The local mercantile (dry goods) store was the center of town life. Families could buy a variety of items at these stores. Another option was to order through the Sears and Roebuck catalog (replica from 1908 sitting on thread display). It was common for the post office to be located in a dry goods store.
Other items in the display include:
- Cash register, Scales, adding machines
- Photographs: dry goods store and automobiles outside in Centerville
- The fireproof safe was owned by the California Nursery Company founded by John Rock in 1865 in the San Jose area. He opened the location in Niles, which became one of California’s most noted nurseries. Inside the safe are a Federal Reserve Bank money sack, a pen and inkbottle, California Nursery letter file, a red folder with notes of workmen hours from 1898, 3 binders and a Remington Rand adding machine. On top of the safe are a coin bank given to customers when Bank of California opened in Fremont c. 1960 and a balance scale.
- The thread display case has a tobacco grinder on top.
Ads on the wall include:
- Grand special auction for lots in Irvington, Dec. 7, 1889
- Wm. W. Hirsch dealer in Irvington
- Department store opening 1883 (probably Oakland)
- E.H Hirsch Irvington dealer (dry goods, shoes, hats, etc. – also dealer in automobiles), based in Irvington
- Inflatable elastic bosom
- Hip assistant for the deficient
Other business related items include: Nucoa Margarine sign and box, letter files; family scale, Sign PG&E house warming, new office in Niles; a calendar, JS Bell 1912, Centerville, a balance scale, a Burroughs Calculator, an ink blotter with an ad from American glass thermometer, a mimeograph machine used by Centerville Presbyterian Church, and a Royal typewriter
Cloverdale Creamery Exhibit
The Bauhofer family, Joe Sr., Emma, Joe Jr., Bill and Lily, moved to Centerville from Alameda in 1927 to operate the Innes-Cloverdale Dairy on the Chadbourne ranch, later the Williams ranch (located at what is now the Fremont Hub on Mowry Avenue and Fremont Blvd.). In 1938 they bought property on North Main Street and established the Cloverdale Creamery. They erected storage buildings and a modern style creamery and fountain that opened for business on June 25, 1938.
The plant pasteurized milk and after 1948 produced Cloverdale ice cream. They operated a home delivery service and also delivered to restaurants and stores in Washington Township.
The creamery was on the main highway between Oakland and San Jose and it brought many hungry and thirsty travelers. It became a social gathering place for travelers and area residents, especially high school students in the 1940s.
This was a family run business that closed its doors in 2001 after 63 years.
The display contains: Cloverdale Creamery milk cans, bottles, a wire bottle carrier, a wooden box for milk bottles, a bottle filler, a bottle capper, a license plate holder that was used for advertisement labeled: “follow the Husker- Cloverdale Creamery”, a wreath made of bottle caps, newspaper ads and articles, a ½ pint milk carton (used for children’s milk at the schools).
The display includes photographs of: Marchy ranch, Bauhofer ranch, Wipfli ranch, Joe Bauhofer Jr in milk delivery uniform and his uniform with pants, shirt and hat, men from a Milkers’ Union meeting, Wipfli family, Bauhofer family, milk delivery with Carl Dettling to Mary Ulrich at the Patterson Ranch in 1942, Bill Bauhofer and worker Fred Ruckli c. 1960 in front of the tanker milk truck at the Creamery,Teresa Marchy 1975, from Marchy Dairy.
Above the exhibit are large photos of Bill, Joe Jr., Bill Jr., and Frieda Bauhofer.