“Ice cream! The best you’ll ever taste.”  The voice of Timothy Whipple echoed down the Mystic River along with the splash of oars dipping into the river against the current, according to my grandmother who was born in 1896. The west side of the river in Mystic, CT, along River Road opposite Elm Grove Cemetery, was thronged with women in ankle-length summer dresses and men in suits and top hats. Many mopped their brow with white cotton handkerchiefs in the sweltering August heat as children darted in and out of the crowd. The year was 1899 and the Connecticut Peace Society, a branch of the Universal Peace Union, was holding its 32th annual meeting in the same spot where they had started in 1867.  During the various speeches and conversations about world peace,  some attendees rushed to the riverbank hoping to refresh themselves with a paper cone of Timothy’s hand-churned ice cream. Timothy Whipple, a fine chef and violinist, was not only an enterprising entrepreneur but also a descendent of Jonathan Whipple, inventor of the oral method of teaching the hearing impaired, and Jonathan’s grandson Zera C. Whipple, who founded the Mystic Oral School. It was Jonathan, an ardent pacifist from Quakertown in Ledyard, CT,  who discovered the picturesque site along the river and suggested it to Alfred H. Love, head of the Universal Peace Union, as the perfect site for the meetings which drew as many as 10,000 people over three days each year.   Barnard L. Colby, former Editor and Publisher of The Day, whose 58-year career at the newspaper began in 1935, was able to interview eye-witnesses to the meetings, and reported: “…the peace […]