More Cape Pond Ice House #GloucesterMA history in Alton Bay NH

GMG reader Carolyn R. passes on more local history from Alton Historical Society, Alton, NH

 Alton Historical Society, Alton, New Hampshire – This building was for the workers at the Cape Pond Ice House, Mt. Major Park at Woodmans Cove. The photo was taken a couple of years ago.

| Alton Historical Society Facebook link here: More Cape Pond Ice House history in Alton Bay

Prior posts here and here

More GMG reader Cape Pond Ice reminiscences – Alton, New Hampshire & #GloucesterMA 🧊☃️❄️ and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic

Hearty thanks to David Collins, a GMG reader and avid genealogist, for sharing his Gloucester history message and personal family photo concerning Cape Pond Ice in response to yesterday’s post!

“As always, I have been enjoying your posts on the Good Morning Gloucester blog, especially those that explore Gloucester’s history.

the story on Cape Pond Ice of Gloucester and Alton Bay, NH, brought back several family memories. 

Remember when I wrote you about my grandfather dying in the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918? I told you he was working at Lepage’s when he took a leave to take care of his brother who had come down with the flu and died first. 

Well, before he worked at Lepage’s, my grandfather had worked at Cape Pond Ice. Here is a picture of my grandfather, Millard E. Collins, with his Cape Pond Ice wagon. The toddler on the horse is my father, also named Millard E. Collins.

During the 1950s, my family summer vacationed for a week or so each year at Mastine’s Sunset Cabins on Paugus Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee. The cabins there were very basic. We brought everything we needed with us from Gloucester, including bedding, pots and pans and heavy clothing because even over 4th of July week, it could get cold there. The very first thing we would do once we arrived and unpacked would be to go to the Alton Bay branch of Cape Pond Ice to get a block of ice to put in the ice box in the cabin and then shop and get milk that came in a sort of upside-down megaphone or cone-shaped container.”

David Collins, 2021 January 20

courtesy photo from Dave Collins

photo caption: “Here is a picture of my grandfather, Millard E. Collins, with his Cape Pond Ice wagon. The toddler on the horse is my father, also named Millard E. Collins.”

Dave has generously shared Gloucester history family stories and photographs with GMG before. Check out Stage Fort Park here. Dave shared another family photograph from a different angle in March of 2019 here.

1918 Flu EPIDEMIC – “collins”

“Thank-you for your time in reading this, Catherine, and for continuing to shine such a wonderfully informative light on the history of Gloucester. I forget whether I wrote you about your 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic series of articles. They really hit home to me as my father’s father and uncle both died from that flu within a matter of days of one another in October of 1918, my grandfather having taken care of his brother and then succumbing himself, leaving 2 widows and 7 very young children behind.”

David Collins

I asked Dave if either man had been serving in the military at the time. His thoughtful response incorporates Gloucester surnames, sites and businesses readers may recognize, and he has graciously granted this share:

“As for the Spanish flu and my family, neither my grandfather (I was adopted but he was my sister’s birth-grandfather) nor his brother were in the military when they contracted the flu.

My grandfather, Millard E. Collins, Sr., [1888-1918] lived in Gloucester and worked as a laborer at LePage’s where my father later worked as a purchasing agent when I was young and we, too, lived in Gloucester before we moved to Connecticut after one of the take-overs of Lepage’s.

My grandfather had also worked for Cape Pond Ice as a delivery man. 

My father’s brother, Jacob Buswell Collins [1886-1918] lived in North Attleboro MA and I have no idea what he might have done for a living.

The brothers were born in Salisbury MA and my grandfather followed another brother, William Warren Collins [1885-1937], to Gloucester in the very, very early 1900s. I also have no idea why either went there but William ended up living with another Collins family who lived at the foot of Bond’s Hill (on the right). I have never been able to connect them to our Collins family, although the wife was a distant cousin of ours through the Barrett family in the neighborhood (a cousin to Homer Barrett.) There has to have been some sort of  a connection but I cannot find it. 

