courtesy Evan Hart

Fernwood Ranch Dairy was a small dairy and milk distributor from 1902 until c.1942. It was founded 1902 by Antone "Tony" Campomenosi as the Red Gate Farm Dairy. Initially it was near Lawton and Broadway; in 1910 Campomenosi renamed the dairy and moved it to 452 Clifton St. The Campomenosis lived next door at 458 Clifton St.

The dairy won medals at the 1931 Pacific Slope Dairy Show for milk, both before and after pasteurizing. In 1932, they were distributors for Stornetta & Sons Grade A Raw Milk. 1

In 1935, Campomenosi and the Fentons were party to a law suit challenging the constitutionality of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. 2

1899 Dingee map

The origin of the name is uncertain. Fernwood was the country estate of Jack Coffee Hays, later owned by William Dingee. Red Gate Farm was the farm adjacent to it owned by William Dingee. It's possible that Campomenosi kept his cows there. Lending support to this theory, a Fernwood Ranch Dairy milk bottle was found in the area.

Tony's nephew, Lawrence "Campi" Campomenosi, worked at the dairy in the early 1940s. Tony died in 1942, and references to the dairy quickly fade, so it's possible the dairy closed after Tony's death.

Links and References

  1. Dairy Started Here in 1902 Oakland Tribune May 5, 1932
  2. Oakland Firms Hit Dairy Pact Oakland Tribune July 6, 1935