Look Back at Martin’s Dairy Farm Market (6/19)


In 1939, Franz Martin, his wife and three small children moved into the stone farm house on Herr’s Ridge Road. The barn had burned down in 1929 but there is still some foundation remaining. Franz was busy buying cows and starting a dairy business and his family grew to 12 children on the 152 acre farm.

One of the children, Donald married Barbara Plank and decided he would like to start a family market.

So with his father’s blessing Donald had a building built at 1685 Fairfield Road. This building housed a bakery, meat department, dairy products, a restaurant and some groceries.

Perhaps you remember buying your pasteurized, homogenized Milk in a bag (four quarts in a larger plastic bag) which fit into a plastic pitcher. You plopped the plastic bag into the pitcher, snipped off the tip end and like magic you had a quart of milk. Also, you may remember getting a hand-dipped Hershey’s ice cream cone. On weekends, Donald said they would go through 35 three-and-one-half gallon containers of ice cream.

Their two daughters, Lisa and Brenda, worked in the bakery and did the cake decorating. Donald did the custom meat cutting in the meat department. Barb said they had a great bunch of employees, relatives and friends who worked for them and have such fond memories of the good times they had together.

The store was open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the winter.

In 1987, Donald sold the business to Rutters and he developed a new meat, bakery, and grocery store on 5th Street in Gettysburg. Rutters sold the store in 1996 to Warren and Carol Sheppard. They continued the same type of business and added a garden center and nursery.

As you pass this establishment today it is the plaza on the Fairfield Road where My Brothers Pizza is and across the road sits the Adam Butt Farm which served as a School House and Hospital for Wilcox and Wright Brigade of July, 1863.

Ruby Warren is a member of the Cumberland Township Historical Society Board.