The Milk Cooling Shed

The Milk Cooling Shed, 2019

The Milk Cooling Shed is where the dairy workers would store the milk until it could be transported for processing. The building is constructed of structural clay tiles and a concrete foundation and floor. It only has two rooms, one north and one south. The north room houses a pump and cooling and storage equipment, and the south room features a concrete basin. The processing or pasteurizing of the milk was done off site about fifteen miles north of Andalusia in nearby Eatonton. It was essential to keep the milk cool until it could be processed, and the Milk Cooling Shed was equipped with large, refrigerated tanks filled with water for the cooling and storing of cans of milk. Hot water, supplied by the tank in a small, separate compartment, was used to sterilize the empty cans and milking equipment before they were placed on drying racks to be used again. The importance of making sure that milk is carefully processed before drinking it is clearly illustrated in Flannery’s short story “The Enduring Chill.”

Despite the importance of processing, the O’Connors discovered that one of their workers, a “Mr. F,” was selling milk from the cans on the road between Andalusia and Eatonton. Regina (Flannery’s mother and manager of the farm) would eventually become so weary of dealing with troublesome workers that she ended up selling the dairy herd and transitioning the farm to beef production (The Habit of Being, O’Connor 232).   

The restoration of the milk cooling shed was completed in 2009 and was primarily funded by the Watson-Brown Junior Board of Milledgeville. Additional support came from generous donations from the Friends of Andalusia and donations given in memory of Robert W. Mann and Catherine Florencourt Firth.