Ice, Water

Harvesting ice in the winter and storing it for sale in the summer was an important occupation in the 1800s. In 1864, for example, the lake froze over on January 8th, and ice cutting began on the 12th. Note the ice houses in the background, and the backs of the buildings on Genesee Street, many of them still there. The last winter for ice-cutting was 1929-1930.

In August of 1895, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Skaneateles donated a public drinking fountain to the village, fresh water for both horses and men, the latter of which would presumably no longer have to slake their thirsts with strong drink. The fountain was planted in the intersection of Jordan Street and Genesee Street, but had to be removed in 1901 to make way for the trolley cars.

My thanks again to Gard Lorey for the loan of Pictorial History of Skaneateles (1980) from which these were taken.

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One thought on “Ice, Water

  1. My dad’s biography mentions the ice house with hay covering the giant blocks of ice they kept all summer. He also mentioned staealing cherries from the neighbors orchard and sticking strawsinot the barrels of vinegar to get cider out when it was still sweet.

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