Posted by Turkey Hill Team on July 21st, 2008

The following is an excerpt from our official history book, Turkey Hill: A Family Vision. To purchase your own copy, visit our online store.

In 1954, when Turkey Hill began making ice cream commercially, home delivered ice cream was added to the business as well. Although ice cream deliverymen did many of the same tasks as milk deliverymen, their routes were more flexible. Because ice cream stayed fresh longer than milk, it was delivered once a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ice cream routes were laid out so the deliverymen could go into the country at the beginning of the week, and then into Lancaster City and the surrounding towns on the weekend when more people were at home. These routes could also be modified if, for instance, a holiday occurred on a weekday.

Although there were over 15 ice cream routes by 1957, Turkey Hill Diary hired a salesman to go door-to-door and solicit new sales. With the addition of new customers, ice cream routes continued to be added at a steady pace. By 1962, there were 33 ice cream routes serving Lancaster, York and other surrounding counties.

The booming economy in the 1960s led to more consumers owning automobiles as the percentage of working women grew. Supermarkets opened throughout the region, and families now conveniently shopped for their grocery needs in one place. This increased mobility, coupled with few stay-at-home moms, made families less dependent on home deliveries. Soon thereafter, Turkey Hill began shifting it focus from home delivery to wholesale deliveries to grocery stores and convenience stores.

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  1. Karen says:

    I never knew ice cream home delivery existed. What an interesting history lesson once again.

  2. Cyndee says:

    I could eat some ice cream right now…wish I had work delivery!

  3. dawn says:

    I always thought it would be great to pick up the phone and have some ice cream delivered, especially in the winter when I surely don’t want to go anywhere!
    Where I am, most of the ice cream places stop serving ice cream in the winter, even the ones that serve it inside! What are they thinking?! lol Ice cream is just as yummy in the cold weather as in the hot, isn’t it?
    I wonder if anyone out there offers this service?
    In the meantime, we can keep out freezer stocked so we don’t run out.

  4. Rebecca S. says:

    My gram used to tell me stories about ice cream home delivers as well as the milk man deliveries. Those were definately more personal times when people actually had communication and everyone knew everyone.

    The sad part of your story is the change in stay at home moms. You can definately tell the difference between those decades. My gram stayed home with me, in turn, it gave me the best job there is, I’m a homemaker in the home and we’re awaiting adoption.

    It’s so sad because some mothers would LOVE to stay at home with their children but just can’t because it’s so unafordable.

    I believe in “choice” for a woman to work and stay home, but for me, It’s really made for a closer relationship with my husband, family and will give me time to teach my children here in the home as well as security for them.

    In the meantime, Like my gram said, we have to roll with the times. As it’s changed in the distribution of Ice cream. It too will change with life.

  5. Barbara says:

    I think at this moment, on this hot humid day, I’d love to be able to have some ice cream delivered. But I actually do have about 4 half gallons of Turkey Hill ice cream in my freezer today (birthday weekend!). Oh well!

  6. Ruth K says:

    OH!! Wouldn’t home delivery of Turkey Hill be nice!

  7. CeeBee says:

    Wow! Back when someone was actually in their home 24/7 and could open their door to the ice cream delivery person. It’s amazing how many houses are vacant during the day and how lifstyles change. Now me wants ice cream!

  8. Cheryl S. says:

    I never knew ice cream was home delivered. I remember the milkman, but not the ice cream man!

  9. Sue says:

    I remember the “Milk Man” delivering in the neighborhood, and people had insulated boxes, where he’d leave the milk! I guess we’d call them “coolers” now! Never realized they had ice cream home delivery, too.

  10. Mary says:

    Yes, I remember the “milk man” and I still see him around town. I remember the milk boxes that people used to have on their porches too–for when he delivered and you weren’t at home. I think there will be ice cream delivery in heaven!

  11. david says:

    I am surprised by how many ice cream trucks are still roaming the streets. I hear them where I work all day long.
    Wish they offered an array of Turkey Hill!

  12. Thomas says:

    Ahhhh—The good old days—bring them back

  13. Joanne Hack says:

    That’s pretty cool that they used to have ice cream delivery routes. Who knew? I know they didn’t have them around where I used to live!

  14. Lori says:

    Hard to believe this was in my lifetime. I do remember the milk man coming to deliver the milk in a grey box, but not ice cream. I was in NJ and they didn’t have turkey hill then. I got my mom hooked on turkey hill now and she is a major ice cream lover.

  15. Joe says:

    I’m not that lazy to go to the store to pick up my Turkey Hill.

  16. Edie says:

    With the price of gasoline today I’m sure Turkey Hill is glad home delivery has ceased and people are glad that home freezers are larger.

  17. Stefanie Schmidt says:

    I wish Turkey Hill delivered to Las Vegas so I could have some right now.

