By Phylis Badgley
"Meet me at Clubb's Fountain" was a
salutation often heard in 1940 era in Baker.
Clubb's Fountain was a well know ice cream parlor located in the 2000 block on East side of Main Street.
The Confectionery was owned and operated by Kenneth Clubb, wife Martha, and Floyd Clubb, wife Mary and younger brother, Jack Club.
Clubb's Fountain was "THE" place to gather for young and old alike. Quality ice cream was produced on the premises by master ice cream maker, Floyd Clubb.
Crowds of patrons frequented the business especially after Showtime at local theatres. Although the building frontage was narrow, the interior was wide enough to accommodate a serving counter and stools, plus several painted wooden booths. Yes, there were juke box outlets in each booth! Place a nickel in the slot to hear selections of Wabash Cannonball, String of Pearls, Far Away Places, or other popular tunes. When the juke box malfunctioned, the proprietor would insert a nickel from the till. It was marked with a small dot of red fingernail polish. When the Amusement Company representative came later to empty the container, the marked nickels were returned to the manager.
The atmosphere at Clubb's Fountain was jovial with plenty of noise, which at times overpowered conversation. That was seasoned with laughter, however, when a paper straw was intermittently blown through the air.
Kenneth Clubb, crew manager, artistically painted the menu in large letters, which were displayed on the south wall.
Customer bought .10 ice cream cones or paid .15 for a double dip. Large, thick milkshakes were .30 Who could resist the .10 hot dog? Or the "chili dog" for additional .15.
No wonder the .35 banana split was popular. Attractively served in an elongated dish, a sliced banana held 3 flavored scoops of ice cream, with topping and nuts added. Don't forget the maraschino cherry on top.
An all time favorite of the High School crowd was Floyd's special malt ice cream. Assorted syrups were offered that circled the malt in a tall serving glass. A long handled spoon accompanied the treat.
Mischievous lads were many times in the customer line-up. They found delight in inverting a glass of water onto a paper napkin, then leaving the booth. Waitresses dealt with the situation by scooting the water and napkin to the edge of the table. Allowing it to fall into a container.
The writer was one of the waitresses. Several High school classmates were also employed at Clubb's Fountain. We had recently obtained a Social Security number which served as a passport to this first employment opportunity. We found .35 an hour wages were quite attractive at the time. Some of us were eager to work a hurried half-hour shift during lunch time. When school dismissal bell rang at noon, we dashed from the High school building on Washington street to Clubb's Fountain.
We worked from 12:15-12:45, before returning to class.
Evening shift at Clubb's was from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Aprons were quickly fashioned using clean dish towels tied firmly around the waist.
At closing time, all white enameled booths were washed with disinfectant solution, (required by State Health Office.) After finishing this task, we were allowed to choose an ice cream treat. Hog fudge sundae was my choice. Smooth, rich fudge was so thick it had to be spooned from the heated container. To this day, my search continues for hot fudge flavor that duplicates the 1942 product.
After a few years, Kenneth and Floyd Clubb sought a change of occupation. They closed the fountain and purchased Monarch Maytag agency which opened in 2100 block of Main Street. (present location of the Sycamore Tree.) Their elderly Dad, known affectionately as "Pop" Clubb joined the venture.
Today, the mere mention of Clubb's Fountain to any long-term Bakerite, stirs pleasant memories of the 1940s.