With Ice Please!

With New Year's Eve here, there will be plenty of ice used in sculptures and serving foods such as shrimp and oysters, not to mention keeping the bubbly cold. But before electricity and refrigeration,   there was only one source of ice: Ice ponds and ice houses. Workers cut the ice and it was stored in a nearby "house," in salt hay, cork and sawdust insulation until it was needed. Around 1900, the Fernwood Lake Ice Company, pictured here, had the largest building in Massachusetts, measuring 105 feet x 205 feet. In 1908, the Fernwood Ice Company merged with Cape Pond Ice. The fishing industry used a lot of ice to preserve their catch as it was brought to market.

With New Year’s Eve here, there will be plenty of ice used in sculptures and serving foods such as shrimp and oysters, not to mention keeping the bubbly cold. But before electricity and refrigeration, there was only one source of ice: Ice ponds and ice houses. Workers cut the ice and it was stored in a nearby “house,” in salt hay, cork and sawdust insulation until it was needed. Around 1900, the Fernwood Lake Ice Company, pictured here, had the largest building in Massachusetts, measuring 105 feet x 205 feet. In 1908, the Fernwood Ice Company merged with Cape Pond Ice. The fishing industry used a lot of ice to preserve their catch as it was brought to market.

About Fredrik Bodin

Fred Bodin is a photographer who owns a gallery on Main Street in downtown Gloucester, MA. The gallery features Fred's land and seascapes, as well as historic images printed from the old negatives.
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6 Responses to With Ice Please!

  1. I think there was a ice house also in Magnolia

  2. Best wishes for 2014, Fred, and keel sharing these great photos that keep our rich CapeAnn history alive. Oh, yes, stay “cool” and, for the best ice experience, make sure it’s Cape Pond Ice !
    Scott

  3. fictionfitz says:

    Reblogged this on A Common Place and commented:
    Things have changed in a hundred years. In case you didn’t notice. Community.

  4. Wm. Skipper Publicover says:

    Thanks for another fun history lesson, Fred !
    Best Wishs for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year !
    Sea Ya
    Skipper

  5. shew says:

    love all the great photos, thanks for sharing

  6. Dave Moore says:

    Excellent history here Fred – I like the path back to under the the direction ahead! Keep them coming like the kimshee pot’s they bury this way…Tradition…
    The Mills Brothers “Basin street blues”. Boston Pops Early 80s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNOBrUITV4A

    Dave :-) Happy New Year!

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