Allen H. Flood, born in 1854 and the grandson of Revolutionary War soldiers, moved to Washington from Maine in 1889 for work. He worked very hard, driving oxen in lumber camps, laying out roads as a surveyor and working on farms. He started his own dairy herds in 1893 and eventually opened the Broadview Dairy, with several hundred cows on farms in Marshall and Rosalia.
With his sons Frank and Edmund, Flood incorporated and prospered, building the large brick building on Washington Street for $35,000 in 1907. Milk was delivered to homes by horse-drawn wagons until the late 1920s, when they switched to trucks. The dairy had a nearby stable of 65 horses for delivery and Flood told The Spokesman-Review that horses were cheaper and better for delivering milk because a horse could be trained to walk the driverless wagon down the block while a milk man ran from door to door. “You can’t teach even the best automobiles to do that,” Flood said.
It would be several years before the company starting using trucks for transport, especially important when growing ice cream sales to outlying areas made speedy delivery essential.
In 1925, 65 drivers delivered about 10 million lbs. of milk a year, which was approximately 25 percent of Spokane’s annual consumption.
The Floods advocated for better health and safety in dairy production, including disease testing of cattle, bacterial testing of raw milk and finished milk products and the pasteurization of milk. Broadview became part of Carnation Co. via a stock swap in 1929. Flood died in 1942. Broadview officially took on the Carnation name in 1946, the same year Frank Flood, Allen’s son, died.
Foremost Dairies Northwest became the owner in 1989, but lost the business in bankruptcy. Goodale and Barbieri bought Broadview in 1991 and continued dairy production.
In 1997, the plant closed and production moved to Darigold in north Spokane. The federal government now leases 20,000 square feet of renovated office space in the historic building. The Blackbird restaurant is on the lower level of the former dairy.
The building was sold by members of the Barbieri family to a Seattle LLC in February 2018.
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