History of the Ice Cream Social

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Warmer weather is on its way, and you know what that means – ice cream shops will be opening soon! Believe it or not, ice cream has been enjoyed for centuries. While there is debate on who exactly created the delicious dessert, we do know that it was occasionally served in England’s courts by the 1600s.

The first definitive case of people serving ice cream in the American colonies occurred in 1744 in Maryland. Since that initial distribution, ice cream appeared on many occasions throughout the following decades. For example, in 1784 George and Martha Washington purchased a “cream machine for ice” for their home at Mount Vernon. In 1802, Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. President to serve ice cream at the White House.

No surprise, early Americans enjoyed many of the same flavors we do today, including strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio. However, there were many other flavors served by the 1800s that aren’t as common today, like tea, parmesan, and even oyster flavored ice cream!

Over time, Ice Cream Socials began appearing as fundraisers for various organizations like schools and churches. By the time the Tinker family began fundraising for the McFarland W.C.T.U Home for Children, Ice Cream Socials were one of the most popular options. Below you will find an image of the first Ice Cream Social held at the Cottage.

 

Ice Cream Social
©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum&Gardens

While we may no longer host Ice Cream Socials at the Cottage, we do have many fun events throughout the year we would love for you to attend. For more information, check out our website. We’ll see you soon!

 

 

¤ Samantha

Some more fun reading:
http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/spring10/icecream.cfm
http://www.scoops2u.com/history-of-ice-cream-socials/
https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/IceCream/IceCreamHistory.htm

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