Preparing for a frozen harvest
Continuing our series on ice harvesting, the equipment used over the years to harvest the 300-pound ice blocks from area lakes evolved from horse-drawn plows to gasoline-powered machines, but the process remained roughly the same. First, the snow had to be cleared from the ice field, which typically measured about a half mile in length and one-fifth mile wide. Then, the ice needed to be measured to make sure it was thick enough for harvest. The fields were then partially cut through, then broken off in sections, or ribbons of ice, which were floated down the newly opened channel of water toward the tramway, which would transport the freshly cut blocks up from the lake and into railroad cars for shipment.