Ice Cutting on the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, Ontario

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Picture 1-Cutting the blocks of ice after they had been marked off in squares.

Picture 2-Ice Cutting on the Mississippi River in Carleton Place

Picture 3- Loading ice by hand with ice thongs

Pictures from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Facebook page

Ice cutting was a winter occupation of icemen whose task it was to collect surface ice from lakes and rivers for storage in ice houses and sale as a pre-refrigeration cooling method. Kept insulated, the ice was preserved for all-year delivery to residential and commercial customers with ice boxes for cold food storage.

Ice harvesting generally involved waiting until approximately a foot of ice had built up on the water surface in the winter. The ice would then be cut with either a handsaw or a powered saw blade into long continuous strips and then cut into large individual blocks for transport by wagon back to the icehouse. Because snow on top of the ice slows freezing, it could be scraped off and piled in windrows. Alternatively, if the temperature is cold enough, a snowy surface could be flooded to produce a thicker layer of ice. A large operation would have a crew of 75 and cut 1500 tons daily.

This occupation generally became obsolete with the development of mechanical refrigeration and air conditioning technology– Wikipedia

Larry Clark
Our ice as delivered by Thorold Culbertson who lived on our street-Lake Ave. He was a bit of a character-was instrumental in reporting to my mother that I had fallen through the ice on Mississippi Lake-I hadn’t mentioned it to her!
Ice deliver memories?

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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