Zile’s Ice Cream was advertised on the side of a building in Taneytown just after the turn of the 20th Century. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day at the Historical Society of Carroll County’s Sundae Scoop on July 21.
Zile’s Ice Cream was advertised on the side of a building in Taneytown just after the turn of the 20th Century. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day at the Historical Society of Carroll County’s Sundae Scoop on July 21. (Courtesy Historical Society of Carroll County)

What this country needs is more folks eating ice cream. Think about it. Have you ever seen anyone angry while eating ice cream?

I was delighted to read a recent article about the history of ice cream in the Carroll County Times by my writing colleague Mary Ann Ashcraft.

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Ashcraft reports in her article, “Carroll Yesteryears: As National Ice Cream Day approaches, remembering Carroll’s early parlors and creameries,” that July 21 is National Ice Cream Day. Who knew?

Ice cream is important to me and I have written about the topic a number of times. Some of the history of ice cream is so important it bears repeating. The scoop is, according to multiple media sources, that ice cream has been around since the 4th century B.C. Apparently the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) “ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions.” Eventually ice cream was re-introduced to Europe by way of China and was “served in the fashionable Italian French royal courts.”

In Maryland, Gov. Bladen served ice cream to his guests in 1700. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were also known to have also served ice cream. Dolly Madison served it in the White House in 1812.

It was the American colonists who first used the term “ice cream’” a shortened version of “iced cream.” It was in New York City that the first ice cream parlor was opened in America, in 1776, long before Hoffman’s (1947) or Baugher’s (1948) in Carroll County.

According to Carol Lee’s “Legacy of the Land,” James Workman Beacham, Jr. and Nellie Slingluff started an ice cream factory in 1888 in Avondale, a year after they married and began having seven children. Historians are moot as to whether there is a connection between ice cream and having seven children.

Of course, as the new century approached, another challenge for Carroll County was securing adequate supplies of ice cream. In “Recollections of My Life”, Joshua W. Hering laments that when he first came to Westminster “on horseback, on Saturday morning, April 7, 1851 to become a clerk in the general store of Jacob Reese, located at the corner of Main and Center Streets (now Mathias Monuments), “Ice Cream was hardly known to the people of Westminster…”

“Mary Behoe, an old colored woman kept a little in her cake shop near the Forks. Later places were opened by Jonathan Creager in the basement of Carroll Hall and Mrs. James Keefer had a place on Main Street. … The quality was poor, and quantity small, and the price was amazingly large …”

After an article I wrote about ice cream over 10 years ago, Mrs. S. LaRue Crowl wrote to share with me that her “grandfather, J. David Crowl, owned and operated an ice cream factory on Center Street – the very spot where the Carroll County Office Building is presently located. I do not know the exact dates of operation but am assuming it was somewhere from 1910 through the 20′s. He died in 1931. My father, Ernest Crowl would often tell how, as a boy, on Sundays he would deliver a half gallon of ice cream to the homes on Willis Street for a quarter.”

In an article in “Countywide News” in 1989, Dean Minnich wrote that one of the Victorian giants of commerce and industry in Carroll County, George W. Albaugh, began his mega-empire around 1870, when at the age of 13, he opened an ice cream stand near his home in Dennings.

Still in his teens, Albaugh took his business acumen to “The Forks” (Pennsylvania Avenue and West Main Street) in Westminster, where he became a clerk at the large general store called “Yingling’s.” By the time Albaugh passed away in 1933, his success included vast real estate holdings which he co-owned with the Babylon family, including what we now know as Westminster City Hall and the Westminster Utilities company, which provided gas, electric and water services for Westminster. All this because of ice cream.

According to Ashcraft, “The Historical Society of Carroll County will celebrate National Ice Cream Day next Sunday afternoon, July 21, from 1 until 4 p.m. on the shady grounds of its campus at 206-216 East Main Street, Westminster.”

What we have learned today is that ice cream is the basis for love and understanding, and having children. It has great healing powers and is the road to great success in business. Join me in working for a better world and have a big bowl of ice cream today.

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