Property owner recalls Ice Cream Palace
After answering several Since You Asked questions in recent months about the proprietors of 1960s-era Medford ice cream parlors, we were contacted by local resident Mary Jacobs, who offered something of a confection clarification.
We wrote about Ice Cream Palace and Larry’s Ice Cream following questions from readers about old-time ice cream establishments, and while we were able to track down the proprietors in our phone books, we were incorrect in describing Rex Goble as the man who built the shops.
The sites of both ice cream parlors — located near downtown Medford where you’d find Barney’s Better Burgers and Mr. Smith’s Sports Bar and Grill — have belonged to the Jacobs family for more than a century, according to Mary Jacobs.
Jacobs has vivid memories of Larry Shacker, who leased 415 N. Riverside Ave. to house Larry’s Ice Cream for decades. She described him as a “delightful man” whose ice cream recipes won awards as far away as Europe.
“He would win all the ribbons,” Jacobs said, describing his shop as a “lovely ice cream place.”
The dusty Since You Asked records show that locals have waxed nostalgic about Larry’s Ice Cream for years. For example, David M. remembered Larry’s 3-scoop banana splits, saying that if his mom wasn’t watching, he’d “lick the serving dish clean.”
The property at 401 E. Jackson St., which has been Mr. Smith’s since the early 1970s, was built by the Jacobs family for the Farrell’s-style Ice Cream Palace in 1968. It used to be the home where her grandfather, J.W. Jacobs, lived.
Jacobs’ husband was former mayor Lorin Jacobs, but the property belonged to Mary’s family.
“I married a Jacobs,” she said.
Ice Cream Palace used Larry’s ice cream, and was operated by Rex Goble and his sister-in-law, but they decided not to renew the lease. Former University of Oregon linebacker Dane Smith jumped in shortly after, and by the early 1970s the brick-red building became Mr. Smith’s — as it’s still known today. Jacobs described the Smith family as “wonderful tenants.”
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