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Polar Bear Ice Cream

Posted by BEACHBUM1950 
Polar Bear Ice Cream
June 06, 2014 08:51PM
You must remember this place along Zangs near Colorado at the Cliff Towers Park
And A&W Rootbeer Stand was close by too!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2014 08:52PM by BEACHBUM1950.
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
June 06, 2014 09:33PM
BEACHBUM1950 Wrote:
> You must remember this place along Zangs near
> Colorado at the Cliff Towers Park
> And A&W Rootbeer Stand was close by too!

Bum, A search of the archives should locate quite a bit about Polar Bear and its cross-town counterpart Ashburns, both owned by the Ashburn family iirc.

Dave McNeely
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
June 06, 2014 10:12PM
I don't know archives; as I lived this stuff, growing up with the founders of most of the Dallas Establishment being my neighbors, lol!
People Like Cheerleader Supply, Texas & Pacific Railroad, Schepps, RE McKee contractors, Sam P Wallace Mechanical, The Quadrangle, HL Hunt, Ross Perot, HughesCO (Adidas), Matty Bell (SMU), etc. My family came in in 1920 in Oak Cliff on Beckley & also stayed at Cliff Towers; Later a home in Oak Cliff (Colorado/Edgefield) & North Dallas at NW Highway/Inwood Rd in 1949. Before Dallas, the family lived in Meridian, TX pre 1900 with the town grocery; and fought for Texas in the Civil war. I grew up with Bill Caruth with his ranch at NW Highway & Central Expressway which he gave to Dallas along the the land for SMU, where my sister graduated at the same time Bill was there. Also Mattie Byrd Caruth who owns Hillcrest Cemetery, etc. We saw lots of history made in Dallas with Don Zale, Herman Lay, & many others as Dallas grew from 100,000 to what it is today!
Crozier Tech, Sunset, Woodrow Wilson were some of the first High Schools around Malsalias & its apartments of the 50s; Swiss Ave swimming pool $99 Apartments w/& $89 Car Payments, & Maple Avenue/Cedar Springs were for the pilots of Love Field.
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
August 09, 2014 12:38PM
Yes, I certainly remember the Polar Bear Ice Cream Parlor .

1) My Granny use to take us to the Polar Bear in Dallas to get a tooty-fruity .

2) My brother, Tom, got caught with chewing tobacco in his back pocket when he got out of our car to go in and get a cone. Both of my parents were asking, , " Did you know he was using chewing tobacco ?" Both my older brother and I knew; we certainly did not give a reply. I don't think they ever questioned him. It is hard to believe that my brother, Tom, has been a gospel preacher for over 30 years. LOL!

3) When my husband and I were engaged, we went for a cone on a Saturday afternoon, and some guy working behind the counter started talking about what a good looking man my husband was. My reply, "Excuse me ? " We left, but we got a big kick out of that one .

Just a few memories from Toni at Polar Bear. Good times, my friends-- good times !

Toni Craiker-Degelia
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
January 17, 2020 02:37PM
The Zang location burned down last night 1/16/2020. Sad to see a landmark of known quantity vanish in such a way.

Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
January 19, 2020 09:22AM
Ben S. Wrote:
> The Zang location burned down last night
> 1/16/2020. Sad to see a landmark of known quantity
> vanish in such a way.
> [url=https://oakcliff.advocatemag.com/2015/12/the-
> igloo-on-zang-a-history-of-the-polar-bear-ice-crea
> m-co/]https://oakcliff.advocatemag.com/2015/12/the
> -igloo-on-zang-a-history-of-the-polar-bear-ice-cre
> am-co/[/url]

Ben, Thanks for posting this. The Ashburn's/Polar Bear ice cream business is long storied in North Texas. It started in Sherman. I didn't realize that the family had sold off the ice cream side. I always favored Ashburn's over Polar Bear back when the two were owned and operated by separate branches of the family, before Polar Bear bought out Ashburn's. Ashburn's homemade peach ice cream was a specialty only available in summer. Long ago their peach ice cream was nothing like the ice creams sold now as peach, which is just vanilla ice cream with large, hard chunks of frozen peaches in it. Good peach ice cream, like Ashburn's was, is made with dead ripe freestone peaches of a variety like Elberta, and is creamy throughout, no hard chunks. Goff's had good peach ice cream back in the day, too. When I delivered the Dallas Times Herald (another storied history lesson there) in the Live Oak, Swiss, Gaston, Abrams neighborhood in the late 1950s, I would stop in the Ashburn's near the Skillman-Live Oak vee intersection for a peach ice cream cone, 10 cents for a double dip, and eat it as I delivered the papers.

When the store front Polar Bear stores started appearing in the sixties, I found their factory made ice cream (the old Ashburn's and Polar Bear stores made the ice cream on site) less than wonderful. Not the first case in business when the exit of the founding generation led to rapid expansion and decline of quality. Not even the only case in ice cream, as it happened later with the Brennan Creamery in Brennan, Texas, which made Blue Bell Ice Cream. The name still exists, but the list of ingredients has expanded dramatically to include various gums, corn syrup, and chemical additives. It used to be "milk, cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla" for their vanilla ice cream.

The loss of that iconic Polar Bear igloo on Zang's (another story) is sad. Not a lot of us left who can remember getting an ice cream there after a swim in the giant pool in Lake Cliff Park.

Ben, is there a news story about the fire? Do you have a link?

Dave McNeely

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2020 03:18PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
January 21, 2020 06:23AM
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
January 21, 2020 01:33PM
Thanks Ben, Gosh, though it is sad to see memories from our youth taken away, given the state of the building, it is probably time for it to go. I doubt another ice cream shop or restaurant would want to put the money into it that it would require to get it back to reasonable and legal standards. It just would not make business sense. A marker on or near the property might be nice though, given the iconic nature and its history as a part of Oak Cliff, as well as the Polar Bear/Ashburn history itself.

Dave McNeely
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
January 23, 2020 07:06PM
We moved to Dallas in 1952, but my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin lived on Elsbeth (sp) a few blocks away from the Polar Bear location for several year before that. I noticed that it was called an igloo building, but as I recall and confirmed by all photos I could find, it looked more like waves on an icy sea.

Does anyone remember if it ever looked like an igloo?
Re: Polar Bear Ice Cream
January 24, 2020 08:29AM
Frank, your description is much better, though I have heard it referred to as being like an igloo in other places, too. I also think that the architecture of the building predates the operation by Polar Bear, though its pre-Polar Bear status is beyond my memory.

Dave McNeely
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