George Hendrickson, Willow Dairy, Wantagh, L.I.

According to the Wantagh Preservation Society, the business was listed in a 1939 Wantagh Long Island advertising booklet as:

Willow Dairy, George Hendrickson, Prop. Grade A Milk and Cream. Seaman’s Neck Road. Phone 1048.

This is confirmed in the 1940 census records where George Hendrickson was listed as the owner of a dairy farm on Seaman’s Neck Road. Living with him were his son Lloyd, who was listed as a dairy farm bottler, four dairy farm hands and a cook. Based on this, I assume that the business was small and local to the Wantagh/ Seaford area of Long Island.

Prior to that, in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, he was located in Oceanside Long Island. The 1920 census listed him as a milk inspector and in the 1926-1927 Rockville Centre City Directory, including Oceanside and East Rockaway, he was listed as the proprietor of a dairy at 88 Anchor Avenue.

He was still listed as a the proprietor of a dairy farm in Oceanside in the 1930 census records but was not listed in the 1937 edition of the Rockville Centre Directory. So sometime between 1930 and 1937 he moved to Wantagh/Seaford and either took over or started the Willow Dairy.

In 1941, Willow Dairy participated in a tour organized by the Long Island Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Farm Bureau of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. An October 12, 1941 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle explained:

The public will be given an opportunity to learn by first-hand observation the intricacies of running a dairy farm through a dairy tour to be held in Nassau and Suffolk on Oct. 28…the inspection trip also will give dairymen a chance to study the operation of other farms.

Starting at the farm of George Hendrickson, Wantagh, the tour will inspect John Randall’s farm, Mount Sinai, where lunch also will be served, proceed to the Pierson farm at East Moriches and end at the Gould Dairy in East Hampton.

It’s not clear when the business ended but the bottle I found is embossed “duraglas” with a 1949 date code embossed on the base. So they were at least in business from the mid 1930’s to the late 1940’s. It was probably gone by 1958 when the original Seaman’s Neck Road was acquired to facilitate construction of the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway.

The bottle I found is a machine made quart with the 1949 date code.