O. C. Barber Creamery
Backstory and Context
The Anna Dean Farm was built on the large estate of Ohio Columbus Barber. Barber founded Barberton in 1891. Barber was called America's Match King because of his controlling interest in the Diamond Match Company. The Anna Dean Farm was named after Anna Laura Bevan, Barber's daugther, and her husband, Dr. Arthur Dean Bevan. The farm was started in 1905, and eventually there were some 102 structures on the farm. Barber wanted the Anna Dean Farm to be a bright spot in an industrial town. The only Anna Dean enterprise that ever turned a profit was the creamery. It was the longest-running Anna Dean enterprise.
The Creamery, built in 1909, is located directly due east of Barn No 1. It was the second building to be completed on the farm. It was here that all of the milk was bottled and the Anna Dean Farm ice cream was made. The rear of the building was used to bottle the milk and make ice cream on the farm. As with other Anna Dean farm buildings, it's a combination of French Colonial features and Barber's ideas. It hosted a large apartment in the front for the dairy master and his family. In the back, there were areas for milk bottling, sanitary washing of milk bottles, and cottage cheese and ice cream production.
The long rectangular section contains two rooms. The room in the east section was used for bottling. The room in the west was used for distribution. On the extreme west end, there are large doors, through which milk trucks and milk wagons could be loaded. The living quarters in the creamery have 12 rooms on two floors. You can't enter the rest of the creamery through these rooms. The two dairy rooms are both one story and are connected by large interior doors. The outside windows are 8 feet high. They could be opened to provide a breeze to cool off the creamery. Although there was electricity, the windows provided natural light. The basement extends only under the living quarters. It also served as the number two power house on the farm. It furnished DC power to some of the farm buildings west of Fifth Street.
After Barber died in 1920, his farm was divided into sections. The creamery and the No. 1 Barn were sold to Paul Remer in 1944. In 1952, No. 3 Barn burned. In 1967, No. 2 Barn also burned. The two fires were determined to be arson. It was used by the United Insulation Company as a warehouse and office building. In 1965, Barber's mansion was razed. From Barber's death until 1974, 27 of the original farm buildings burned down or were demolished. The creamery was sold to the Telling Belle Vernon Company who also operated the building as a dairy. Later, it was used as a clubhouse for the Anna Dean Golf Course.
O.C. Barber Creamery, Barberton Historical Society of Ohio. Accessed July 28th 2020. http://www.annadeanfarm.com/farmbuildings/creamery.htm.
O.C. Barber Creamery, Akron Library. Accessed July 28th 2020. https://www.akronlibrary.org/images/Divisions/SpecCol/images/73001539.pdf.
Gnap, Bernie. Kelleher, Stephen. Construction of O.C. Barber's Anna Dean Farm. Press of the Barberton Historical Society, Inc., 2009.