Monday, April 5, 2010

Bygone Business: Behm's Dairy

On May 23, 1936, Mrs. Edwin J. Behm held the grand opening of Behm's Dairy and Ice Cream Parlor at 311 S. Main St. The Behms had located their dairy business in Rochester in 1924, when they began operating a creamery in a small block building on N. Pine St., between Griggs and Albertson. When they expanded to Main St. in 1936, their retail store quickly became a popular place for teens and was a mainstay of the downtown for twenty-five years.

By 1961, Behm's Dairy was forced to leave 311 S. Main because the building had been sold and partially condemned. The new owners planned to demolish the rear portion of the building (which had been a furniture warehouse back in the days when the structure house a furniture and undertaking business), install a new front facade, and locate a gift store there.

The Behms decided to move their business to Port Austin, but they left Rochester with heavy hearts. In an interview with the Rochester Clarion in March of 1961, Mrs. Behm expressed her regret at saying farewell to the estimated 250 children per day that she served in her store, after telling them that the store would close on or about April 15 in that year.
'You never saw such bawling as when we told them about it,' Mrs. Behm said. 'They all sat here and cried.'
Did you hang out at Behm's Dairy? If you did, what was your favorite item on the menu?

This bottle cap from a Behm's Dairy product container is from the collection of Rod and Susan Wilson.

11 comments:

  1. I didn't hang out there because I was not born yet but I am a relative and would like more info. about the Behm Dairy. I'm looking for bottles and caps if you know how I can get some. please email me at HONEYRADIO@HOTMAIL.COM


    Melissa Behm-Marra

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  2. Melissa Behm-MarraOctober 2, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    3 years later... Still looking for Behm Dairy bottles and or caps...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Melissa Behm MarraApril 25, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    Still looking..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would keep checking eBay or try tracking down distant family members.

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  4. I have a receipt book that came with a wooden bench from the Behm's Diary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you interested in selling???

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  5. Would you be interested in selling??

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  6. You can email me here at kdyer2067@yahoo.com thank you

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  7. I am a behm. The Receipt book n bench are from behm's dairy in Rochester, Michigan? My email is specialgirlkb@gmail.com
    Thank u! Kat behm

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  8. I am a behm, is the receipt book n bench from Behm's dairy in Rochester Michigan. My email address is specialgirlkb@Gmail.com thank you very much kat behm

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  9. I am a behm. Email me please specialgirlkb@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete