Neighborhood dairies were once a consistent part of local life.
The “Dairy Princess Parade” on June 28, 1961, marches past First National Auto Bank. The bank building is now home to The Vault restaurant.
Courtesy Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society
A trip to Dairy Queen is the closest most young Tulsans will get to a dairy. But from the 1900s into the mid-century, neighborhood dairies were a consistent part of local culture.
In the 1940s, Tulsa had nine dairy factories, according to the Tulsa Preservation Commission. From its former art deco building at East 11th Street and South Lewis Avenue, Hawk Dairies purchased milk from as many as 600 area dairy farmers in 1947.
Although most of Tulsa’s dairy processing plants are closed, Borden remains at 215 S. Denver Ave. Many small dairy producers, such as Swan Brothers in Claremore and Lomah in Wyandotte, continue to operate in northeast Oklahoma.