TERRE HAUTE —
Words from an old 1928 hit song aptly describe America’s beyond-fond feelings for ice cream. We all apparently screamed so much about the frozen sweet concoction that President Ronald Reagan in 1984 declared July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.
As a matter of fact, research shows the United States ranks No. 1 in the world in ice cream consumption and, according to some reports, Indiana is only outranked by California in ice cream production. It is estimated that Americans yearly consume an average of 23.4 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other frozen diary products, and 98 percent of all households purchase ice cream.
Although there is much controversy concerning the history of ice cream, some reports say it originated in China, others say it was from a cook of Charles I of England. It is also reported that the Roman Emperor Nero Claudis Caesar used to send his slaves to the mountains to bring back snow and ice to use in fruit drinks. But one of the most popular accounts is that Marco Polo (1254-1324) while in China saw ice cream being made and in turn, introduced it in Italy. There really is no historical evidence for any of these stories. It is reported however, that in 1776 the first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City and that Dolly Madison served ice cream as a dessert in the White House at the second inaugural ball in 1812.
Whatever its origins, ice cream certainly has expanded and today is a favorite worldwide. It’s reported that ice cream novelties, such as ice cream bars, were introduced in the 1920s and that, surprisingly, adults consume nearly one-half of all the ice cream novelties available.
There are quite a few places around the Wabash Valley where residents and visitors today can purchase the sweet, creamy, frozen delight known as ice cream — and all of its sidekicks from ice cream sodas to malts to shakes to sundaes to Flavor Burst cones.
Below are just a few of the mom-and-pop ice cream shops:
• Green Acres has been around since 1966 and came back into the original family in 2001 when Deborah Malone purchased the business. It is located at 7093 Rosedale Road in Terre Haute. Malone said she was excited to be back into the business she grew up with. She likes the people in the area and loves being around the ice cream business.
You’ll find three large pavilions outside Green Acres that seat from 35 to 40 people each. There is also additional seating on the roofed front patio. A playground for kids completes this totally walk-up ice cream joint. They offer 12 soft serve flavors, 10 old-fashioned hand-dipped flavors and at least 30 flavors of malts, shakes and sundaes.
“We have everything you need in the way of ice cream,” Malone said.
Hours for Green Acres are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 812-466-3711.
• Lynn’s Old Fashioned Soda Parlor, owned by Lynn Hostetler and located on U.S. 40 at 22 W. National Ave., in downtown Brazil inside Lynn’s Pharmacy, is a place where you can get ice cream in the surroundings of an old-time ice cream shop of the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. It offers indoor seating for 40 to 50 people. The 1890s tin ceiling and furniture and the black-and-white-checkered tile floor add to the ambience of this ice cream shop. There’s even an authentic 12-foot-wide soda fountain from the 1960s that came from an old northern Indiana soda shop. Hostetler, a longtime pharmacist nearing his 53rd year in the business, said ice cream soda shops were always a part of a pharmacy in the past, and rather than purchase a Lexus or a Mercedes Benz, he said, “I’d rather have this kind of a toy.” It takes him back to the days when he was in his teens and ran a soda fountain at Easley’s Pharmacy in Clay City.
Pharmacies eventually made phosphates (a beverage made with flavor and carbonation) respective. In the Victorian Era, they were considered an evil that came from pool halls. They were originally served only to adults and were illegal to serve on Sundays. When pharmacies started selling the phosphates, they also promoted the cold icy ice cream “sundaes,” named as such because it was an option you could buy on a Sunday, Hostetler explained.
Ice cream flavors available at Lynn’s include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan and moose tracks. It is probably the only place around where you can still get an old-fashioned soda and phostate. Malts, shakes and sundaes are also specialties of this old-time soda fountain and ice cream shop. A full line of sandwiches are also available.
It is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sundays. For more information call 812-446-2381 or visit www.lynnspharmacy.com/sodaparlor.htm.