William Collins became a postman and married Edna Bray who lived with her aunt and uncle at the foot of Bond’s Hill in the house that was right behind Strong’s gas station (so on the left side of Bond’s Hill) when I was a kid. Edna’s mother and her aunt were both of the Parsons family of Gloucester. I remember going to that house from where we lived on Stage Fort Avenue, probably without my mother’s knowledge of it, to get cookies from Edna back in the early 1950s. That is the house that the Parsons family thinks may have been the original Parsons homestead moved there from Western Avenue when the boulevard was created. Mary Sibbalds once asked me what I remembered of the inside of the place when they were trying to authenticate it but I wasn’t able to help much. And, apparently, carbon-dating of the wood in the house didn’t help with the identification either. I don’t know where the validation stands these several years later. Mary Sibbalds has since passed away but left us two wonderful volumes of Parsons family history. 

Anyway, back to William Collins’ – his name was on the list of postal workers you had in your GMG contribution about the post office’s connection to the Spanish flu, I believe.  

I have not figured out why my grandfather went to North Attleboro, away from his family (wife and 3 children) in Gloucester, but a cousin of mine says that our grandmother had told her that most of the Collins family had the flu, and by that I assume she meant the 2 brothers and their siblings (and families? They all were adults by 1918 and married.) Also, according to my cousin, my grandmother had begged Millard not to go to help his brother because he would likely “catch it”, too. So, that part of the story is a little confusing – did they all have it after all? Did Millard before going to Attleboro?  I also do not know where my grandfather died, although indications are he was back in Gloucester.

William Collins and the sisters, Annette, Flora and Elizabeth, all survived the pandemic and died years later – 1937, 1968, 1972 and 1970…

My grandmother’s father may have died of the Spanish flu, too. He died in January of 1919 but was very much out of the young-men’s age range that was so affected by it. When we lived in Gloucester, my great grandmother lived in our neighborhood, across from the Washington Cemetery. She died in January of 1959 when I was 13. She was very much a part of my younger life and I have often wondered what it would have been like to have had a great-grandfather, too. He was William Simpson Swift ([1856-1919] and, apparently, he was an inventor of sorts, among other things. Mary Palmstrom* unearthed several patents with drawings of inventions he came up with.

David Collins correspondence with Catherine January 2021

I hope to tease out more details surrounding the flu pandemic in Gloucester and perhaps with that more information for Dave.

*Mary Palmstrom is a Shute descendent, retired teacher, history buff and genealogist enthusiast. She created the outstanding Shute and Merchant compilation resource:

Collins in the 1915 Gloucester city directory

To learn more about Gloucester during the 1918 Flu Pandemic see here: 1918 PANDEMIC: RECONSTRUCTING HOW THE FLU RAGED THEN FLATTENED IN GLOUCESTER MASSACHUSETTS WHEN 183 DIED IN 6 WEEKS.

Cool! GMG reader shares Cape Pond Ice harvesting history in Alton, New Hampshire – Mt. Major – Lake Winnipesaukee 🧊☃️❄️ #GloucesterMA

Thank you to GMG reader, Carolyn Rosenfeld, for sharing a Gloucester history message that was featured by Alton Historical Society!


Cape Pond Ice headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, established a branch in Alton, New Hampshire, to guarantee demands for ice.

Carolyn writes:

“AMAZING! MY MOTHER AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY WERE  FROM WEST ALTON, BUT UP ON THE MOUNTAIN. That’s why I belong to this (Alton Historical Society) group. It’s like I’ve gone back in time. Finding that interconnection is a little eerie. I’m in NH today to give a beautiful portrait of her, taken in 1912 when she was  4 years old, to one of my daughters. And of course it was taken at their farm on Alton Mountain. Anyway, I love a good coincidental jolt in the AM with my coffee.”


“Alton Historical Society, Alton, New Hampshire – This is the Cape Pond Ice Co. of Gloucester, MA ice house at Mt. Major in West Alton. The ice was shipped by train along the Lake Shore Line to Gloucester for use on the fishing boats.” | Facebook

Alton Historical Society Facebook post 2021 January 20

Mt. Major is a state park– another wonderful activity to check out at Lake Winnipesaukee

See Cape Pond Ice – and Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library– for more information. (I’ll add more photos here.)

Fun read – 2019 article here featuring a “keeping the ice harvesting tradition alive” attraction is available on Squam Lake in Holderness, NH.

BOBBI GIBB ART Open Studio at Cape Pond Ice’s ART @the ICEHOUSE

BOBBI GIBB ART – murals, sculpture, recent works

You are invited to attend an Open Studio and Art Sale event all of next month – September 14st – October.

