It's an Experience -- The Turkey Hill Experience features 26,000 square feet of exhibits and includes nine interactive exhibits all about Turkey Hill Dairy and its ice cream products. Instead of opting for new construction,Turkey Hill Dairy, renovated the remains of the former Ashley & Bailey silk mill, turning it NOT into an actual creamery, but an interactive museum geared to kids, and enjoyed by parents and grandparents, like Grenville and myself.
The renovations included savaging an old a mill water tower to use as billboard advertising for the new museum which opened in June 2011. It's a show and tell of what happens in a creamery as it follows the production of ice cream with interactive exhibits that explain or simulate a process.
But, it's really an interactive children's museum.
Instead of opting for new construction,Turkey Hill Dairy, renovated the remains of an aging former Ashley & Bailey silk mill, turning it NOT into an actual creamery, but an interactive museum geared to kids, and enjoyed by parents and grandparents, like Grenville and myself. The renovations included savaging a former mill water tower to use as billboard advertising for the new museum. THE opened less than a year ago in June 2011. It's a show and tell of what happens in a creamery and follows the production of ice cream with interactive exhibits that explain or simulate a process.
First stop is a cow milking area where a large mechanical cow is ready for milking, complete with udders and a milking stool. It's not milk, but water, but kids and adults didn't seem to mind. Many stations have hands-on activities. The Clean Up shows how milk is pasteurized by letting kids blast away unwanted ingredients with an air gun. The Mix & Match station has stampers that imprint flavor scents on a The Flavor Frenzy kept the kids busy for awhile. It included empty containers of flavoring that they pretended to pour into mixers to create ice cream blends. Blending describes how all the ingredients come together to make ice cream. There's also an actual Turkey Hills Dairy truck to climb aboard. There was a packaging area where, with adult help, they could create a design and name for an ice cream blend. A small room with fans blowing cold air demonstrated the freezing process. The most stop was an on-air area where kids (and adults) could make their own commercial.
Grandson Bobby tried nearly all the exhibit stops.
Granddaughter Elizabeth at 10 months was a bit too young for the exhibits, so she napped and rode along.
BEST part of this Experience - at least for the adults present - was the unlimited sampling. The selections were not unlimited, and confined to about 15 Turkey Hill flavors, we found a couple to sample at least twice.
Turkey Hill Dairy began in 1931, when farmer Armor Frey sold bottled milk to neighbors from his sedan during the Great Depression years. Frey's family obtained the farm directly from Thomas and Richard Penn, sons of William Pan and the sheepskin deed to the farm refers to "turkeyhill". Turkey Hill Ridge was named by the Conestoga Indians for the wild turkeys found there, so the family decided to name their dairy after the name on the deed and the nearby geographical feature. Frey sold the daily to his three sons (Glen, Emerson and Charles) in 1947. Milking their cows and delivering milk to customers within a few miles provided these three families with a steady income.
In 1980, the dairy began making ice cream, which sold well in Lancaster County. In 1981, they started selling it through a few independent stores in Pennsylvania before expanding into New Jersey and up the East Coast. In the early 2000s, Turkey Hill's products were sold further west as Turkey Hill rapidly expanded its distribution area. The ice cream is now sold in over 25 states. In 1985, the dairy and the stores were sold to a subsidiary of Kroger, a US supermarket chain. The Frey family remains active in the business and Quintin Frey, Armor Frey's grandson, is president of the dairy.