Jan 07-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: January: Jan 07-07
Icy Occupation    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Copper Country Reflections
TO ICE CONSUMERS FROM THE MARTIN ICE COMPANY    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Copper Country Reflections
...Ice article continued    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Copper Country Reflections

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 08:42 am:

I recently saw a survey asking what was the most important technological development of the 20th century. The #1 item listed was... not cell phones, computers, or the Internet... but instead: REFRIGERATION. When you consider how life has changed since the days of the "Icebox", it is a pretty radical invention to have FREEZING COLD wherever and whenever it is desired.

In pre-refrigeration days, naturally formed ice was in great demand throughout the year, so harvesting and storage created viable businesses, like the Martin Brothers Ice Company. Our thanks again to Chuck Voelker for his amazing wealth of U.P. history in Copper Country Reflections, where I ran across this article yesterday, surprised in not seeing it before. I'm afraid the Martin's would have had a tough business this year, with such unseasonably warm temperatures. (I managed to kick start the BridgeCam this morning for a shot of the iceless Portage Canal, just downstream from Cole's Creek)

It occured to me that our own Pasty.NET has a similar business model in the U.P., but instead of channeling ice into homes and buinesses, Pasty.NET delivers bandwidth... that mysterious conduit which connects us to information flow around the world. Whether by way of dial-up, DSL, or wireless broadband, the distribution of this limited resource has some interesting similarities to home delivery of ICE. What a heavy thought for a Sunday morning.

Have a good week :o)

By Paul Oesterle (Paulwebbtroll) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 08:48 am:

I rember staying with my aunt in town and the ice man bringing ice to her house! Being a farm boy, that was quite an experience!

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 08:58 am:

In the 40's our ice was delivered by Art Larche for our ice box, even on the hottest days of summer when we were treated to small slivers off the back of his truck.

This year is quite the oposite as there is very little snow or ice in the whole midwest..Ski resort in Ontario lays off 1,300 workers this past week.

By Walter M Sands (Wsands) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 09:14 am:

My Grandfather Matt Getzen owned a bar in Baraga [Matts Bar],now called the "Side Track Bar"for many years and he had a large shed on the back porch for the ice that he used, to keep the beer cold.Used to spread sawdust on it to keep it from melting. My cousins and I would sneak in there and chip ice to suck on in the summer.Memories of long ago,but very fondly remembered.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 09:33 am:

Sawdust as insulation brings back memories of the old mill in Chassell. They had a huge area of sawdust very similar to the stamp sand piles...
As kids are prone to do, we were digging in there one day, and just barely 6 inches under the surface we found snow. This was in mid summer.
More than likely the sawdust was blown over the snow...there was a big pipe that blew it out of the mill.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 10:09 am:

Thanks for the new BridgeCam picture, Charlie! We really miss having it live.

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 10:18 am:

Ice harvesting in the Copper Country continued into the 1960's. Most of the commercial fishermen at that time still had ice houses and harvested their own ice in the winter months. If they had more than they needed they would sell some of their ice to people for picnic coolers; about 25-cents for a large block. I can remember buying ice from Vivian Nordstrom at Bete Gris.

By Gus LL (Gusll) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 10:21 am:

To see some photos of ice harvesting on Seneca Lake in Keweenaw County in 1946 go to my Pasty Cam gallery.
The Crystal Ice Co. of Calumet harvested ice there for many years. I helped with the harvest in 1946. I took the photos with a cheap Kodak camera. Carl Kiilunen

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 10:29 am:

My grandfather had a dairy in Traverse City and I remember many trips to the dairy ice-house (actually, a big red barn in the nearby woods)where I went to cool off in the summer. Loved it.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 11:01 am:

I'm not sure if I remember this correctly: "One-year-ice is merely suitable for pickling, whereas two-year-ice can be used for soup and stew. But for a good cup of tea, you'll have to use three-year-old ice!"
Polar explorer's wisdom from centuries back. Referring to ocean-ice, and the salt therein.

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 12:06 pm:

I've got something to tell you all, if I may
today is Capt. Paul's birthday.... ;-)

By Ernie Kuusisto (Ernie) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 12:26 pm:

My dad use to harvest ice back in the 50's from the portage channel for our refrigeration and also sold it to others. I think was priced around 1 cent a pound. Dad also rented out some ice boxes (which looked like refrigerators) to some of the summer residents and also sold and delivered the ice to them. There is one Jacobsville resident that remembered me as the son of the ice man. The ice was packed in sawdust. Sawdust is a good insulator.

By Charles Pomazal (Cpomazal) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 12:29 pm:

I beleive that when Bat Masterson, the former lawman-turned newspaperman, was found dead at his desk, there was a paper in his typewriter that stated,"Strange, the rich man has ice in the summertime while the poor man has it in the winter."

BTW - Happy B'day Cowboy Paul!

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 12:34 pm:

My Grandfather used to talk about the "ice mine" right off Garden City Road above Eagle River. This was shaft that was easy to enter when he was young and a source of free ice during the Summer months up at "the River" as they called it. This would have been in the 1900 era. There are some signs of mining left up in that general area above Eagle River, but the shafts have been bulldozed shut now. When I was much younger, some of the houses in Eagle River still had the old version of refrigerators, that is, actual boxes extending out of kitchen windows to keep food cold during the winter. Those wouldn't work so good this year. We take much of living for granted!

