The Landmark of Dairy Hill

Jamie Hude, Writer

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The Dairy Hill has served local Mason residents delicious treats over 65 years.

The Dairy Hill is Mason’s oldest ice cream shop. It was originally built in 1954 by a man named Lawrence Simpson with the help of others. Back then, the Dairy Hill was known as the Kreem King until the year 1959. In 1959, a married couple named Harold and Wilhma Barnhill took the Kreem King and used their surname to turned it into their own business and called it The Dairy Hill.


Since then, there have been multiple owners but all have kept the famous name that everyone loves and knows in Mason. Today, the business is owned by Ruben Droscha and is managed by Jon Droscha.


Manager Jon Droscha talked about the history behind Dairy Hill. According to Droscha, as a child, he noticed that after his grandparents had bought the business, he felt inspired to take over owning it when he grew older.


“My grandparents actually ran a Dairy Queen in Charlotte in the mid-60s, and so they were kinda introduced into the business then this became available so they went ahead and bought it,” said Droscha. “My grandparents bought the business in 1969, and then my parents bought it in 1979, so I grew up in the business. I saw that it was a successful business so it looked like a good way to make a living.”


Droscha also talked about the changes over the years to the Dairy Hill and his thoughts on if he believes that his place is a significant landmark to Mason or not.


“It hasn’t changed a whole lot, some of the machineries are new, we added a few items, subtracted a few items, but it has been pretty much the same,” explained Droscha. “People that live in Mason know where this is, if they don’t know anything else, if they don’t know it’s called Dairy Hill, you say it’s across from Rayner Park and the fairgrounds and they will know what you are talking about.”


Besides its idyllic location, Dairy Hill is a landmark to Mason because it can be seen as a classic or vintage ice cream shop. Citizens of Mason that like to run around town, go to Rayner Park, or go to the fairgrounds for certain events pass by this business and it’s hard to pass by an ice cream shop without getting anything. It is a very special landmark to this town and all of the people living in it.


“It’s been here forever,” said Droscha.In addition, Jon Droscha’s daughter Julia Droscha also works in her family’s business. Just like her father, she has grown up into the business and she knows how important this ice cream store is to her and her family.


“It’s pretty important, it’s kind of a family legacy because it was bought by my great grandparents so it’s kind of like a cute little family thing,” said Julia.“It’s the only small business in a residential area so that’s cool.”


Dairy Hill worker and former Mason High School student, Andy Peffers talked about his thoughts on how truly important this ice cream shop is to Mason.


“If it closed, the whole town would probably erupt in chaos,” said Peffers. Peffers went on to explain in details his opinions about why this ice cream store is special than the others in Mason. “It’s kind of a nice aesthetic here,”said Peffers. “It’s a nice old timey good ole fashioned ice cream.”


Peffers said he has been working at the Dairy Hill for about three and a half years with his voice filled with pride.


In addition to these hardworking individuals, MHS junior Hazel Campbell-Crowley expressed her thoughts and reflections on the Dairy Hill.


“I love Dairy Hill, I think it was one of the first real ice cream places and it’s right across from the park and it’s just like a really ideal location,” exclaimed Campbell-Crawley. “It’s really fun.”


Another thing that is special about the Dairy Hill is the various flavors of the month for ice cream. A few of these flavors include mint, cherry, black raspberry, red cinnamon, and eggnog.


` Peffers has a favorite ice cream flavor of the month. “Definitely gotta be eggnog, it’s the very last flavor but it’s delicious,” Peffers said. “Close second is peach.”


Mr Droscha agreed with Peffers.  “My favorite flavor of the month is egg nog. It’s absolutely the best and if you haven’t tried it yet you should.” Junior Hazel Campbell-Crawley added her favorite ice cream flavor of the month saying she really enjoys the peach or lemon.


Make sure this summer to go check out Mason’s very own Dairy Hill for a sweet treat!