Today the sun came out, the temperature rose, and the snow began to melt. With work progressing in the icehouse my mind drifted to the days when this building would have been bustling with activity, teams of horses hauling loads of ice from the lake for storage. I imagined the bittersweet emotions that must have surfaced on a day like today. The promise of spring. But ice melting almost as quickly as it was cut, provoking anxiety over whether or not sufficient ice would but cut and stores before temperate weather put a seasonal end to harvesting ice.
Harvesting Ice Haiku
Winter lake cropping —
horses, neighbors, and laughter —
Prior to the nineteenth century, ice harvesting was a local and small time operation… January or February was considered the best month for harvesting. Often communities or groups of farm families would work cooperatively, dividing the “crop” proportionally. In addition to hard work, the “icing” was a social occasion and opportunity for locals to pass gossip and news. (Source: New York Almanack)
Ice Harvesting Photos
These photographs are part of a newly acquired collection of historic reenactment documents that will be framed and displayed in Rosslyn’s icehouse when rehab is complete. More details soon…
What do you think?