Francis Burdette Cypher’s Ice Cream Shop, 1878

Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow in the 20th Century by MaryAnn Marshall and Sara Mascia.
The New York Times October 25th, 1916

In 1878, Francis Burdette Cypher opened an ice cream shop and confectionery at the end of Main Street. By the 1900s he was nationally famous for his root beer for which he received numerous outstanding offers from large companies who wanted to buy his recipes. Cypher denied them every time as he prefered to work and keep a humble life saying “When I die, They die with me”. The shop was open in the busy summer months and in the winter he would close up and ride the railroad all across America. Tarrytown banks would often receive a hurry-up appeal to send a money order to Mexico or some other far away place at his request.
Cypher was the town character, never marrying or having children who he might have passed his secrets onto. On October 24th, 1916 one of Cyphers young workers stole the car of a customer who stopped in for an order and went joyriding. He ended up crashing into a telephone pole and panicked Cypher rushed to the scene of the accident in a taxi cab. Mid-rid and certainly due to the stress of the situation, he had a heart attack and died a short time later after being rushed to his home on Central Avenue, his famous recipes dying with him.