The Broadview Dairy sign is a reminder of the importance of local dairies in turn-of-the century Spokane. Indeed, milk was a staple food in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and was delivered door to door by horse drawn carriages. Milk was an essential part of a healthy diet in 1910. It provided a quick and easy way to supply vital nutrients at a relatively low cost.
Allen H. Flood was noteworthy in the local dairy industry for establishing legislation on dairy products, ridding cows of tuberculosis, and launching a successful milk delivery system. Flood's new enterprise progressed rapidly when he moved back to Spokane in 1896. By 1909 he was raising two hundred cows on five hundred acres in Rosalia, the largest dairy ranch west of the Rocky Mountains, which he purchased at $70/acre, the highest amount paid for farmland in the vicinity at that time. Flood's intended to grow the herd until it reached one thousand. The Northern Pacific Railroad connected this ranch to the 542-acre Marshall Junction ranch, where Flood's farmhands milked over 400 cows daily. The Broadview Farms, servicing twenty-two milk routes in Spokane, was the "largest [dairy] concern in the State" by 1910 when Flood and his sons Frank and Edmund erected the four story brick and rubble rock warehouse on Cataldo and Washington Streets. This building was state-of-the-art for the time featuring power and lights, electric heat, steam and city water.
The Floods were savvy marketers. In 1907, for example, they placed ads in the Spokane Daily Chronicle insisting that "a large percentage" of the cows used by other dairies had tuberculosis. They stated that consumptive cows would not feed their calves, implying that consumers should take the same precautions.
This three story brick and rubble rock building housed delivery wagons on the first floor, hay on the second floor, and the third floor was mostly storage. Ice cream supplies and a pasteurizing room could also be found in a separate section of the second floor. In 1948, an addition was built on the westernmost portion of the dairy building. This addition cost $400,000. The growth of Broadview Dairy is a unique story, from its inception to its proactive health and safety measures.
The Broadview Dairy building has had a variety of tenants in recent years, including several wineries. Today it is home to The Blackbird restaurant.