M. Rowan
M. Rowan, 668 6th Ave. between 20th and 21st Sts. (2006)

Hiding behind this fire escape is a small sign reading M. Rowan on the frieze above the second story windows at 668 6th Ave (next door to Charles Ruegger's Bazar Francais).

Rowan was Michael Rowan (ca. 1838/40-1907/08), who began his Ice Cream Depot, Wholesale and Retail, at 350 6th Ave. around 1867/68. Rowan was in immigrant from Ireland in 1851, and he appears in the U. S. Census of 1870 living at 809 6th Ave. with his wife, Theresa Rowan (ca. 1848-192?). In the same census appears Richard New (ca. 1838-?). Richard New was Rowan's partner in the ice cream business for about 10 years (1868-1878). They moved to 668 6th Ave. in 1870. (The number was 334 6th Ave. until the late 1920s when all the buildings on 6th Ave. were re-numbered to accommodate the extension of 6th Ave. south from Carmine St.)

This situation wanted ad was placed in the New York Times (12 Oct 1876, p. 6), by somebody who either worked or lived at Rowan's Ice Cream Saloon, 334 6th Ave., in 1876.

After Michael Rowan's death around 1907/08 ownership of the business passed to his widow, Theresa Rowan. Theresa Rowan, in turn, passed the business off to several of her sons: Francis Rowan (1873-?), Ambrose Aloysius Rowan (1879-?) and Edmond J. Rowan (1881-?). All of these men had alternative names they used at times: Francis Rowan was also called Frank, Ambrose Rowan was called Andrew in the U. S. Census of 1900, and Edmond Rowan was called Edward in the same census. Ambrose and Edmond Rowan were particularly active in continuing M. Rowan, Ice Cream. Also involved in the business during the 1920s was Minnie Rowan (ca. 1882-?), Edmond Rowan's wife.

The business survived until approx. 1933/34.

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