• The Big Berry reportedly opened in 1961 at the junction of U.S. 36 and Indiana 59 in Bellmore at 6978 E. U.S. 36. This is the ninth season for owners Dave and Judy Gilstrap and son Jason. Jason said he always wanted to run a restaurant, the family loved the community, and, so, when the opportunity became available, they chose to operate The Big Berry.
At the Big Berry you’ll find 38 flavors of soft serve and 16 flavors of hard hand-dipped ice cream. Jason said vanilla is the favorite soft serve flavor and butter pecan ranks No. 1 in the hand-dipped varieties. They also offer a full line of sandwiches and other ice cream specialty items.
Their season runs from April through October, and they are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 765-344-2811.
• The Mayberry Malt and Coffee Shoppe in Clay City is owned by Jeff and Carol Fritz and Dan and Jamie Webster. It is located at 709 Front St., one block west of Main Street, and directly behind the Clay City Pharmacy. Jeff Fritz and Dan Webster are long-time educators in Clay County. Fritz is the principal at North Clay and Webster in the fall begins his 25th year as a teacher at Jackson Township Elementary School.
They wanted a side business that would reflect the morals, values and patriotism they teach and promote on a daily basis in the schools. What better way than an all-American ice cream shoppe? As hardcore Andy Griffith fans, they decided that Clay City, the “Mayberry of the Midwest,” was the perfect place for their ice cream shoppe, restaurant and coffee shop. They opened in 2009 and now serve more than 32 soft serve flavors of ice cream and at least 16 hand-dipped hard ice cream flavors.
Webster said cookies ’n’ cream and cookie dough are favorites among the children, and the adults seem to focus on butter pecan, chocolate peanut butter and white chocolate raspberry as favorites.
The Mayberry Malt and Coffee Shoppe offers porch and outdoor seating, walk-up and drive-through service and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and is closed on Sundays to reflect those “Mayberry” values of old. For more information contact them at 812-939-3200 or visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/mayberrymalt.shoppe.
• The Dairy Castle at 801 Indianapolis Road in Greencastle, has been around for 50 years. Rob and Jane Best purchased the business five years ago. Wanting a seasonal business and loving ice cream, they found the well-established Dairy Castle was the shop for them. It is one of the only ice cream shops around that makes its own ice cream on site — much of it completely from scratch. Rob says many of the 25 hand-dipped flavors have come from trial and error experiments. Many of the recipes have been handed down from owner to owner, too, he said.
Some of his new flavors include ammarretto toffee, mango sherbet, rum raisin and cinnamon ice cream. Sherbet flavors include orange, watermelon, mango and raspberry salad. This quaint little ice cream shop also offers a full line of sandwiches and ice cream speciality items. It offers drive-through service, can seat 24 inside and offers picnic tables for those warm sunny days of summer.
The hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 765-653-9222.
• The Swiss Connection, northeast of Clay City, 1.4 miles east of Indiana 59 on County Road 550 South, is owned and operated by the Yegerlehner family. You can buy ice cream by the cone, by the pint, quart or pre-ordered three gallon sizes at the Swiss Connection store at the walk-up counter.
The Yegerlehner dairy farm has been in the family since the mid 1860s, but for many years the milk was shipped out and not processed on site until 2000. Their premium ice cream is made on the site but with a milk cream base because all the cream from their dairy is set aside for the cheese and butter products they make.
But all natural ingredients — no artificial colors or flavors — are added to come up with all the flavors they offer. For cones, there are eight varieties; 20 different flavors are available in bulk.
For more information, you can contact the Swiss Connection at 812-939-2813 or visit www.swissconnectioncheese.com/icecream.htm.
• The Freeze is one the oldest ice cream establishment around, having been in existence for 49 years, according to current owner Jeff Nees. He and wife Jana bought The Old Tasty Freeze on Brazil’s east side eight years ago. Nees said his kids worked at The Tasty Freeze and when Wonder Bread, his former employer, left the area, he and Jana thought The Freeze would be a good business to make their own. Located at 506 U.S. 40, it offers indoor seating for about 24 and outside picnic table seating for the same.
