Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sealey's: New Images of an Old Business

Back in 2013, there was considerable attention in local media about the closing of a small Brookline restaurant named Sealey's Lunch on Cypress Street just south of Boylston Street. (It is now the location of Rifrullo Cafe.)

Stories in newspapers and on TV reported that the restaurant -- supposedly founded in 1914 as Sealey's Ice Cream by a man named Sealey -- was shutting down after 99 years in the same location.

I dug into the story and found that the business opened in 1936, not 1914, and that there was no Mr. Sealey. I found an ad and an article about the opening in the Brookline Citizen. I found the daughter of the original owner, who provided fascinating details and photos of her parents. I got additional information from the families of two later owners.

You can read all about it in my original 2014 blog post: The Real Scoop on Sealey's Ice Cream / Sealey's Lunch.

The Citizen article described the store this way: "The black and white motif of the booths and tables is followed throughout the shop and gives an air of cleanliness to the whole store".

But I had no images to share of what the original Sealey's Ice Cream looked like. Until now.

Photos by Don Booth, Courtesy of Steve Booth

In December, I was contacted by Steve Booth who found negatives of some photos taken by his late father, Don, and had digital images made from them. Among the photos were several labeled "Sealey's" and dated August 10, 1936 when Don Booth was 19. (That's just a few weeks after the opening of the ice cream shop.) Steve found my article, contacted me, and shared the photos shown here.

The image above shows two young employees behind the counter, with ice cream flavors listed on the wall behind them. A second photo shows these same two with an older couple, the owners of the shop, Lloyd and Rhoda Seaman.

The Seamans are easy to identify thanks to a photo of them, provided by their daughter, from Lloyd's days as a pilot.

A third photo shows an unidentified young man sitting in a booth in the new ice cream parlor.


The Seamans sold the store in 1937 and moved to the Panama Canal Zone where they continued to make and sell ice cream. But the name they gave to their shop remained, through multiple owners and 78 years. Read more about them and the long history of Sealey's -- including how it got its name -- in the original blog post.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful how the internet can make a connection -- all the way back to 1936!!!