Remembering the Soldiers’ Home Dairy

1948 map showing location of the Soldiers' Home dairy barns

By 1950, the once proud dairy on the U.S. Soldiers’ Home grounds was quickly becoming a memory. A $13,500,000 building project had been approved that would redevelop the dairy property into the Washington Hospital Center. The excavation and construction would lead to the closing of the Randolph Gate in 1953 and the Park Road Gate in 1955. Nearly 60 years later, few recall the dairy, or that it was consistently viewed as a model facility in its early years.

1928 Louden Feed and Litter Carrier ad featuring Soldiers' Home dairy

Cattle at the Soldiers' Home, 1921

A visit by the District’s five health department veterinarians on August 1, 1907, resulted in one commenting that “the dairy farm at the home … [was] a model in every respect. The herd [was] one of the finest in the country and the most modern sanitary precautions [were] observed.” The dairy barns were kept as clean as possible and every cow was tested for tuberculosis before it was purchased. Furthermore, new additions to the herd were quarantined for an additional three months and then tested again.

Secretary of Agriculture Wallace and inspector general of the army, Gen. Helmick, inspect the dairy at the United States Soldiers' home. This dairy is declared to be the finest in the entire world (from Washington Post, September 14, 1922)


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5 Comments on “Remembering the Soldiers’ Home Dairy”

  1. IMGoph Says:

    awesome post! fantastic to learn about this.

  2. […] I’ve posted about before, a large portion of the area where the Washington Hospital Center currently sits was once the dairy […]

  3. […] would provide an opportunity to present information on W.W. Corcoran, Harewood Hospital, and the Soldiers’ Home Dairy […]

  4. […] to the Old Soldiers Home directly north, and they gave it to the Washington Hospital Center (former location of Soldiers’ Dairy Farm), which turned it over to the District Department of Transportation for public use. Sign: "A […]

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