It is a walk-up and drive-through service ice cream shop with a full line of sandwiches and ice cream specialty items. There are 16 hand-dipped flavors to choose from and 10 soft serve flavors. One of its specialties is the Flavor Burst soft serve cone that stripes the cone with a flavor burst icing/gel colored ingredient.
You can check The Freeze out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/
the-freeze-brazil-IN/131332403571746?fref=ts or contact them directly at 812-448-2745.
• Highly popular ice cream franchises such as Baskin Robbins, Ritter’s Frozen Custard and Dairy Queen also dot the cities and towns nearby.
One of the oldest Dairy Queens around, in existence since 1952, is located at 3201 Wabash Ave., in Terre Haute. Current owner Lynne Sneeden said a lot of the original items are still used in this ice cream shop that has been owned by several Terre Haute residents. Before she took over, her parents owned and operated this franchise since 1984.
Ice cream fun facts
- It takes an average of 50 licks to finish off a single-scoop ice cream cone.
- Vanilla is the most popular purchased flavor.
- It takes 12 pounds of milk to make a gallon of ice cream.
- The major ingredient in ice cream is air.
- The United States ranks No. 1 in ice cream consumption.
- The largest ice cream pyramid was made the summer of 2002 with 3,894 scoops and was 53 inches high.
- In 1812 then first lady Dolly Madison was the first to serve ice cream in the White House, serving it at the second inaugural ball.
In 1845 the hand-cranked ice cream freezer was invented.
Ever suffer an ice cream headache?
When something cold touches the roof of your mouth, it causes blood vessels to dilate and the cold to reach a nerve center that immediately tries to warm your brain. Don’t want that ice cream headache? Try not to let the roof of your mouth get cold.
Top 15 Flavors
Top 15 (most recent) most popular ice cream flavors
1. Vanilla, 29 percent
2. Chocolate, 8.9 percent
3. Butter Pecan, 5.3 percent
4. Strawberry, 5.3 percent
5. Neapolitan, 4.2 percent
6. Chocolate Chip, 3.9 percent
7. French Vanilla, 3.8 percent
8. Cookies and Cream, 3.6 percent
9. Vanilla Fudge Ripple, 2.6 percent
10. Praline Pecan, 1.7 percent
11. Cherry, 1.6 percent
12. Chocolate Almond, 1.6 percent
13. Coffee, 1.6 percent
14. Rock Road, 1.5 percent
15. Chocolate Marshmallow, 1.3 percent
Source: International Ice Cream Association, Washington, D.C.
“Ice Cream” (By Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and A.K. King)
In the land of ice and snow
Up among the Eskimo
There’s a college known as Oogie-wawa.
You should hear those college boys
Gee, they make an awful noise
When they sing their Eskimo tra la la.
They’ve got a leader, big cheer leader, oh what a guy!
He’s got a frozen face just like and Eskimo Pie.
When he says, “Come on, Let’s go!”
Though it’s forty-five below
Listen what those Eskimo all holler:
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Rah, rah … Oogie de wawa rah rah rah!
Tuesday, Monday, we all scream for Sundae,
Sis-boom, Aurora borealea, bah!
We’ve got the chocolate
I’ll take vanoola
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Rah, rah, ice cream soda or gingerale pop!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Words vary from website to website. This version transcribed from vocals by Tom Stacks performing with Harry Reser’s Six Jumping Jacks, recorded Jan. 14, 1928; From Harry Reser’s Six Jumping Jacks, volume 2, the Old Masters, mb 128.
- www.icecream.com/main/index.asp?b=105n www.makeicecream.com/hisoficecrea.html
- www.idfa.org/news--views/media-kits/ice-cream/july-is-national-ice-cream-mon/Internationaldairy foods association
- For a documented history of ice cream in the U.S., check out “Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla: A History of American Ice Cream,” by Anne Funderburg.