A city on Cayuga Lake’s southern shore; Ithaca is known for its breathtaking views. But this Southern Tier city has another claim to fame.
“We say that we are where the ice cream sundae was invented,” said Tompkins County History Center Executive Director Rod Howe.
Rev. John Scott always went to Chester Platt’s Pharmacy in Ithaca on Sundays. On April 3rd, 1892, he got more than his usual bowl of vanilla.
“Chester Platt scooped the ice cream into a crystal champagne saucer poured gourmet cherry syrup over the top and dressed the new creation with a delicate french candied cherry. And it proved to be delicious,” said Howe.
Twin Rivers Wisconsin has tried to claim the invention of the sundae as their own.
“We have this special collection called the Ithaca sundae research collection,” said Howe.
A few high schoolers in 2007 got the scoop on Ithaca’s sundae history, with evidence dating earlier than Wisconsin’s claim. Documents include an advertisement in the local paper, a letter attempting to patent sundaes, and an affidavit from someone that witnessed the first sundae.
“It seems pretty clear it happened here,” said Howe.
You can see for yourself a plaque in front of where the Platt and Colt pharmacy used to be, right on the Ithaca Commons.