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With A Cherry On Top: Hampton Hotels Participates In An All-American Tradition



Beverly Hills, Calif., June 25, 2009 – In 1881, Edward C. Berners topped a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce for a patron in Two Rivers, Wis., creating a concoction that remains one of America’s most beloved desserts – the ice cream sundae. Today, as part of Two Rivers’ annual, city-wide “Sundae Thursday,” volunteers from Hampton® Hotels’ Save-A-Landmark® program ( refurbished the historic Washington House, Berners’ original ice cream parlor, known as the “Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae.”

“Here in American’s heartland, a classically American treat was created that quickly gained popularity throughout the country,” said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of brand marketing for Hampton Hotels. “Hampton is helping to ensure that the Washington House will continue making ice cream sundaes for years to come by contributing $10,000 toward the restoration and ongoing care of the landmark.”

After a patron asked Ed Berners to top a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce in 1881, the new sweet treat, which only cost a nickel, soon became very popular. However, Berners only sold the special dessert on Sundays, until a little girl insisted she have a dish of ice cream “with that stuff on top,” hoping Mr. Berners could “pretend it was Sunday.” Subsequently, the confection was sold every day in many flavors.

Although many other cities claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae, Two Rivers, Wis. is the only one endorsed by the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the Washington House serves as the official visitor’s center for the City of Two Rivers, and every year, the community gathers in Two Rivers’ Central Park on a Thursday for an old-fashioned ice cream sundae party.

The Washington House is Hampton’s fourth landmark to be restored in 2009 as part of the “All-American Landmarks” campaign. This year, Hampton is devoted to restoring sites that represent what it means to be American, just like the Washington House as well as others like the Robert Frost Farm and Mayberry’s Old City Jail. Each site that Save-A-Landmark will refurbish reflects the individual personalities of the states and their residents, and signifies defining moments in the country’s past.

Over the years, Hampton has worked to preserve 44 historical, fun and cultural landmarks from the Carousel Gardens in New Orleans, La. to the historical National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Mass. During this time, the program has helped research landmarks in need, promoted landmark sites and their importance, facilitated tens of thousands of volunteer hours, donated several tons of supplies and worked with matching grants – all at an investment of more than $3.5 million. The Save-A-Landmark program has already successfully refurbished a landmark in 36 states, continuing on with the ultimate goal to “save” a landmark from each of the 50 states by the end of 2010


 Two Rivers
 ice cream sundae
 Hampton Hotels
 Washington House

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