A little history on the road

July 26, 2021

In a rather abstract way, I knew about ice boxes being used before mechanical refrigeration became popular – there is actually a drain for the ice box remaining in the back hall of my 100 year old house. I had seen photographs of the ice men with their horses and wagons. I had also seen photos of ice harvesting on northern lakes. I always associated that occupation with a way of life from the early days of our country and certainly no later than the early 20th century.

Reality was brought home to be when we came across the Thompson Ice House in South Bristol, Maine which remained in operation through the 1980s. The business was owned and the property was retained by the Thompson family until 1987 when it was donated to a non-profit organization and is now maintained as a museum. The Thompson Ice House is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

We have been vacationing in this area for years and I remember exploring its dim and dusty interior of the ice house before it became a museum and everything was all locked up. It is a lovely tranquil site – lots of fish and frogs in the pond.

Searching the web for background, I found this video of ice harvesting at the Thompson Ice House as part of the museum’s educational mission.

One comment

  1. Relatives used to harvest ice from the Lake Michigan, for use in the big cities in the summer. At the time it was non-motorized. Link here to an article filled with stuff I didn’t know: https://recollectionwisconsin.org/ice-harvesting

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