The Oaklawn, Springhill and Springfield Dairies.
By: Paul Siggers
(From “Milk Tokens of the Alberni Valley: Part 2” in C.N.J., Dec., 1973. Illustrations from “Tokens, Trade Dollars and Other Numismatica of the Alberni Valley”, A.V.C.C., 1990. Catalogue from “British Columbia Token Database”, Ron Greene, 2002. Used by permission.)
The Oaklawn Dairy commenced, 7 miles north of Alberni at the junction of Halfpenny and Beaver Creek Roads, early in 1930 when Red Blower and Jack Plaunt took over the dairy farm (shipping only) of Mr. Plaunt’s family.
Oaklawn Dairy, 1 Pint Milk, Al. (below)
Oaklawn Dairy, 1 Quart Milk, Al. (below)
They never had more than 12 cows and, as the living was not enough for two families, Mr. Blower withdrew from the partnership in the spring of 1931 to become a commercial fisherman. During this period upwards of 100 quarts a day were delivered. Only quart tokens were used as it was felt that pints, valued at 6¼ cents, were not profitable considering the distance covered by the route from Stamp Falls to Alberni. (Note: Pint tokens were used although only one is known today).
In November 1931 the dairy was leased to Jack Dyck, who also owned the Springhill Dairy. He had purchased Springhill from the estate of his father-in-law, Andrew van Kyuk in 1929-30 and issued his own quart and pint tokens. As there were quite a number of both Oaklawn and Springhill accounts still on the books; i.e, wholesale customers; the combined operation was renamed Springfield to avoid confusion in the new accounts. For retail sales, however, the Springhill tokens continued in use, and the Oaklawn tokens withdrawn.
The dairy continued until the spring of 1934 when the lease was sold to Boston Anderson Hamilton. He, not having the problem of the old accounts, returned to using the Springhill name, conforming with the name still current on the tokens.
Springhill Dairy, 1 Pint Milk, Al. (below)
Springhill Dairy, 1 Quart Milk, Al. (below)
When Jack Plaunt re-entered the business – buying the Hamilton lease back – in March of 1938 he retained the Springhill name but retired the tokens in favour of tickets.
The dairy route was sold to the Alberni Valley Dairy Co-operative Association when they formed on March 21, 1945. The farm then shipped milk until 1948 when the failure of the Co-operative and associated financial burdens forced sale of the dairy herd.
- A3918a Oaklawn/Dairy/Beaver Creek Aluminum Rd 25mm
Good For/1/Pint/Milk Issued 1929-31; (Unique?)
- A3918b Oaklawn/Dairy/Beaver Creek Alum. Rect. 32mm x 19mm
Good For/1/Quart Issued 1929-31; Scarce
- A4410a Springhill/Dairy Aluminum, Octagonal, 26½mm
Good For/1/Pint/Milk Issued 1929-38; Rare
- A4410b Springhill/Dairy Alum., rectangular, 32mm x 19mm
Good For/1/Quart of Milk Issued 1929-38; Rare
Previously printed in the MICC Numismatic Journal Vol-02, Issue-04