My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

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Lost Fresno
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Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:12 am

In this Fresno Bee article from 1970, it talks about the farm being continued by Walt's son after he passed away 2 years prior. It also includes a great over all history of the farm and how it came about. Be sure to click the article to enlarge!
Fresno Bee - June 7, 1970 / Click to Enlarge


Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by melishus63 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:01 pm

One of my good childhood memories was going to Harpain's to buy milk and getting an ice cream cone too. My family lived just off Cedar, near the dairy from 1975-1978. Funny memory of my Dad getting spat on by the llama (my Dad ignored the sign warning that you shouldn't stand to close to the fence because of the spitting llama). my sister and I just about died laughing. I was 13. The Harpain's son's went to the same school as we did. They were blond and cute. I may have had a crush.

Neil Sporin

Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by Neil Sporin » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:23 pm

Well, I lived directly across the street from the dairy for many years and went to school with John and Jeff. I have been in the buggies, in the monkey cage, and eventually rode the rooster which was incredibly difficult. I thank you for having this thread, as it brought back a ton of memories.

Side note - John and I were playing with matches one day and lit the dump area on fire (on accident). I will never forget the calm Walt asking his son, "did you light that?", to which his son immediately said "No Dad". Walt walked up to him, reached in and pulled the matches out of his son's front pocket, saying, "Jeff (me), you should probably go home now."


Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by Elizabird » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:57 pm

We lived in the Mayfair district near Cedar and McKinley, so went up Cedar to Harpains with a wire carrier basket and our empties. As I recall, we always swapped out 4 glass bottles per visit, and when Daddy felt generous, one extra bottle was the magical chocolate milk. Sometimes ice cream cones too. On summer evenings the smell of alfalfa, cows and treats clinking or dripping meant Friday after work or school...and a whole Saturday cartoon morning to eat our Chex or Kix with some of that good milk. I still miss glass bottles and the sound they made full and empty, both. And the smell of Mr. Harpain's ladies all black and white in their barn...we were the richest kids on the block, weren't we?


Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by RGreaff » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:11 pm

Thank you for starting this. I was born in Fresno in 1967 and went to Vinland before moving to the Bay Area. I remember having empty milk bottles in the garage. We also did field trips there in school. I always look at Antique shops for the old milk bottles. I go there now to see my daughter who graduated from Fresno State and Fresno has changed so much. I miss the simpler times.


Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by TiffanyS » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:48 pm

Wow! What a wonderful treasure I discovered in this post! Walt Harpain was my uncle, and I have so many amazing memories from their dairy and zoo. The spitting llamas, the peacock, and that giant rooster! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful memories! I sure hope my Aunt Shirley or my cousins have discovered this thread. I will definitely share it with them.


Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by cwgardengirl » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:30 pm

Harpain’s dairy in Fresno.
My Dad use to work there as a milker. It was when I was quite young, probably a toddler. I’m guessing between 1959-1965. Just not sure on what specific years. We lived on dairy’s in Hanford and Tulare later in the 60’s-70’s. A life I always missed after moving to town. I was wondering if anyone has a list of the Harpain’s employees over the years? It would be pretty cool to find my Dads name there.

Bill Lussenheide

Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by Bill Lussenheide » Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:35 pm

I remember Harpain"s very well. They actually had some caged monkeys as part of the small animal zoo that they had, and they fascinated me as a seven year old in 1964!

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Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by giglio » Mon Jun 26, 2023 6:44 pm

I remember it as a small kid in the 70s. Not sure when it ceased to exist.


Re: My Memories of Harpain’s Dairy

Post by RLM » Fri Dec 08, 2023 11:38 am

Wow! I love reading this post. Harpain's Dairy was part of my childhood, as well. Such wonderful memories... the chocolate milk and the spitting llamas, the baby calves, and the peacocks. Every few weeks Mom would take all four of us siblings to pet the animals. Later, as adults, my sister and I would take our young children to see the animals at Fresno State as it was the closest re-enactment of our wonderful memories at Harpain's Dairy.

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