Bedford’s Favorite Ice Cream Stand: From Prescott Dairy to Bedford Farms

Looking south on North Road, c.1900. J.B. Prescott Dairy barn is on the right, the family home is on the left.

J. B. Prescott Dairy Company, founded in 1880, is the longest surviving business in Bedford, though the business has changed hands and names multiple times. Josiah Bartlett Prescott, the founder of the business, acquired a plot of land on North Road in 1879. The next year he founded his dairy company, which he ran from his home for the next twenty-five years.

In 1905, J. B. Prescott acquired the adjacent lot (where Holi and Bedford Farms stand now) and built a dairy plant and a large stable for his horses. According to Williston Farrington in An Awesome Century, after morning milking, local farmers would put their shipping cans in well houses, little buildings that would keep the milk cold (think along the line of an old-fashioned refrigerator). J. B. Prescott dairy would pick the milk up from the farms, pasteurize the milk, then ship them to Bedford residents.

When J. B. Prescott died, he left the business to his son Horace, who continued to run the company until his death in 1929.

Amos L. Taylor acquired the business and renamed it Bedford Farms Dairy. In the 1950s, Bedford Farms Dairy began to produce and sell ice cream.
Dairy operations ceased in the late 1960’s, but Glenn Simm Jr. acquired and continued to operate the ice cream business. Current owner Joe Venuti acquired the business in 1984.

From its humble beginnings as a dairy company operated out of Josiah Bartlett Prescott’s home to a popular ice cream shop with two locations, Bedford Farms is the oldest business in Bedford and remains a popular place for Bedford residents enjoy a cold ice cream on a hot summer day.

Emma Battaglia, Summer 2019 intern

One thought on “Bedford’s Favorite Ice Cream Stand: From Prescott Dairy to Bedford Farms

  1. Emma, That is really great.
    I was not sure how Taylor and Simm
    fit into the business. I have Amos L. Taylor
    as secretary for JB Prescott in the 1931 directory.
    Glen Simm was owner in 1952, but not sure
    where that came from.
    JB died in 1928 and Horace died in a car accident
    Dec 25, 1929 (More info if you want)
    Thanks, Brian O.

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