  18. E.Hummel says:

    Like I said before it is always so interesting to learn history everday. I never knew that Ice Cream was home delivered, I knew milk was but not Ice Cream. Thank-you for this information.

  19. Raymond says:

    Things were so different and really not that long ago. Stories like this make you appreciate the conveniences we have today such as Ice Cream in the convenience stores!

  20. Deb says:

    I know that my 5 grown children would give anything to have Turkey Hill delivered every week by a salesman — they no longer live in the area, and it’s the first thing they request when they come home for a visit. Interesting article; I never really know that ice cream was delivered door to door. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Carol Byrnes says:

    Turkey Hill is the best— morning noon and night!! I love it any time–
    Carol B

  22. beccah says:

    I would love to have Turkey Hill Ice Cream delivered right to my door!

  23. Lilly says:

    I remember living on our dairy farm in N.C. as a kid and milking cows. The best part of the week was Sunday when we would go through the woods for a mile to meet the Ice Cream Truck. They only had 2 or 3 flavors, but we didn’t care. It was delicious, and what memories are made of.

  24. Moosetracks says:

    Yes, I still make ice cream at home. But, I would love to have Turkey Hill delivered!!! It’s better than Schwans!

  25. Denise says:

    I like going to the store better, this way you can take your time and pick the flavor you;re in the mood for!

  26. Lorraine says:

    Here in New York we had people who delivered milk and cake but never ice cream. What a great idea. The people of Lancaster were very lucky to have Turkey Hill nearby.

  27. Caroline says:

    We had milk delivered in glass bottles but not ice cream. How did they do it so it would not melt? Did they ring the door bell and ask how many of what flavors? My huuby back then for a summer was a Good Humor man abd told me his truck usede dry ice to keep the ice cream frozen and only his hands went into the freezer. It sounds dangerous if the driver walked into the freezer of the truck since dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide.

  28. Cheryl Spotts says:

    We love Turkey Hill ice cream. There are usually 4 different kind in my freezer at all times. A flavor to please everybody. My personal favorite is black raspberry.

  29. Natalka says:

    Home delivery of Turkey Hill ice cream! What more would you need in life? Let’s petition TH to re-start that service! 🙂

  30. Jacqueline says:

    When I was a small child, we had a regular milkman delivering our milk.
    But I never before heard of ice cream deliveries. That would be nice!

  31. Ed B says:

    Was a good idea, sometimes it’s sad to see times change

  32. Patti says:

    I’d like to have icecream delvered to my home (as long as I could go in the truck and browse the flavors). I get really impatient standing in line at the grocery store when I am buying icecream….No body had better cause my icecream to melt! 🙂

  33. Teri says:

    Home delivery? I never knew that. How about a hot & cold combo van to deliver both pizza AND ice cream?

  34. Vonnie in VA says:

    We had milk delivered in glass bottles to a gray box on our front porch, but not ice cream. I see a Schwan’s truck in our neighborhood occasionally. I’ve never tried it, but I hear it’s expensive and I’m sure it couldn’t be nearly as creamy and delicious as Turkey Hill! I really don’t mind going the short distance to the store to pick out my favorite flavors (I too get peeved standing in line too long for fear my ice cream will melt!!) I need to buy this Turkey Hill history book because this information is so very interesting you’ve been sharing. It takes me back to my childhood in so many ways! Thanks!

  35. Linda J Barnes says:

    Growing up in the little town of Montvale in Northern NJ during the 1950’s we didn’t have ice cream delivery–and we didn’t have to–we had our own creamery right there in my hometown! It was called “Huff’s Ice Cream Bar” and they made their own ice cream in all kinds of flavors. Huff’s is long gone but it wasn’t until I discovered Turkey Hill Ice Cream that I rekindled my love of ice cream! You guys sure know how to do it! You have that old hometown dairy taste and delicious goodness! Keep up the GREAT WORK!!!

  36. Debbie L says:

    I never had home delivery of ice cream, but, I do remember my parents having home delivery of glass milk bottles. Brings back many memories.

  37. Debbie F says:

    Do you think Schwans got the ice cream delivery idea from Turkey Hill. I’d love to have Th delivered to my house.

  38. Vikki C. says:

    I still get Turkey Hill delivered to my door – ordered online from Peapod grocery delivery!

  39. Cheryl W says:

    It would be so awesome to have Turkey Hill delivered once a week to my door. YUM!

  40. Kate says:

    I wish that home delivery was still happening. Although there is a creamer near where I live that delivers milk and such if you want. But it’s a little pricey.

