Dig this

riverton history mystery (Copy)With all of those backyards, the former grounds of Dreer’s Nursery, and the banks of the Pompeston Creek and Delaware River at Riverton’s doorstep, an afternoon spent digging often yields treasures of all sorts – Indian arrowheads, milk and patent medicine bottles, flower pots, and such.

Last December, Jennifer Chapman exhibited treasures she found on the Delaware River along with graphic compositions that shed light on their history at Palmyra Nature Cove. Here are some pix I took of that incredible display of locally dug artifacts.

More recently, Matt Mlynarczyk, a Riverton ex expatriate now residing in Alexandria, VA sent in this information about a dug bottle. Gone from this area for over 25 years, he presumably found us online and presents this mystery. He writes:

Hello Friends,

I grew up in Cinnaminson and began collecting old bottles and beer cans in 1976; I left for college in 1984 and have lived in Alexandria, Va. since 1990.

macmullin dug bottle (Copy)I’ve attached a photo of a Riverton milk bottle that I have never able to find any information about; perhaps you know something about it.

It’s 7″ tall, with a slight hint of amethyst in the glass, marked ONE PINT, and the slug plate reads, MACMULLIN RIVERTON, N.J.; the base is marked T. MFG. C.

I dug this bottle during the summer of 1978 it in Riverton, N.J. where Broad St./River Rd. crosses the Pompeston Creek. There was construction there, and another friend/collector dug for about a week and came upon a treasure trove of Burlington County bottles; most dated from 1880-1910.

I would be happy to provide you with a more detailed photo for Gaslight News if you would like to publish it to begin a dialogue.

Best regards,
Matt Mlynarczyk

OK, kids. Any ideas on the story behind this MacMullin dairy bottle? Tell us about your dug finds. – JMc

Added 7/6/2016, sent in by Mrs. Pat Smith Solin, former Riverton School librarian who loves a puzzle:

I have not been able to locate the dairy, not in NJ nor in PA, but I think I found the manufacturer of the bottle.

Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Company (T. MFG. C) was in operation c.1904-1985, but “sold dairy-related products including milk bottles that were actually made by other glass companies (1889-c.1904).”  See this link.


Found Cole Dairy (of course), Bishop, and Harding, in Riverton, but no Macmullin Dairy, anywhere — not in NJ or PA.  I checked the US Census, and there were Macmullins’ in Riverton, and some in Philly, but none of the occupations corresponded to a dairy, or similar.

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

3 thoughts on “Dig this”

  1. We used to dig around in the “bottle dump” along the creek, behind the apartments on Cedar St. I wish I had saved some of the things we found!

  2. I found the exact same Macmullin bottle while digging fence post holes in my (former) backyard near the Episcopal Church on 4th Street. Interesting that there’s no history of the dairy.

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