Throwback Thursday: harvesting ice on the frozen Zumbro

In the days before mechanical refrigeration, many people depended on a supply of ice to preserve food, particularly in warmer months. Of course, the best time to obtain ice was during the winter.

Once lakes and rivers had frozen enough, it was common to see men with saws harvesting large blocks of ice and loading them onto horse-drawn carts to be taken to icehouses for long-term storage.

Shown here in this photo from the History Center of Olmsted County is the Rochester Ice and Fuel Company taking advantage of ice supplied by the Zumbro River in the 1910s.

Jacob Murphey

Jacob Murphey

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