  41. Margaret M says:

    We never had ice cream delivery in my area but we lived close to a “soda shop” and it was a special treat to go for ice cream cones on a hot day. That started my love of ice cream and I still think it’s special and I love Turkey Hill because of the variety of flavors to please everyone

  42. Judy says:

    One of my uncles was a milkman. I remember the glass bottles and paper tops. There were a few times my dad and a neighbor took a sled to the end of the road to meet him so we could get our delivery when the snow drifts were too high for the truck to get through. Your stories have brought back some very fond memories for me. Thank you.

  43. SUSAN says:

    Wow!Ice Cream home delivery. Great Idea. I always worry now that my TurkeyHill is melting while I am rushing home with it while its in the 90’s outside. Then as I put it into the freezer I check it and eat all the really soft stuff on the top of the container. Before I know it about 1/4 of the container has kind of disappeared. Oops!

  44. mary frey says:


  45. Sarah says:

    We never had ice cream delivered to the house when I was growing up but I do remember the milk delivery. The milk was not homogenized so my mother would always scoop the cream from the top. The cream would be whipped and served on top of jello and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

  46. Gretchen Rothermel says:

    A Turkey Hill mini-market is not too far from home, so it’s only a short drive to pick up my favorite kind of Turkey Hill ice cream. The coupons that are provided in the yearly Turkey Hill calendar come in quite handy during the summer, and I take advantage of them!

  47. h tina says:

    if we had turkey hill ice cream delivered, we would be so happy. wow. i had a big bowl of vanilla last night and the night before. i blame this on my grandmother who always had ice cream at her house.

  48. Jan says:

    I love all the history stories, but it makes me feel old- cause I remember the good old days when life was more simple.
    but I didn’t have turkey hill back then, so I guess some things change for the better

  49. christie says:

    Home delivery could be dangerous for me. They would have to have a daily delivery to my doorstep.

  50. Joe Soler says:

    Ice Cream delivery?! That is fantastic. I’d rather that than those home coffee delivery things that are everywhere! I would of course get Coffee Ice Cream delivered though!.

  51. Bob Kessler Jr says:

    For that home-delivered ice cream they must have used dry ice to keep it from melting. I still wouldn’t want to be the last one on the delivery list. The ice cream may be soft but at least it would be Turkey Hill.

  52. Hope says:

    Here on L.I. NY we have ice-cream trucks that sell ice cream bars . They are expensive and nothing like Turkey Hill ice cream. That must have been great having ice cream delivery from Turkey Hill. Can’t get any better then the simple pleasures in life– Turkey Hill ice cream and Lancaster Pa.

  53. Jennifer says:

    I wish someone would bring ice cream to my doorstep…I’d never have to leave the house! 🙂

  54. Diane says:

    well to say… my kids would be so happy… my daughter. would like it the most… i have a hard time she hates to drink milk.. she’s 15 know when it come to ice cream it’s a whole different story. she’ll have all day,,,,

  55. brenda says:

    When I was little, we had the ice cream man that came around in a truck with a bell on it letting us know that he is here. I love that sound of the bell.
    I don’t see that any more.That was a very good story. Thank You turekey Hill for that story.

  56. Dani says:

    Luckily, I still consider myself to be the blessed recipient of home-delivery, or at least close enough to it, since there’s a Turkey Hill just a stone’s throw from my house 1 block up the street! Woot! Easy ice cream access at midnight!

  57. Bert says:

    Great business marketing !!

  58. alicelynne says:

    Great story…keep them coming!!
    FYI-we love the Jr Mints Feature Flavor..even my teens asked for more!! The mint flavor is very suttle…great job TH!!

  59. Karen says:

    Work delivery sounds like a great idea. Too bad any type of delivery would no longer be cost effective.

  60. Dan Murray says:

    Oh boy, wouldn’t that be great to have
    ice cream delivered to your door. I don’t
    think that ever happened in NJ.
    Great idea, Honey (Dan’s wife)

  61. Kelly Grabey says:

    I was born a couple decades too late! If I knew someone would be delivering Turkey Hill ice cream to my door, I’d schedule my life around the delivery schedule!!!! I can’t count the number of times I drove to the store soley for the purpose of getting ice cream!

  62. Maryann says:

    I have never heard of ice cream delivery. I remember soda, milk, vegatables, bread, but never ice cream. I think its a great idea. There are ice cream trucks that come around ringing their bell after dinner in the summer, but the ice cream is really not that good and it is expensive. Thank you for the history on Turkey Hill!

  63. Nancy N says:

    I love the history lessons about TH ice cream. You’ve brought back a lot of good memories.

  64. Lois S says:

    Moved to Elizabethtown in 1969, after TH icecream delivery trucks. Lived in Scranton previously, had our own Burshels and Woodlawn creameries and their ice cream, but not delivered. I’ll take Turkey Hill anytime, glad I live close to several Turkey Hill stores and it is carried in all our local grocery stores. Thanks

  65. Susan says:

    We had Milk Delivery when I was growing up but never heard of Ice Cream Delivery. We go to the local Wegmans for TH!