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 12:59 pm:

While installing an electrical outlet at my folks home in Hubbell as we cut open the plaster out came pouring a full bay of sawdust that was used for insulation...The attic ceiling had old Gazette newspapers for insulation. I can imagine this would be the same for all of the old "worker" homes that were built in the copper country around the 1900's.

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 02:00 pm:

Two comments: Re Charlie's "most important invention"... BBC just this weekend had a 2 hour long program on the most important Canadian invention. The 3 finalists were: telephone (A.G. Bell WAS a Canadian emigrant to the US), electric light (the Canadian inventor sold his patent to Ediston for $5,000) and insulin. The final decision by "experts" as well as the public was: INSULIN!
2nd comment: At the west end of Michigan Avenue in Menominee was a huge ice house which I recall from the 1940's. I imagine it ceased to be shortly after that.

By LoisHart (Lhart) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 03:09 pm:

This picture immediately reminded me too of the Eagle River "ice mine" (see Paul Meier's note above). Charlie, you'll appreciate this: it used to be one of those afternoon field trip attractions for campers at Gitche Gumee. And if I'm not mistaken, the camp also farmed the ice for the cabin ice boxes. Boy, am I old--I remember this stuff!

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 03:47 pm:

We did a good business selling block ice at our gas station by the boat in Kearsarge in the 50's and 60's. We bought it from Ristell's in Houghton. It was actually manufactured there.
Earnie Neva delivered it by pickup truck. He would chip off pieces to pass out to the kids to chew on.The tourist would buy it for coolers and ice boxes at camps and even a few local houses still used it.We aid a penny a pond and sold it for 2 cents. I rember days when we sold over a ton.
I have a picture of the old ice house in my gallery. It was an old ice cream truck.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 04:16 pm:

Happy Birthday, Capt. Paul!

I remember searching for homes that sold ice around Brevoort when we went camping there with our 16 ft. trailer that had an icebox.

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 04:53 pm:

How ironic, my husband wanted me to go to the store for ice and I said, "Go chip it off the lake"! No lakes froze here, nothing is froze here! He's gonna have to have a warm drink, oh well, that's life! Sometimes ya gotta rough it!

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 04:57 pm:

well Joanie, that led right into a "joke" that my wife got from one of her friends. Now I have to say, this one is pretty cold...but if you all take it as a joke and not some male pig statement, it will all be ok. ok? :)

Or maybe he was just foolish

Son asked his mother the following question:

"Mum, why are wedding dresses white?"

The mother looks at her son and replies,

"Son, this shows your friends and relatives that your
bride is pure."

The son thanks his Mum and goes off to double-check this
with his father.

"Dad why are wedding dresses white?"

The father looks at his son in surprise and says,

"Son, all household appliances come in white."

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 05:09 pm:


By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 05:23 pm:

David, is it a sign that my favorite color is white? Oh boy, sorry, have to make a big:
G R O A N !

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 05:26 pm:

Happy Birthday Capt'n Paul!
Art Larche delivered ice to many in the Dollar Bay area. Many of the young guys in town worked for him down on the lake. We had one of those boxes to keep things cold.It would keep things frozen. My Mom got a refrigerator the year I was born(39) but she still used the ice box to keep some things cold. Winters were so cold then that after my dad butchered they just hung the meat in what they called the shed and it would stay frozen all year. This was just a closed in room on the back of the house. Sure couldn't do that now days.

By norbert thieme (Norbthieme) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 06:26 pm:

Thx for "kicking" the bridge cam into action. Hopefully it will continue to work thru all the snown the UP is getting this season! There are, I'm sure, many of us who enjoy that view from far away. NorbThieme

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 06:30 pm:

Gee, I'm feeling ancient today...

I distinctly remember visiting my paternal Grandparents’ place in the late 1940s (?) on Muirland St. north of Fenkell in Detroit (that house must have been directly in the path of the present John C. Lodge Fwy) — when they still had an “ice box”, and on several occasions observed the "automated" (horse-drawn) ice cart on its rounds; the horse knew the route and the stops quite well, and needed little or no prompting by the “driver”!

Years later that "ice box" wound up in our basement as a storage locker for laundry supplies. My, but it was tiny - now why can I hardly find any space in my 25cu ft frost-free refrigerator!

By Sandra H. (Wasayooper) on Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 07:06 pm:

FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash),
It is funny you should mention you're feeling ancient about that. I was thinking what a kindergartener I am because I've never seen an icebox.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Monday, January 8, 2007 - 05:50 am:

Right out of high school (1960) I worked at a resort in northern WI that still used iceboxes in the cabins. I remember scraping sawdust off the top layer in the icehouse and seeing shiny, clear ice (partially melted) while the bottom and next layer were still frosty white. A good place to be on a hot July day!

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Monday, January 8, 2007 - 10:29 pm:

Our ice box was literaly just a hole cut in the pantry wall with a squarish box protruding to the outside. It kept milk etc. nice and cold. The other ice boxes were free standing and most often made of oak. They were very pretty. My comment about meat staying frozen all year should have said ALL WINTER!

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