Tag Archives: Missisippi Lake

Would You Like Some Ice With that Drink?

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Mark your calendar for Sunday March 20th. Learn all about ice harvesting!

Sunday, March 20at 2 PM in EDT

Beckwith Township
1702 9th Line Beckwith, Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 3P2

ice

Photo from —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

In the early 1800s, one man saw dollar signs in frozen ponds. Frederic Tudor not only introduced the world to cold glasses of water on hot summer days, he created a thirst people never realized they had.

In 1805, two wealthy brothers from Boston were at a family picnic, enjoying the rare luxuries of cold beverages and ice cream. They joked about how their chilled refreshments would be the envy of all the colonists sweating in the West Indies. It was a passing remark, but it stuck with one of the brothers. Despite financial woes, Frederic persisted, and his ice business finally turned a profit in 1810. But a series of circumstances—including war, weather, and relatives needing bailouts—kept him from staying in the black for too long. Between 1809 and 1813, he landed in debtors’s prison three times and spent the rest of the time hiding from the sheriff.

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Photo from —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Despite financial woes, Frederic persisted, and his ice business finally turned a profit in 1810. But a series of circumstances—including war, weather, and relatives needing bailouts—kept him from staying in the black for too long. Between 1809 and 1813, he landed in debtors’s prison three times and spent the rest of the time hiding from the sheriff.

Frederic Tudor died in 1864, finally rich again. By that time, everyone with access to a frozen body of water was in on the action. Ice boomtowns sprouted along the Kennebec River in Maine, where farmers found year-round employment. The 1860s became the peak competitive period of American ice harvesting, and Tudor’s company prospered. Frederic Tudor would ship nearly 12,000 tons of ice halfway around the globe to become the “Ice King.”

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Photo is ice cutting on the Clyde River

historicalnotes

In Lanark County harvesting ice was big business on Mississippi Lake. Large blocks of ice were cut, hauled home and stored in sawdust in an ice house. Whatever they chose to use for an ice house windows wold have to be boarded up and there was only one door to stop the ice from thawing. When they needed a block one would be hauled out with large thongs to keep your ice box cool. Gail Sheen-MacDonald from Carleton Place remembers the Kilfoyles had an ice house where all the cottagers in Innisville bought their ice. Joann Voyce said that Thoral Culbertson was their iceman in Carleton Place.

Farmers also used the ice surface of Mississippi Lake for their sleighs, hauling wood across the frozen waters to Carleton Place. The price of wood at one time was 4-5 dollars for a full cord, and some of farmers even bartered for groceries at a grocery store on High Street. Could this have been Mr. Campbell’s store?

Facebook Info Page

Mark your calendar for Sunday March 20th. Learn all about ice harvesting!

Sunday, March 20at 2 PM in EDT

Beckwith Township
1702 9th Line Beckwith, Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 3P2

f1548-s0393-cutting-ice-820

Photo-Google Image