Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae
Two Rivers, Wisconsin
In 1881, George Hallauer asked Ed Berner, owner of a soda fountain, to top his dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce, hitherto used only for ice cream sodas. It became a popular concoction, but was only sold on Sundays. One day, a little girl asked for one, saying they could pretend it was Sunday. Voila -- sundae (the spelling is attributed to a mistranscription on the check).
In 1973 the State Historical Society dedicated a marker in a downtown park commemorating the first ice cream sundae, and city limits billboards still toot the sundae horn. Berner's original soda fountain can be seen in Two Rivers sharing space with a historical museum. Every July, the town celebrates Ice Cream Sundae Thursday.
There are several rival "first sundae" claimants: Buffalo, NY; Ithaca, NY; Evanston, IL; Plainfield, IL; Norfolk, VA; and Manitowoc, WI. Two Rivers is the only one endorsed by the National Register of Historic Places.