Endress Ice and Coal

Endress Ice and Coal
Endress Ice and Coal

Endress Ice and Coal at 66 Foote Avenue, a street that was peripheral to the southeastern-most boundary of Brooklyn Square, was established in 1902 by Col. W.F. Endress who had a large cold storage and ice-making plant built on his coal yard property in Jamestown, New York. It was installed by the York Manufacturing Company and was in full operation by August of 1902. Endress incorporated his business as the Chautauqua Refrigerating Company; he was the president and sole owner. The business grew over the years, and Endress’s ice business was the leading industry of its kind in Jamestown. At the time, the capacity of the cold storage house was fifty carloads, and the capacity of the ice plant was six tons daily. From 1909-1917, Endress was still involved with the wholesale coal business under the name of Endress & Mitchell, operating in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. When coal gave way to natural gas, Endress’s coal business dwindled, and manufactured ice was his mainstay of making a living.

In 1917, Endress began operating his business under his own name. By 1924, the plant was producing fifty tons of block ice. In the late 1960s, the Endress family sold the business to Walter and Gordon Rose, but the name Endress was still in place. By January of 1981, Miles Lyons and Larry Jackson bought the company, but the name was changed to Jamestown Ice and Storage, Inc. In 1982, the plant was equipped only with the 50-ton block tank from the 1924 improvements when Lyons and Jackson took over. They traded block ice for cubes with Happy Ice at the time. The first 25-ton cube machine was set in 1984, and a second one was added in 1994. In 2015, the plant still made 50 tons of ice, but instead of 300 lb. blocks, the company makes cubes and offers frozen storage to various clients.

From the 1950s to 1963, the Iceland Skating Rink located at the Foote Avenue address was popular with area skaters. The Endress Company, a name by which the business is still known, has enjoyed a long life and is still situated in its original location at 66 Foote Avenue. It has been owned by Jared Chrispell since 2010.

The winter scene in the photograph of E. Third Street is probably familiar to older Jamestonians. Judging from the sign on the store front stenciled with Endress Ice and Coal, Christmas was coming. The ad reads: “Xmas Trees and Decorations. Open About Dec. 1.” A telephone number, “Dial —–,” appears between the lines of advertisement. The store appears to be empty, which poses a question: was the Endress Company using that store front to advertise Christmas tree sales at its headquarters at 66 Foote Avenue or was it a marketing move on the part of the company, hoping to sell Christmas trees and holiday decorations from that store on E. Third to the “uptown” residents of Jamestown?
Also familiar to some Jamestonians is The Cake Shop located next to the Endress store front at 22 E. Third Street. The sign in the window advertises the store as a bakery and a luncheonette where customers could enjoy a light lunch or soda fountain treats.