From the mid to late 1800s up to the mass production of modern mechanical refrigeration in the 1940s, the only source of cooling for food preservation and for iced drinks in the summer in the lakes area was lake ice stacked in layers of insulating sawdust, in Ice Houses. The ice houses were often the size of garages and kept the ice frozen all through the hot summers.

(Photos were not taken at Lake Hubert unless specifically listed as such.)

Ice House Exterior

Filling the ice house

The lake ice was cut and stored by ice harvesting crews and one of the favorite places to get the ice was Lake Hubert because, like today, the water was the cleanest and clearest in the area.

Crystal clear ice block cut from Lake Hubert in 2009

When the ice became thick enough in mid-winter, the crews came out with their ice saws, teams of horses and large sledges. They cut the blocks of ice by hand, pulled them from the water and loaded them onto the sledges to be taken to ice houses at resorts on Lake Hubert, Gull and other area lakes.


The ice blocks from Lake Hubert were cut at the Northeast corner of the lake near what was later the Lake Hubert Store, the railroad depot and the Hubert/Clark channel. The sledges loaded with ice were pulled along the ice road which ran westward along the North side of the lake, a few yards south of what is now Highway 13. Vestiges of the ice road can still be seen on some properties on the North side of Lake Hubert.



Many types of tools were used to harvest ice. Special ice saws, tongs, pike poles, plows (to remove snow before sawing the ice) and many more could be found on the ice during harvest. Here are photos of some.


Ice Tongs, Ice Saw and Ice Chipper/pusher

Ice Saw and Pike Poles

Ice Saw in Use



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