at Brunk's Ice Cream Parlor after school or after a game is a fond memory
for many local residents.
stopped there for sodas, green rivers, vanilla cokes, and, of course, ice
cream cones made on the premises.
may be sweetly rekindled when visitors to the Westchester Twp. Historical
Museum view the latest exhibit that includes a glass milk bottle with
Brunk's logo and four slides used in advertising at the local movies.
shows Claude Brunk, of South Bend, bought the Chesterton Dairy in 1928 and
named it Brunk's Chesterton Dairy. It was located at 539 Broadway, which
currently houses Hiscox Maytag Home Appliance Center.
was delivered in glass bottles like the one on display, but it's the ice
cream and frozen custard that old-timers affectionately remember.
to the decedents of Everett Witte, the favorite ice cream flavor was
Penn-Dutch Vanilla. It is they who donated the slides to the museum.
Witte worked for Brunk in the 1930's, bought the business in May 1957, and
closed the parlor and ice cream business during the 1960's.
was in May 1939 that Brunk installed the latest type freezer for making
frozen custards, malted milk and ice cream.
discontinued processing milk in the 1940's, switching to producing ice
cream from base mix purchased from the Swift Company of Chicago. The
switch may have been due to sugar rationing in 1942.
ice cream parlor stayed open throughout the changes, said Lisa Witte who
found the slides now on display. However, Witte developed a sales route
business for their ice cream through home delivery trucks and ice cream
mix delivery business throughout Northwest Indiana, she added.
Brunk was a college graduate, Witte started out as an employee and worked
his way to the top by purchasing the business.
men were civic minded. Brunk served as choir director of the United
Methodist Church, was a charter member and a president of the Chesterton
Lions Club and served on the Porter Memorial Hospital Board. Witte served
on the Chesterton Town Board for twelve years.
and his wife Beatrice lived in Chesterton at 158 Chesterton Blvd., where
his grandson now resides. Four generations of Wittes have lived there.
While cleaning out Everett's old desk, his grandson Bill, and his wife
Lisa found some old slides that were used in the Aron Theater, currently
occupied by the Ben Franklin store. The slides were shown as
advertisements on the movie screen at the beginning of each feature movie.
The stills depict the Chesterton Dairy as it looked in the 1950's. Bill
and Lisa donated the slides to the local museum.
died in 1984. According to his family, the man who spent more than a
decade in local town government would have been pleased with the Town's
growth and vision.
milk bottle was donated by Millie Dille, a local resident who well
remembers the local dairy.
Twp. Historical Museum hours are from noon-4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday and from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
museum is located at the corner of Calumet and Indiana Ave., one block
south of the Chesterton Bandstand.