Baltimore screamed for York County ice cream
A typical Seven Valleys-area ice cream plant, complete with factory store. Also of interest: Seven Valleys – From rail to rail trail
Every time I read Armand Glatfelter’s history of Seven Valleys, I peruse the section covering the burgeoning ice cream industry in that area in the 1800s.
Why Seven Valleys?
That area had dairy cattle.
It had streams that could be dammed to harvest ice in the winter for making ice cream the next summer.
And it had the Northern Central Railroad (See the Great Watermelon Train Wreck). The Northern Central Railroad that ran to an eagerly awaiting market in Baltimore.
And it had enough people to rake leaves.
Large amounts of leaves and sawdust were needed to insulate the ice taken from the frozen waterways against the summer heat. So, laborers took the woods in the fall to rake piles and piles of leaves.
A mild winter or a hot summer meant trouble for the ice cream business.
And yes, the several ice cream factories in that area had ice cream parlors for the local population.
Here’s Glatfelter’s account of the shipping of milk from Smyser’s station on the Northern Central to Baltimore:
At four in the morning, you could hear the loud rattling of milk cans, as scores of farmers from the surrounding dairies brought their filled milk cans to the station, and loaded them unto (onto) the milk platform where the Railway Express agent tagged them and loaded them on the five o’clock train for Baltimore… . Coming in every evening, on the five o’clock local train, were the same amount of empty milk cans, as had been shipped out that morning full of milk … .
A tub of ice cream awaits shipment to Baltimore at Smyser’s Station depot near Seven Valleys.
*Photos courtesy of Armand Glatfelter’s history of Seven Valleys.