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A Texas Tale: Hail storm in Bluff Dale is used to make ice cream

Cathey Hartmann

By Cathey Hartmann

Texas is known for tall tales, but a hail storm in March that left so much ice that they made ice cream out of it on July 4?

That’s a pretty tall order even by Texas standards!

But there are those in Bluff Dale who remember that spring of 1926 and still talk about what happened.

Joe Rhoades, who lives on his old home place, said the cloud formed in the southwest, moved northeast and though he recalled some hail at his house, he knew the brunt of the storm had hit somewhere to the north.

Going outside after the wind had died down, the first thing he heard was a sound coming from Berry’s Creek several yards away. Upon investigating, he found chunks of ice floating downstream so thick that he could scoop it up with his hands.

Driving toward the direction from which the creek flows, he found trees with the bark peeled off from the tremendous pounding they must have taken.

There was not a bird or any kind of wildlife to be seen.

He recalls that a family named Jeffrey who lived nearby lost all the shingles off their house, and they literally carried hail out of the house with shovels.

Canty Yarbrough, who also lives on his family farm, was attending Tarleton at the time, but he remembers that his father, William Lee Yarbrough, lost a mare and a colt to the storm, and another rancher lost 11 head of cattle.

Mrs. Maude Warnock who runs the hardware store in Bluff Dale, says that her husband Reed told of making ice cream with ice they dug out of the bank of Berry’s Creek on July 4.

Is this just another Texas tall tale or is it possible that under the protection of sand and other debris along the banks of the stream that ice could have remained frozen for that long given the dense wooded environment of Berry’s Creek?

Believe it or not, but there are those in Bluff Dale, Texas, who claim it may be a tall tale, but it’s a true one!


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