Memorable piece of Buffalo Center history comes home

Members of the Quasqui Committee and Buffalo Center Class of 1969 finished reassembling the soda fountain at the Heritage Town Center last Friday.

Buffalo Center’s iconic soda fountain from decades ago is now safely situated in the Heritage Town Center, thanks to the efforts of the 2017 Quasquicentennial Committee.

After Buffalo Center’s 125th celebration concluded, the Quasqui Committee looked for a way to spend their leftover fundraising money. “We discussed several ideas, and one that was in the back of my mind was to bring the drug store soda fountain back,” said Dean Gerzema.

The soda fountain was a longtime fixture of the local pharmacy – lasting through several owners, including Dave Snell, Don Beste and Howard Miller. It was a gathering place for scores of people, especially students who had an open noon hour and thought that a candy bar and a Green River Sprite would be a good lunch. The soda fountain was still in place when the pharmacy closed on September 7, 2001.

When the pharmacy closed, Gerzema says there didn’t seem to be any good place in town to display it. Bill Soderlund from Saint Peter, MN purchased it and used it as the centerpiece of his pharmacy museum, where it has been located since 2003. Soderlund has now closed the museum, so Gerzema thought the soda fountain would possibly be available.

Gerzema contacted Rick and Linda Potter, and the three of them visited the site in Saint Peter to view the fountain. “Our class of 1969 was planning our 50th class reunion, and we felt this would be something special our class could help with,” said Gerzema. “Just seeing it again reminded us of the times we would run up town and have our favorite mixed soda."

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