Sign for Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae.

Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae

Field review by the editors.

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.

Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae

Washington House Museum

Address:
1622 Jefferson St., Two Rivers, WI
Directions:
Washington House Museum. On the west side of Jefferson St. just north of 16th St.
Phone:
920-793-2490
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