NOT Historically Significant: 96-102 Winchester St

Classic New England Dairy Delivery

At our October meeting, the buildings at 96-102 Winchester St, near Ball Square, were found to be NOT historically significant and a demo permit was granted.

Whiting Milk
Photo from the collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society, dated 1961

But the garages at 100 Winchester St were once part of an extensive and long-running commercial dairy operation –

The Whiting Milk Company, active between 1857 and 1973, was one of New England’s first distributors of milk and dairy products door-to-door. It was established by David Whiting (born 1810) in 1857. Whiting’s father, Oliver, owned a large farm in Wilton, New Hampshire. “With the advent of the railroad to Wilton, Mr. Whiting [David] inaugurated operations in the milk contracting business for the Boston market…”

milk map
Map from the USDA publication, “The Milk Supply of Boston” 1898

The firm was carried on by his son Harvey Augustus Whiting (1833-1903) and grandsons Isaac Spalding, George, John Kimball, David and Charles Frederick (1875-1972); Charles Frederick used his Harvard (1897) and MIT training to manage the dairy in a modern sanitary manner. Under the direction of David Whiting’s grandsons, the company merged with C. Brigham and Elm Farm Milk (both included in above map) to form a new corporation that, according to the Cambridge Chronicle of 1922, “employs more than 1000 persons and is one of the largest milk distributors in the country.”

In the 1950s, H.P. Hood and Sons and the Whiting Milk Company competed for the majority of the Boston milk market; the photo of the Whiting’s Milk truck at the top of the post is dated 1961. But the business of delivering milk and other dairy product suffered a national decline, due to increased consumer mobility because of automobiles. The company went into bankruptcy in 1973.

Still, most commissioners felt that the history of this company was not reflected in, or represented by the structures on the property at 100 Winchester St. Information above was adapted from the Form B for Winchester St_96-102.