Harvey Perley Hood moved his prosperous Derry, New Hampshire, dairy business to Charlestown in 1894. Hood's company became the first milk company in New England to pasteurize milk, the first to use glass bottles in packaging and shipping milk, and the first to use the railroads effectively to market its products over long distances.
In 1900, Hood transferred operations to Rutherford Avenue, strategically located next to the freight depots of the Boston & Maine Railroad. Between 1928 and 1929, he built the present three-story red brick with limestone trim structure with a capacity to process 300,000 quarts of milk daily. Though the company sold the factory in 1980 to Agway, the building remains a monument to an important Charlestown industry. Now called Hood Business Park (480–570 Rutherford Avenue), the complex retains the original smokestack announcing Hood Milk.