Being the spoiled creatures that we are, the Great One and I have come to the conclusion that there are only a few weeks a year that meet our specifications for shopping outdoor flea markets - temperature in the mid 60-mid 70 range, no precipitation and maybe a cool breeze or two.  Days of this caliber don’t come around often, so when one arrives, we take advantage of it. 

The Barnyard Flea Market in Fort Mill is practically in our backyard.  Regulars - Jim, Jim and Angie - have helped to nurture our dream of becoming pickers.  They are willing to sit and talk about collecting in general, their favorite collectibles and how to find the real deals.  We are truly grateful for their generosity in sharing their time and their knowledge with us.

At their suggestion, a few week ago, we made a trip to the Mt Croghan Flea Market.  We were told to arrive early, however, our concept of early is debatable.  The Mt Croghan Flea Market was started over 40 years ago as a Sunday only event and still maintains the “family get together atmosphere” that Carolyn Taylor envisioned when she started the flea market.  Many of the vendors have been with them for 15-20 years.  You can find just about anything there.  Check out their website for a full description. 

With the early morning sun filtering through a canopy of multi-colored leaves, we found Jim and Angie’s tables nestled under the trees.  They have been collecting pretty much all of their lives and the tables were loaded with a vast array of collectibles.  Since he knew I liked milk bottles, Jim pointed out a 12 oz cottage cheese jar from the Akron Pure Milk Company.  I had never had the opportunity to hold one in my hand before, so of course, I had to take it home with me.  As we made our way back to the truck, we realized that customer parking has a separate entrance.  We’ll remember that next time.  It’ll save us from weaving our way through the vendors parking and the flea market itself in search of customer parking. 

Googling my new treasure, revealed little information on cottage cheese jars.  According to the Society for Historical Archaeology, it is believed that dairies began using these wide-mouthed jars in the 1920s.  However, by the 1950s they had already switched to ovenware bowls and decorated tumblers.  An article on Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Company also found through the Society for Historical Archaeology website shows the glassmaker’s mark on my jar belongs to the Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Company and this specific mark was used between 1923 and 1950.

While googling, I did find it interesting to note that Traders Point Creamery, in Zionsville IN currently offers their cottage cheese in glass jars.  They use only 100% grass-fed organic milk and are committed not only to the health of their customers but to the planet as well.  As a result, all of their dairy products are offered in glass containers, which they believe are a healthier alternative to plastic.  According to GreenerPackage.com, “The Glass Packaging Institute notes, glass is the only packaging material rated “GRAS” or “generally regarded as safe” by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.”