If you are new to Columbus, you may have wondered what a gigantic cow is doing guarding the entrance to Best Buy on Manchester Expressway.
Folks from around here know the cow’s name is Kadie. She used to sit on the front lawn of the Kinnett Dairies plant that sat on the Best Buy location.
Kinnett Dairies started as an ice cream business in 1908. Milk production was added in 1935. John Kinnett, Jr., the founder’s son, told me the idea for Kadie sprang from a huge figerglas cow being hauled through Columbus on the way to Florida in the mid 1960’s. It attracted a lot of attention, which got the Kinnetts to thinking.
They tracked down the manufacturer of the fiberglas cow and had them make one for Kinnett’s. Kadie took her proud position in front of the dairy plant on Manchester Expressway when it opened in 1967.
Ellen Morris worked at Kinnett Dairies for almost 40 years. She was the tour director at the milk plant in the 90’s. Ellen remembers, “I’d have about three or four tours a week from all the schools. The big favorite was the vanilla ice cream cups. I think they called them Dixie cups. Then we would have chocolate milk. Then we would all go out and see Kadie.”
During the Christmas holidays Kadie was decorated with a huge wreath that was placed around her neck. “Believe it or not, the wreath had one thousand tiny lights on it. That was quite an ordeal,” Ellen recalls.
Columbus’ iconic cow holds special memories for folks all around the Columbus area. Kimberly Bender remembers Kadie from her childhood.
She says, “I look up on that hill and I just smile because it brings back memories of me and my daddy laughing and talking about Kadie the Cow. It sounds crazy but that’s just one of the things that we shared.”
I also have special memories about Kadie. When my oldest daughter India was just learning to talk, every time we would pass by Kinnett’s she would exlaim “Cow!” in her own cute little expressive way.