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Sweet childhood memories found still standing

Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 10:35 am

1940’s frozen custard machine from McKeown’s Cones in Colonial Beach.

Being a toddler in the 1950’s couldn’t have been any grander for Susan Lancaster as she took daily trips to Fredericksburg in her grandfather’s station wagon in search of the best cream around. The daily journey also took her to an ice house along what is now called the Point in Colonial Beach, but the best part of the ride was the last block.

“I fondly remember I would go everyday to Fredericksburg with my grandfather to buy cream and then we would go to the ice house that was somewhere down here to get big blocks of ice,” Susan said as she pointed in the direction of the Point.

Her grandfather had a station wagon and he would let her ride on the tailgate for one block from the corner to the ice cream stand. “The rest of the trip I had to sit inside the car.”

Sitting on the back of the tailgate watching the dirt road pass beneath her feet while the cool breeze from the Potomac blew through her hair, she had no idea her destination had such on impact who she was. A little snack shack called McKeown’s Cones, run by her grandparents was the reason her mother and father met.

Susan’s grandfather would spend the day churning cream while Susan played on the beach. “He had about nine big five-gallon cans of cream every day at 5 a.m. and would make custard all day long,” Susan said. “In the afternoons and evenings people would line up and buy it.”

“I remember being a toddler playing on the beach here,” Susan recalled. “I spent weekends and summers down here from the time I was born until the time I was five. I remember all the big shade trees that were lost in hurricane Hazel.”

A few weeks ago Susan decided to visit Colonial Beach while her family was on vacation at Lake Anna. “The family is there and playing in the lake all day. I’m not getting in the lake and playing all day, so I had my car and thought since I’m so close to Colonial Beach I’m going to take an opportunity to go over there and see if I can find anything.”

Read more of this story in the August 16 issue of the Westmoreland News.