In summer 1948, a new summer treat became available in the Tri-Village area: a soft ice-cream store called Dairy Queen. Roy and Eileen Gilmore of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, saw the popularity of this new product and bought the only available franchise in a sizable city. They purchased the property at 1512 W. Fifth Ave., and Columbus had its first Dairy Queen, later called DQ.

In summer 1948, a new summer treat became available in the Tri-Village area: a soft ice-cream store called Dairy Queen. Roy and Eileen Gilmore of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, saw the popularity of this new product and bought the only available franchise in a sizable city.

They purchased the property at 1512 W. Fifth Ave., and Columbus had its first Dairy Queen, later called DQ. Other locations followed the successful business for the Gilmores. One of the first franchise-oriented companies, Dairy Queen had only 10 stores in 1941, about 100 when the Tri-Village store opened, but grew to nearly 2,600 by 1955 and 6,000 today.

The Fifth Avenue DQ remained in the family until 1980, when the rights were passed to Ernest Mandell, who had worked for the Gilmores for 10 years. Mr. Mandell still operates the Fifth Avenue location.

The soft ice-cream, a blend of fresh milk and a proprietary mix, remains a specialty for summer and, now, all year round. The Dairy Queen, shown here in a 1981 newspaper ad, is celebrating 65 years at the Tri-Village location.