State and National Register

Parkin Ice Cream Company (Parkin Place)

Parkin Ice Cream Co

Wilbur L. Parkin was a Minnesota cheese maker and eventual president of Parkin Ice Cream Company.  In 1928, he moved to Marshfield and purchased McCrillis Ice Cream Company in hopes of expanding. The original plant burned down in 1941 and Wilbur Parkin immediately rebuilt on the same site where now stands the current structure. The dairy industry was very prominent in the City of Marshfield, along with the wood and medical industries.  The Parkin family advocated for a national dairy marketing movement that promoted the importance of dairy. Soon after building construction of the new plant, Wilbur Parkin’s son, John Parkin, took over for his father. John would go on to become the president of the Wisconsin Independent Dairy Association, and eventually elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 1966 John Parkin sold Parkin Ice Cream Company to a company under the Morning Glory dairy label. The Parkin Ice Cream building is the last remaining dairy processing plant in the City of Marshfield from the dairy expansion era. Many changes have occurred to the building since its construction; however none has negatively affected the historic integrity of the building.  The building underwent a historic rehabilitation in 2005 to restore it to its original characteristics. Currently restaurants occupy the newly renovated Parkin Ice Cream building. Uniquely, the original building constructed in 1941 was built with fire resistance materials such as glazed tile walls, concrete and tile floors and block windows. Reinforced concrete brick and steel made the structure “state of the art” at the time. Brick lined the exterior of the north and south facades; however the west was left as exposed concrete for future expansion. The style of the building is described as vernacular commercial/industrial.