This Exhibit showcases my sculptural works and latest explorations in abstract art & mixed media forms.

The event is in the “Loft Area” of the Cape Pond Ice Company located at 104 Commercial Street in Gloucester (Cool place, yes?).

To give you an idea of the type of work showcased during my event, link to my new CloudBoard Channel below


Please call, text or email me to make a special appointment at any time to join the fun at my Open Studio and Art Sale – Bobbi Gibb 978-273-1552 &

Cape Pond Ice Company loft”ART@the Icehouse”, 104 Commercial Street, The Fort, Gloucester MA.
Scott — Scott Memhard, PresidentCAPE POND ICE COMPANY, INC.aka Bresnahan Ice/United Party Rental, Lawrence & Peabody Icehouse104 Commercial Street, Fort WharfGloucester, MA 01930tel: 978-283-0174 FAX 978-283-3714 cell: 978-879-9394

1979 time capsule – E. Raymond Abbott, former Cape Pond Ice owner and Gloucester philanthropist, on the history of Day’s pond, its waterlilies and a Rockport watershed

Next time you’re heading in the direction of Wolf Hill, Good Harbor Beach or Rockport thank E. Raymond Abbott when you pass Day’s Pond, a historic man made pond in Gloucester about 1 acre in size. In 1978 Abbott wrote about his family’s association with the pond:

stone wall repaired 2018 Day's Pond Gloucester MA_20190425_©c ryan (2)
2018 new engineered wall, railing (sidewalk pending) – read more about Gloucester DPW work here

“On reading a recent article in the Gloucester Daily Times (July 1979) which made reference to the ‘so-called’ upper Day’s Pond off Eastern Avenue it occurred to me that the people of Gloucester might be interested in a brief history of the pond.

Years ago there were two Day brothers who owned a large tract of land which extended from the beaches and marshes all the way up to the old Rockport Road. This land, including the upper Day’s Pond, was later sold to a lawyer named Webster who lived in and owned a hotel on Pleasant Street. Later on the Webster property which also included land around Cape Pond in Rockport, came up for sale at a public auction. My father, James Abbott, bought it in June of 1905 and went into business which was later known as the Cape Pond Ice Company. In 1922, my father retired and I took over the ice business. 

I will always remember a young girl, Harriet Wonson, who lived just above the upper Day’s Pond, coming to me asking if she could beautify the pond by planting water lilies in and around it. Of course, I gave my consent.

In 1943, I decided to sell the Cape Pond Ice Company. However, before doing so, I gave the upper Day’s Pond to the city of Gloucester so that the children always have a place to skate in the winter, in the summertime provide a pond for fishing, as well as a beautiful subject for our local artists to paint. It was during this same period that I was able to acquire most of the land around Cape Pond and later gave my interest to the town of Rockport to be used as a water shed. 

It is my sincere hope and desire that the upper Day’s Pond will continue to provide as much enjoyment for the children of the future as it has in the past.

E. Raymond Abbott, Gloucester Daily Times Letter to the Editor, July 16, 1979

Twenty years later, Gloucester dredged Day’s Pond “as part of a watershed management plan to stabilize the pond’s ecosystem.” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Mangement awarded $2500 for the project in 1998. Marilyn Myett wrote a persuasive My View column about the pond’s vital impact in the neighborhood.

Cape Pond Ice was the subject of Mr. Goulart scavenger history challenge for 9th grade GHS students see results & historic photos here

RESULTS WEEK 1 | try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt #GloucesterMA Throwback Thursday

GHS_20180423_©catherine ryan
Gloucester, Mass.- Great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge one week after the students. Good luck!



How did you do? Week one delved into the history of Cape Pond Ice. More than one player “had to call a friend”, Scott Memhard, owner of Cape Pond Ice and City Councilor. He kindly shared supplemental archival material included in this post. Stop here if you prefer to go back to see questions only from 3/10/19 Week One trivia questions

Continue to scroll for the answers.


courtesy photo from Scott Memhard Cape Pond Ice Gloucester Mass (3)

1)In 1848 a blacksmith named Nathaniel R. Webster started a company by damming a local brook. What did the brook become known as?  ANSWER. VETERANS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAMPUS

2)What did Webster’s company become known as? ANSWER. CAPE POND ICE

3)Take a picture at the present day location of the company 

20160718_© catherine ryan.jpg

4)Take a picture of the street named after him with a member in it. ANSWER. WEBSTER STREET



