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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Towson in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ice Cream in July

Icehouse, ca. 1790

 

— Hampton National Historic Site, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
1. Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 Marker
Inscription.  Having ice in summertime was a real luxury in the early 19th century. Storing enough ice to last throughout the summer was a true feat. A large icehouse was a sign of wealth, and originally there were two such structures at Hampton. Although it looks like a grassy mound from the outside, take steps to view the elaborate underground vault that allowed the Ridgelys to serve ice cream in July. When the Ridgelys needed ice, a servant would descend into the pit, chip off what was needed, and heist or carry the load up a ladder and out the passage.

(Inscription beside the drawing in the center)
Men entered the cavity through the passage and packed the ice down, often pouring water over it to make it freeze. As the ice melted, the mass slid down the cone-shaped pit but stayed compact.

(Inscription over the drawing in the upper right)
In winter, slaves or paid workers cut large blocks of ice from frozen ponds in the property. They hauled them up the hill on sledges. The ice was shoveled through a hatch into the cone-shaped cavity that extends 14 feet below ground.
 
Erected by National Park Service-United

Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
2. Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 Marker
States Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 39° 24.994′ N, 76° 35.284′ W. Marker is in Towson, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker can be reached from Hampton Lane 0.2 miles east of Hampton Garth, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 535 Hampton Lane, Towson MD 21286, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ridgely's Pride (within shouting distance of this marker); Hampton: An American Story (within shouting distance of this marker); Oranges in January (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain Charles Ridgely (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden (about 300 feet away); Behind the Big House (about 400 feet away); Greenhouse #2 (about 400 feet away); Wartime Support (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Towson.
 
Entrance to the Icehouse image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
3. Entrance to the Icehouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 411 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 2, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 2, 2020