Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ice House

 Cutting ice from rivers, lakes and ponds was a big part of life back in the 1800s and early 1900s. By around 1950 everyone in America had electricity and a refrigerator/freezer, well, almost everyone.

Most of us modern Americans have never lived more than a day or two without electricity. We get really upset when our power is interrupted by a storm or construction. Our Amish neighbors chose to not connect to electric power-plants back in the day, and they still don't use it!

I visited my son in Cedar Falls, Iowa, a few weeks back and we toured this really "cool" museum. (a pun was intended) It was right around Fathers Day, so Dallas asked, "What would you like to do?" He told me that there are several museums in town. (He knows that I'm a history buff.) When I heard about the Ice House my mind was made up.
 When I visit museums that depict life in the 1800s, I can't help but think of my Amish neighbors.

Artifacts that are on display for us to marvel at, are still being used daily on Amish farms.

Many "modern day" Amish do have gas powered refrigerators, but some are still cutting ice and have ice-houses.
 When I took this pic of my son, I didn't notice the sign about Mother's Best Flour. It seemed somehow fitting, because this son is made up of the best ingredients. Dallas appears on the covers of  Under the Heavens and English River
 This is a photo of a horse-drawn ice cutter. It was really fascinating to learn about the process of how ice was cut into big chunks and stored in this huge building. Horses wore shoes with spikes to keep their footing on the river.
 Just the structure of this building was worth stopping in to see! If you are ever near Cedar Falls, take the time to learn about our past... and our Amish neighbor's present.

The museum tickets are replicas of order forms people hung in their windows. The ice delivery-man then knew how many pounds of ice to bring into the house.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I can't imagine having to keep my food cool with the ever melting ice block.