  66. JJ says:

    Home delivery, oh boy, I would never get any exercise!

  67. Pat says:

    Wow, ice cream was delivered. The only delivery of ice cream I remember is the ice cream truck, ringing it’s bell for the kids. Great information Turkey Hill 🙂 .

  68. Carolyn says:

    My dad was a teacher, and in the summer he delivered milk and ice cream. Yum!

  69. Meg says:

    I would totally be a fan of ice cream home delivery now. I loved when the ice cream truck would come to the neighborhood as a kid, but that was only like once every few weeks, and i would only get one snack at a time and when I was craving ice cream it would never be in the freezer. You can order pizza or fried chicken when you have a craving so I think ice cream should come in delivery. And in an ice cream truck so it doesn’t melt. I know sometimes you can tag it onto a pizza order but they don’t keep it cold on the way over so it melts. I would definitely benefit from hoem delivery because I didn’t have a car of my own up until this year either.

  70. Florence Zimmerer says:


  71. Erica Kishpaugh says:

    I have always enjoyed history but it is especially fun to read about the history of ice cream and ice cream that is made locally.

  72. Jackie Ford says:

    This article was very interesting. I learned something new. I never knew that ice cream was delivered.
    How nice would it be if Turkey Hill was delivered to my door!

  73. Deb says:

    Like someone said earlier, we can get our pizza vice at any time, why not ice cream also?
    Bring it back!

  74. Kathy P says:

    To my knowledge, here in upstate NY we have one company who to this day delivers icecream and other frozen foods. I personally do not order from them because I do not eat their brand of icecream – it’s not Turkey Hill…if it was, I would be all over it!

  75. Lori Lesney says:

    Here in rural PA there are dairies that still deliver, but Turkey Hill is the best!

  76. Mary says:

    Our neighborhood in MA never had home ice cream delivery, but did have delivery of potato chips and pretzels. Our neighborhood here in CT still has daily (and sometimes “more than once” daily) ice cream trucks, with that alluring bell replaced by a very grating sing-song melody. It does the job, though—kids come running.

    Our family’s much-told ice cream truck story involved my brother-in-law, a third child who followed pretty “challenging” older siblings. When he was at his peak ice cream hunger age, he took advantage of his parents’ exhaustion one very hot day and sold them on an idea to prevent his constant interruptions to ask for money for the ice cream truck. Soon, he was treating all his friend in the neighborhood, since he’d actually managed to get them to agree to letting him run up a tab at with the very willing ice cream man. I think it only took a few of those weekly bills for his parents to catch on and curb his generosity!

  77. Roger Seidel says:

    Great history lesson & a look back at a different time ( not so long ago).
    Wow , a door to door ice cream salesman.

  78. Tammy says:

    As a stay-at-home mom I would still love having the luxury of home delivery.

  79. Debbie S. says:

    Wow! How the times have changed.

  80. Carol Triano says:

    Wow, wouldn’t that have been a luxury, having ice cream delivered right to your door…..times sure have changed…

  81. Mary Anne says:

    Growing up in Elizabethtown in the 1960’s, I remember the Turkey Hill ice cream truck coming to our house. When I moved to western PA in the 70’s, I was disappointed that Turkey Hill ice cream wasn’t sold anywhere. Fortunately that changed when a Turkey Hill convenience store was opened in a nearby town. Now we enjoy Turkey Hill ice cream every day all year round!

  82. Linda L. Leffler says:

    Oh I am so lucky I have a Turkey Hill Store about 1\4 mile from my home. I can save the gas and walk there for my favorite treat (Turkey Hill). Linda

  83. russ stone says:

    I work for schwans and to let everybody know I eat turkey hill Ice cream also. they have a super product at a good price.

  84. Bill Enfinger says:

    Unfortunately I live outside of the Turkey Hill delivery jurisdiction – in Ocala, Florida. I have for years now, been hoping and praying that some day soon a store near by would eventually start receiving Turkey Hill ice cream…But, so far, and to my diappointment this has not materialized. Is there any way that I can receive your product via UPS or FedEX?? I am primarily interested; and, addicted, to your premium ice cream flavors of peanut butter ripple and choc. peanut butter cup. I would appreciate your comments…Thanks

  85. […] recorded first by ajonser on 2009-04-18→ TURKEY HILL HISTORY: ICE CREAM HOME DELIVERY […]

  86. al chaump jr says:

    philadelphia style, left beyers because they are putting all of the crap fillers in, can’t get strawberry in jersey

  87. al chaump jr says:

    philadelphia style the best left breyers because of the fillers, can’t get strawberry in jersey

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