We All Scream For…
Ice Cream Social still bringing community together
The Washington County Historical Society will celebrate its 46th annual Ice Cream Social from 3 until 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at the historic Headquarters House in Fayetteville.
The WCHS has been celebrating Washington County history since 1951. It acquired its headquarters, a Greek revival home built in 1853 by Matilda and Jonas March Tebbetts, in the 1960s. The building is noted for having been used as headquarters for both the Union and Confederate armies at different points during the Civil War. The Headquarters House will be open for touring by guests of the ice cream social on Saturday.
WCHS Museum manager Tess Kidd says the idea for the Ice Cream Social as a fundraiser was generated in 1972 by Cyrus Sutherland, noted professor of architecture at the University of Arkansas and preservationist, as a means of supporting the purchase of the historic Ridge House that same year.
“He came up with the idea for an old-fashioned ice cream social, to get folks together at that time,” Kidd says. “The WCHS hardly had any money at all at that time, and they had just taken on the Ridge House restoration, so we had to come up with a way to make some money for that.”
Kidd says the occasion is the perfect time for those not familiar with the organization to get a closer view of the museum inside the Headquarters House, as well as the gardens on the grounds, which are maintained by Washington County Master Gardeners.
This year, says Kidd, there will even be a special exhibit for guests to view.
“2017 is the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, and we have a great exhibit called ‘The Great War: Arkansas in World War I’,” she says. “It’s on loan from the Arkansas State Archives, and it is an awesome exhibit.”
The afternoon will also feature live music by singer Tori Miller, as well as the Northwest Arkansas Brass Ensemble. The Heritage School will present a special World War I program, and authors Anthony J. Wappel and J.B. Hogan will be available to sign copies of their new book, “The Square Book: An Illustrated History of the Fayetteville Square, 1826-2016.”
History and ice cream come together at the Washington County Historical Society’s Ice Cream Social, happening this year on Aug. 19.