Local History Snapshot: Harvesting Ice in Port Colborne

This week’s Local History Snapshot is an undated photo showing harvesting ice in winter in Port Colborne from the L.R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives.

In the days before refrigerators, If you wanted to enjoy ice-cold lemonade or make some ice cream in the middle of summer you needed to get busy in the depths of winter, harvesting ice from the lake and canal, like these men. Large blocks of ice were cut using saws, then stored in ice houses, where, insulated using thick layers of sawdust, and straw, the ice blocks lasted until the heat of summer. You could then finally enjoy that lemonade or ice cream! 



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