Museum of East Alabama restores 30-year-old ice cream cart
By Rebekah Martin
When Meadow Gold Dairy closed its doors in the early 90s, many of the furnishings inside were thrown out. One such historically relevant piece of equipment, an ice cream cart rescued from the city dump by the late Henry Stern, will soon find a new home at the Museum of East Alabama.
The ice cream cart, once used to bring happiness in the form of fudgsicles and drumsticks to children around town, is currently being restored by AutoSport Bodyworks on Pepperell Parkway. It will soon be on display, returned to its former glory, at the museum.
Glenn Buxton, president of the museum, said when Stern donated the old cart in 1991, it was on display until the museum underwent its renovation five years ago, at which time it was placed in storage.
“It’s in real rough shape. It had a lot of decals on it and those will be replaced. It’ll look like new when it’s finished,” Buxton said. The cart dates back to the 1950s and even made an appearance in an Opelika Christmas parade, in which Opelika’s first female mayor, Barbara Patton used it as a float.
“Our chairman at that time, who was John T. Harris, looked at me and said ‘Barbara, I bet you could ride that in the parade and I said ‘Well, I might try it.’ So I did and at one point, going uphill, we had to tie it to one of the floats up front so it would pull me up the hill,” Patton said. “I had fun and everybody got a kick out of it.”
Buxton and Patton both said they think this cart being restored is a great thing for Opelika and The Museum of East Alabama. “An ice cream cart just brings back a lot of memories and carries those memories into the future for people who didn’t even know it existed.”