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100 years ago in Spokane: Ice cream sales soar as heatwave grips city

Spokane’s ice cream sales were soaring because of a heatwave, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 20, 1917. The newspaper also reported that a burglar stole numerous evening gowns and dinner dresses worth nearly $700 from the rooms of Mrs. Anna Berg, a society woman and wife of a mining man. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane’s ice cream sales were soaring because of a heatwave, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 20, 1917. The newspaper also reported that a burglar stole numerous evening gowns and dinner dresses worth nearly $700 from the rooms of Mrs. Anna Berg, a society woman and wife of a mining man. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane’s blistering heat wave continued without letup – and one local industry was reaping big profits.

Spokane’s ice cream demand broke “all previous records,” according to the manager of one local ice cream company. He said he was making 3,000 gallons of ice cream every day.

Meanwhile, downtown soda fountains were doing tremendous business in soft drinks.

“Lime and egg drinks are called for the most frequently, except the staple ‘cokes’ and root beers,” said the paper.

One soda fountain was employing 45 men and women for the fountain and service tables alone.

From the fashionable thief file: A burglar made off with an unusual haul from a Liberty Lake cottage.

The burglar stole numerous evening gowns and dinner dresses worth nearly $700 from the rooms of Mrs. Anna Berg, a society woman and wife of a mining man. One particularly fancy gown alone was worth $350, a fortune in 1917.

Because of the unusual nature of the loot, police immediately suspected that the culprit was Mrs. Berg’s domestic servant. So they obtained a warrant and searched the girl’s rooms.

However, police came up empty, so the mystery of the missing evening gowns remained unsolved.


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