6)Take a picture at the location of the old dam with a member in front. ANSWER. THE SCHOOL





7)A competitor to Webster named Francis W. Homans in 1876 created a 32 acre man-made lake. What is the lake known as? ANSWER. FERNWOOD LAKE



8)Submit a screenshot of a map of the lake (Google Maps or Google Earth)

Fernwood lake.jpg

9)What year did the two companies merge? ANSWER. 1908

Courtesy photos below from Scott Memhard, Cape Pond Ice, Cape Ann Museum



Courtesy photo from David Collins-

“My grandfather, Millard Collins, Sr., worked for one of the ice houses for a while. He died in 1918 at age 29 in the Spanish Flu pandemic. At that time he was working for LePages’s and had taken a leave of absence to care for his brother, Jacob, who had contracted the flu first. Jacob died October 17, 1918, and my grandfather died October 28, 1918…”

“I’m enclosing a picture of my grandfather and his horse-drawn ice wagon. You can see the word “ICE” faintly written on the inside back of the wagon. The youngster atop the horse is my father, who was born in July,1912, so I date the picture to about 1913 or so.”

courtesy photo from david collins.jpg

Prior Posts

3/10/19 Week One trivia questions


Shop Local WITH THE COOLEST GUYS AROUND! – Cape Pond Ice Gift Shop – Fort Wharf, Gloucester

Shop local – Gloucester Christmas on Commercial Street – Fort Wharf / Cape Pond Ice Gift Shop – good time for replacing worn out, out-grown, or stolen (by your brother) Cape Pond Ice gear for the holidays – or for that “Cool”  friend or family member who just never got one, now’s the time…  good inventory & choices in stock.

Open Saturday 9 – 1, weekdays 9-5, or on-line:

Partners on the Harbor

Some of Gloucester’s boats docked in the harbor. As I was reviewing the pictures, I realized the common theme was Cape Pond Ice in the background. I thought it was pretty significant because I believe Cape Pond Ice supports the fishermen and the community in many ways, often in the background. Here’s to our fishermen and Cape Pond Ice!


Cape Pond Ice


Among all Gloucester’s great “shop local” options this Christmas…  don’t forget the selection of “Cool Gear” for all your “Coolest Guys, Gals and Cool Kids”, Wicked Tuna, historic ice industry books & Perfect Storm memorabilia offered in Cape Pond Ice Company’s surprising little Gift Shop, “down The Fort” at 104 Commercial Street, past Beauport Hotel.

Cape Pond Ice is open M – F from 9 – 5, & Sat. 9 – 1.  If the office/shop door is locked, check for help down back on the wharf.  Tel. 978-283-0174 or email:    Or check out their cool web-store:

“Cool Gear” – solving Christmas present “problems” for “Coolest Guys & Gals & Cool Kids” & Wicked Tuna fans – t’s, sweats, caps, mugs & drinkware, Perfect Storm DVD’s & books, gift certificates and more….

Scott Memhard, PresidentCAPE POND ICE COMPANY, INC.

aka Bresnahan Ice/United Party Rental, Lawrence & Peabody Icehouse104 Commercial Street, Fort WharfGloucester, MA 01930tel: 978-283-0174 FAX 978-283-3714 cell: 978-879-9394

Closing Artists Reception for Leon Doucette & Peter Herbert ART@the Icehouse Gallery

Closing Reception for Leon Doucette & Peter Herbert

If you missed our very successful Grand Opening Reception October 13th for this Exhibit, now is your last chance!— Please join us for our upcoming Closing Artists’ Reception for Leon Doucette & Peter Herbert at ART@the IceHouse, Cape Pond Ice Company, this Saturday afternoon, November 3, from 3 pm – 6 pm.
Saturday, November 3, Closing Artists’ Reception, from 3-6 pm,
ART@the IceHouse, 104 Commercial Street, Fort Wharf, Gloucester

Please join us to view these lovely portraits, and land and sea-scapes by two talented local artists!

