Screaming Over Ice Cream

This story was first broadcast on Aug. 25, 2006.



Two Rivers, Wis., located on the shores of Lake Michigan, has one of the largest historical markers you'll ever see, reports CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman: 28 square feet of space paying homage to the ice cream sundae.

"This is the home of the sundae," says Greg Buckley, the town manager. He says it was a guy named Ed Berners who came up with the idea, making ice cream history.

But not quite. To make a short story long, there's another version, set in Ithaca, N.Y.

"I firmly believe Ithaca is home to the sundae now," says Bruce Stoff of the Ithaca Visitors' Bureau. "I'm 100 percent sure."

Stoff says the sundae was first created at the Plat and Colt Pharmacy. They even have a marker to note it, just like Two Rivers.

A feud over bragging rights began last summer, when Stoff started promoting Ithaca as the sundae's true birthplace. Two Rivers then issued a proclamation demanding, mostly tongue-in-cheek, that Ithaca cease and desist with its claim, since Two Rivers was the sundae's true birthplace.

Ithaca responded with an ad in Two Rivers' newspaper, basically saying: "Oh yeah, prove it."

Two Rivers said, "You prove it," and Ithaca said, "OK."

Stoff went back through the old Ithaca Journal newspapers, and in a paper dated April 5, 1892, he found a tiny ad:
Cherry Sunday
A New 10 Cent Ice Cream Specialty Served Only At Platt And Colt's
Back in Twin Rivers, Buckley won't concede Ithaca has won the title. He says, "We would concede they're the birthplace for newspaper advertising for the ice cream sundae."

Buckley says Berners invented the sundae 10 years before that ad. His town isn't giving up — they've even got a fight song.

Needless to say, the war continues to escalate. And, as Hartman notes, although there may never be a true victor, at least in this war, both sides get the spoils.




Last week, two recent graduates of Ithaca High School said they'd found an old newspaper story that proves the sundae was created in their town. But Two Rivers still isn't ready to surrender.

  • Sean Alfano

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