Pond Ice From Anne Chandonnet

I was just introduced to your Cape Ann blog via Richard Howe’s blog. I was delighted tosee pond ice mentioned.I grew up on Marsh Hill Road in Dracut. Beside our barn was a huge (almost like a long, small barn in itself) shed for ice. The pantry of the kitchen had a square opening that could accept blocks of ice.My grandfather, Everett Fox, and my Dad, Leighton D. Fox, used to harvest ice from one ofour cow ponds. (Cows tend to walk into ponds to relieve themselves, so we never used the ice for anything but cooling and in the hand-crank ice cream freezer.)That practice of getting blocks of ice and insulating them with sawdust (from my Dad’s sawmill),was continued to some degree up to about 1955. I remember cranking some ice cream on the back steps with some of that ice.However, I think it was 1956, there was a big storm/tornado, and the ice shed fell down.The ice house was so huge that I think we might have been selling ice to other farmers at some time, but there is no one old enough around to ask about that. (I am 78.)I lived in Alaska for 34 years. When Russian owned Sitka (and Alaska), they harvested ice from a pond in downtown Sitka and sent it by boat to Seattle. I think some may have made itas far as San Francisco, but I’m not certain about that historical point. The pond was named Swan Lake.Anyway, the whole purpose of this screed is to tell you and the ice people that I am very gladto see the old tradition carried on with flair.

Best,Ann Fox Chandonnet

Lake St. Louis, MO

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