ART@the IceHouse Gallery

ART@the Icehouse reception for Leon Doucette & Peter Herbert

Scott Memhard reflects on ART@The Icehouse reception for Peter Herbert and Leon Doucette Recent Works: “Good, appreciative crowd, in spite of all going on in Gloucester last night!” I heard it was packed and gorgeous.

courtesy photos from Cape Pond Ice and Pauline Bresnahan

Leon Doucette and Peter Herbert recent works ART at Cape Pond Ice_ art at icehouse_courtesy photo from Scot Memhard (6)


Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails 2018 starts this weekend!

FREE Trails & Sails events throughout Gloucester, Cape Ann and all of Essex County during two upcoming weekends September 21-23 & 28-30, 2018!

dsc_0167.jpg3rd Annual Phyllis A Marine Association Art Show and Sale  Hosted by Phyllis A Marine Association
Climb Up City Hall Tower, Hosted by Gloucester City Hall Restoration Commission


Historic Ice House Guided Tours Hosted by Cape Pond Ice Company

rafe.jpgOcean Views Walk from Ravenswood to Rafe’s Chasm Hosted by Cape Ann Trail Stewards


Sustainable Foraging: Wild Food and Medicine by the Sea Hosted by Gloucester’s Magnolia Library & Community Center & Iris Weaver


IPSWICH Come Paint with Me Decorative Painting Demonstration, Hosted by Johanne Cassia, American Folk Artist, AnnTiques’ owner. Co-founder of the Woman Owned Businesses Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway trail map celebrating street level, local women retailers from Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley who share a regional ‘Main Street’ – Route 133/1A, part of the gorgeous 90 mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

10_1930293_zm.jpgANDOVER: Addison Gallery of American Art Gallery Talk: Paul Manship and His Artistic Legacy  Manship Artists Residency + Studios (MARS) President Rebecca Reynolds and Addison Gallery Associate Director and Robert M. Walker Curator of Art before 1950, Emerita Susan Faxon will discuss the significant work of Paul Manship, his influential presence in Gloucester, and his connection to the Addison.

Essex National Heritage Trails and Sails 2018

Ice Ice Baby

Ice, Ice, Baby! During the recent 2018 July 4th Heat Wave, ice was being distributed however possible, including a Tesla Model X ice wagon heading to the Market Restaurant in Annisquam, and Cape Ann Marina’s stainless 2 ton flatbed (they hoped to beat the Cut drawbridge). The vintage Harvey Cape Pond Ice truck was last seen down Thurston’s Point:

Cape Pond Ice

Cape Pond Ice Company

Published by Scott Memhard

We need your help! – This may be our last chance to keep Cape Pond Ice afloat & serving Gloucester’s fleet! PLEASE contact Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo & Alexander Strysky at MA MEMA to endorse our Cape Pond Ice project and plans ahead:

Before Fiesta we need Letters & E-mails of Support for: Cape Pond Ice Plant Moderization, Re-configuration, and Supporting Restaurant/ Fish Market/ Distillery/ Parking

RE: EEA No. 15867 Cape Pond Ice Company, Gloucester

Project Description: An Environmental Notification Form (ENF) has been filed with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs by Cape Pond Ice Company, LLC to renovate an existing 34,423-sf building to reconfigure and modernize the ice plant, add 33 parking spaces within the building and convert a portion of the building to a three-level, 15,300-sf restaurant. The project may also include a distillery. The project does not include any expansion of the existing building. The site is located on filled and flowed tidelands in the Gloucester Inner Harbor Designated Port Area.

Contact: Alex Strysky, MEPA Office, 100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114
ph: (617) 626-1025 fx: (617) 626-1181

Mayor Sefatia Giambanco Romeo Theken, City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester MA 01930
ph: (978) 281-9700


After 170 years, we don’t want Cape Pond Ice to end up “on the rocks” like the scalloper Artemis, or lost at sea, like the Andrea Gail!

Scott Memhard, PresidentCAPE POND ICE COMPANY, INC.aka Bresnahan Ice, Lawrence & Peabody Icehouse104 Commercial Street, Fort WharfGloucester, MA 01930tel: 978-283-0174 FAX 978-283-3714 cell: 978-879-9394

RE: EEA No. 15867 Cape Pond Ice Company, Gloucester

Project Description:

Scott Memhard, PresidentCAPE POND ICE COMPANY, INC.aka Bresnahan Ice, Lawrence & Peabody Icehouse104 Commercial Street, Fort WharfGloucester, MA 01930tel: 978-283-0174 FAX 978-283-3714 cell: 978-879-9394

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