Archive for the ‘History’ Category

I like to stop in at Feather Thy Nest, a furniture and home accessory consignment shop on Pearl Street, every now and then to see what kinds of new goodies they have.

The inventory is always changing (I imagine well-to-do Boulder soccer moms dragging in their still spotless Ethan Allen couches to sell because it’s “so last season”). Over the years I’ve scored some favorite finds: a gorgeous primitive end table for $35, a necklace for $3 and, my latest find, a little glass milk bottle for $2.

Alba Dairy Bottle

Alba Dairy Bottle

I bought the bottle because I was hosting a baby shower for a friend and wanted some bud vases to hold little bunches of flowers. I loved that this one had the words “Boulder, Colo.” on it, and the fact that it was a milk bottle seemed especially fitting for a baby shower.

But, as you can see in the picture at left, the main message on the bottle is the word “ALBA.” I’d never heard of a dairy called Alba around these parts, so I decided to look it up.

Turns out the Alba Dairy opened around the year 1916. It was located on Pine and 27th (it’s hard to visualize a dairy right in the middle of what is now downtown!).

The dairy appears to have had have some major ups and downs, briefly going out of business after WWI and changing ownership more than a few times. However, they operated a shop on Broadway, between Pearl and Spruce, that sold milkshakes that are still remembered among old timers for being rich, thick and delicious.

During the 1950s, Alba Dairy and Watts-Hardy Dairy were the two main competing dairies in town until Alba shut down for good in 1958. If you’re an arts lover, you may be familiar with the old Watts-Hardy location, as it is now home to the Dairy Center for the Arts.

So there you have it. My little $2 bottle is at least 50 years old, and maybe a lot older.

And it made a great vase.


The Alba bottle is the one in the back holding the irises.


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