Who would think ice cream sundaes might have something to do with genealogy?!

It’s more along the lines of history. While researching some ancestors in Wisconsin, I ran across this interesting (and yummy) tidbit:

On This Day: July 8

On this date in 1881 druggist and soda fountain owner Ed Berners of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, was asked by a customer to top a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce, an ingredient previously used only in ice cream sodas.

The new tasty treat became very popular, though it was only served on Sundays. According to H.L. Mencken, the sundae got its official name after a little girl demanded a dish of ice cream ‘with that stuff on top’ on a different day.

Numerous other locations claim to have created the first ice cream sundae, and it is unclear which community deserves the title to having invented this great American treat.

~source Wisconsin Historical Society’s “On This Day in History”

Not knowing where Two Rivers was, I checked Google:


Nearly straight east of Oshkosh, and southeast of Green Bay, it’s located where the West Twin River and the East Twin River meet just before draining into Lake Michigan…about 200 miles away from where my ancestors settled. Not likely they were around there in 1881, but they might have been some of the first to experience this tasty treat, considering they lived in the State where it was invented. Or so they claim!

If you have ancestors from Wisconsin, you might enjoy checking out The Wisconsin Historical Society’s website. There’s a special section called Research Your Family History, as well as special collections, photos and numerous other topics.

Or just peruse their On This Day in History section. Fun facts and interesting things about the Badger State.

Map courtesy Google Maps