Chattanooga Times Free Press

Do you re­call McDon­ald Farm Ice Cream?

- BY MARK KENNEDY STAFF WRITER

This 1966 news­pa­per archive photo shows a half- gal­lon of McDon­ald Farm Cherry Gar­den-fla­vored ice cream priced at 57 cents.

The his­toric McDon­ald Farm in Sale Creek, Ten­nessee, has been in the news re­cently. Hamil­ton County lead­ers have said they are scout­ing the fam­ily owned prop­erty as a pos­si­ble in­dus­trial park.

At one point in the 20th cen­tury, the 2,100- acre farm also op­er­ated a cream­ery in Sale Creek, which pro­duced ice cream, milk, but­ter and cheese. The dairy goods were dis­trib­uted to the McDon­ald fam­ily’s Home Stores, a gro­cery chain that at its peak had 70 lo­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to news­pa­per ar­chives.

This photo is part of the Chat­tanooga Free Press photo col­lec­tion at Chat­tanooga His­tory.com, a web­site cu­rated by his­tory buff Sam Hall and de­voted to ar­chiv­ing his­tor­i­cal pho­tos of the Chat­tanooga area.

For decades, the Chat­tanooga Free Press was op­er­ated by mem­bers of the same McDon­ald fam­ily who own the Sale

Creek farm. The morn­ing Chat­tanooga Times and the af­ter­noon Chat­tanooga Free Press were pur­chased and con­sol­i­dated by WEHCO Me­dia in the late 1990s.

A his­tory of the McDon­ald Farm pub­lished on the prop­erty’s web site notes: “James McDon­ald set­tled the area now en­com­pass­ing McDon­ald Farm in 1821, and eight gen­er­a­tions since then have en­joyed the bu­colic set­ting strad­dling Sale Creek at the up­per end of Hamil­ton County in East Ten­nessee.”

The ice cream shown in the photo was sold through­out East Ten­nessee, ac­cord­ing to the McDon­ald Farm web­site. Although the ex­act recipe for Cherry Gar­den is un­known, the photo on the box sug­gests that cher­ries, co­conut and pineap­ple were among the in­gre­di­ents.

A search of mid- 20th cen­tury news­pa­per ar­chives shows that Cherry Gar­den was a com­mon ice cream fla­vor of the pe­riod. Ref­er­ences to Cherry Gar­den peaked just prior to 1950, ac­cord­ing to dig­i­tal records.

A Home Stores ad­ver­tise­ment in the Chat­tanooga Times in 1959 noted McDon­ald Farm ice cream on sale for 39 cents per half gal­lon. The ad also her­alded a new “alu­minum car­ton” which promised to keep ice cream colder while out of the freezer.

In 2011, the own­ers opened McDon­ald Farm to fall pub­lic tours, but those have been put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Fol­low the “Re­mem­ber When, Chat­tanooga?” pub­lic group on Face­book.

 ?? PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED BY CHATTANOOG­AHISTORY. COM ?? Along with ice cream, McDon­ald Farm in Sale Creek pro­duced milk, but­ter and cheese sold at the fam­ily’s Home Stores..
PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED BY CHATTANOOG­AHISTORY. COM Along with ice cream, McDon­ald Farm in Sale Creek pro­duced milk, but­ter and cheese sold at the fam­ily’s Home Stores..

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